Having completed all of the previous strategy elements, you are ready to deploy. Is that all there is to it? Not quite. In this post, I’ll highlight strategies you can use for a smooth post-deployment.
In one of my past experiences, deployment of our branch routers went off without a hitch and we patted ourselves on the back and went home. In the morning, operations noted a reload on two of the routers we had upgraded the night before. It appeared that one of the defects we evaluated had not discovered “all” of the traffic that could force the reload. So what was the impact of all this? As part of our change management strategy, we were certain to ensure that we could back out on our changes. Additionally, we set the device to load the old software and configuration if the device reloaded. This resulted in less than a minute outage for those devices that did reload and the design allowed for seamless failover between the two switches. Failure to do so would have resulted in the router continuously reloading as these packets were encountered -, which would unlikely be noticed. It is important to note that there was no impact on the production network or business services. Read More »
Tags: network management, network optimization, strategies
There’s no doubt that BYOD—“bring your own device”—is a huge and growing phenomenon throughout the world. Recent research by the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) looked at BYOD and its economic impact in six countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India, and Brazil. In these countries alone, the number of BYOD devices is expected to more than double by 2016, to 405 million.
Clearly, introducing all those personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops into the workplace is causing complexity and uncertainty for many businesses. There is a strong appetite for BYOD, but our research shows that implementation has been largely reactive, resulting in a patchwork of ad-hoc capabilities and policies. Without a comprehensive approach, most companies are not realizing the potential value of BYOD—especially small or midsize businesses that do not have the IT resources or sophistication to manage all that complexity.
Enter the service provider (SP). BYOD opens the door to a number of SP opportunities: Read More »
Tags: bring your own device, byod, cloud services, economics, IBSG, Internet Business Solutions Group, managed services, mobility, network optimization, opportunities, Service Provider, SP
When I remodeled my bathroom a few years ago, my initial plan included only a few things: I wanted it to feel bigger (it’s a small space), and everything needed to be replaced – the utilities, furniture, walls, floors, and window.
I know what I like, and I know what I want, but I don’t know the first thing about designing a new bathroom. Add to that a full-time job and three children under the age of 10, I knew I needed to hire someone who could take complete control of the project while still delivering everything I wanted.
I hired a contractor who could not only do the physical labor, but one who had the expertise to plan and design the whole thing. He asked me questions about which members of the family use the bathroom, and how often, in order to deliver the most relevant plan that fit our lifestyle. Through his consultation, he discovered that this bathroom was the main bathroom in the house, heavily used by our family and visitors alike. Based on that fact, he recommended a redesign that provided the optimum privacy for our family of 5 – something I hadn’t even considered when initially launching the project. Read More »
Tags: advanced services, AS, FISMA, General Risk Assessment, network optimization, planning, Professional Services, Sentara Healthcare, services, University of Texas Health Center
As we start off this New Year, how about including a resolution to improve application delivery? In Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part I , we covered key application delivery challenges that have come up due to the complexities of managing the many types of applications that enterprises use today, and further complicated by data center consolidation and virtualization. We then covered some best practices, courtesy of Dr. Jim Metzler’s 2011 Application Service Delivery Handbook, which recommended taking a lifecycle approach to planning and managing application performance.
A key step to the lifecycle approach is to implement network and application optimization tools, such as WAN Optimization solutions and Application Delivery Controllers, including server load balancers. Of course, these solutions are not new to the market and already address many of the needs that exist with delivering enterprise applications in virtualized data centers -- namely, the need to ensure network reliability, availability and security for users accessing these applications. In this post, we will discuss a recent study by IDC, where IT decision makers across Europe and the US spoke out about their strategies for using server load balancers to deal with emerging challenges.
. What important attributes do you look for in your server load balancers?
Read More »
Tags: ACE, application control engine, application delivery, application delivery controller, application performance, availbility, Cisco OTV, cloud bursting, data center security, DWS, Dynamic Workload Scaling, enterprise application, IDC, jim metzler, load balancer, Load Balancing, network optimization, Network Services, Nexus 7000, OTV, Overlay Transport Virtualization, resiliency, security, server load balancer, server load balancing, Tina Feng, Unified Network Services, virtual machine intelligence, virtual network services, virtualization
Earlier this year the Webtorials Analyst Division, co-founded by Dr. Jim Metzler, surveyed their subscriber base of IT professionals. Not surprisingly, 75% admitted that when a core business application degrades in performance, the end user notices before IT does. Therefore, 85% also believe that it is important, very important and even critical to senior managers that they take a more proactive approach to managing acceptable application delivery (See Figure 1).
Source: Metzler, Jim, “2011 Application & Service Delivery Handbook”, p. 14
Click here for the 2011 Application Service Delivery Handbook -- Cisco
Contributing to the challenges of ensuring good application performance are the very innovations that are meant to simplify business and IT operations. These include data center consolidation, virtualization and the wide variety of applications that IT must support– all of which creates operational issues for IT. Not to worry – there are best practices that IT organizations can implement as application delivery challenges continue to evolve. In Part I of this blog post on application and services delivery, I’ll share what I consider to be key learnings from Dr. Metzler’s comprehensive 129 page guide. We’ll start with some core challenges:
Key Application Delivery Challenges
Proliferation of different types of applications: Today, companies utilize a wider variety of applications than ever. Some applications are business-critical. Others enable other business functions. And still more applications support communication and collaboration. Not only do they vary in criticality, but they also vary in their demands on the network. For instance, video streaming, which causes a lot of strain on the network may be key on some occasions (think company-wide all hands meetings a la Apple’s tribute to Steve Jobs), but recreational during other times. IT managers must audit company-wide application use, pinpoint a select group of business critical applications and formulate and execute a plan for optimization.
Read More »
Tags: application delivery, application delivery controller, application delivery controllers, consistency, jim metzler, network optimization, Network Services, Tina Feng, virtualization, WAN Optimization