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This Week at Cisco Live 2011: Networking, Cloud, Virtualization, and More!

July 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm PST

I’m here in Las Vegas and aside from enjoying a frosty beverage or two by the pool and betting my next paycheck at the Black Jack tables, I’m attending Cisco Live 2011. This annual education and training event is like the World Cup of networking events, where IT, networking, and communications professionals join Cisco experts and partners to learn, connect, and collaborate.

There are so many different sessions and keynotes taking place at Cisco Live this week, but don’t worry if you can’t attend every event. I’ll be posting daily recaps here on the Channels blog, talking to partners at the conference, covering the big news, as well as sending out live tweets.

Cisco Live 2011 officially kicks off tomorrow with a keynote and welcome address from Chairman and CEO John Chambers. John is slated to discuss the future of networking and communication technology, and the ways it will transform business practices, education, and social relationships.

What else is taking place at Cisco Live this week? Read More »

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3 Steps for Preparing Your Network for IPv6

IPv6 is coming—are you ready to make the transition?

The next generation of Internet networking protocol—IPv6—is coming and companies of all sizes are preparing their networks for it now. IPv6 makes room for more people, more companies, and more devices on the Internet than the current Internet protocol, IPv4.  IPv6 provides better security, faster performance over virtual private networks (VPN), and makes local networks easier to manage. The new protocol also offers improved quality of service (QoS) for more reliable voice and video performance and ensures better coverage and throughput for mobile devices.

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Understanding the Different Types of Wireless Routers

Things to consider when buying a wireless routers for your small business.

We live and work in an untethered world, and your small business is no different. When you initially built your network, you may not have seen the need for wireless. Now that your company has grown and your workforce has become more mobile, you may be considering adding wireless to your network. Wireless offers a lot of benefits, such as  allowing your employees to work from anywhere and providing Internet access to visiting guests.

If you’ve been looking at adding wireless connectivity to your company’s network, you know it can be confusing. There’s the alphabet soup of standards—“b,” “g,” “n”— and terms like “dual-band,” “selectable,” and “two radio.” What does it all mean? Below, I explain the basics so you can better understand which wireless router best fits your needs.

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4 Ways Gigabit Ethernet Can Improve Your Business

A faster switch can provide the speed and reliability you need to support your business needs and help keep your company competitive.

When all you needed your network to do was connect devices and provide access to some applications, you could get by with an entry-level switch. But times have changed. The applications and tools you use to run your small business have gotten more complex,  requiring more bandwidth, and the need for reliable access has increased. Fast Ethernet may no longer be fast enough for your small business. If your network can’t keep up with today’s web-based applications, video and data-intensive business tools, it may be time to upgrade to a Gigabit Ethernet switch.

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Check out the video for Cisco’s Women’s Spring Forum Gender Diversity Event

I have the pleasure of sharing with you a YouTube video of the “Printemps des Femmes”/”Women’s Spring Forum” a gender diversity event, initiated by Cisco and co-organized by 9 companies which took place in France on March 21, 2011.

The idea for this event came from Cisco. Sandy Beky, a Business Operations Manager in Cisco’s European Services organisation and an Inclusion and Diversity Ambassador, attended the 2010 edition of the Women’s Forum Global Meeting where she met many diversity leads from other corporations. Sandy felt that these diversity events often attracted the same attendees and wanted to create an event to provide women (who contribute to gender diversity related employee resource groups) the opportunity to network with other women to  share and exchange their corporate best practices in the area of gender inclusion and  diversity.

In true diversity style, nine different companies -- Areva, Bain&Company, Cap Gemini, Cisco, Deloitte, Lathams&Watkins, Nissan, Orange et Sodexo – worked together to virtually organise the Women’s Spring Forum. Between 10 to 15 female representations from these companies attended the afternoon event, which began with a plenary session facilitated by a well known speaker in France; Veronique Preaux Cobti, Founder and Managing Director of DIAFORA which specialises in promoting gender diversity in corporations. Veronique gave her audience top tips on how they can widen their professional and personal network, explained about the importance of networking and the barriers women can impose on themselves. This plenary session also gave women hints and tips on effective networking; for example how to introduce oneself at the event and how to continue networking after attending an event like this one, and Veronique encouraged women to practice this both during the event and after the event too.

Following this session, attendees were encouraged to attend practical workshops on the following topics: Personal Branding, Mentoring, Telecommuting, Assertiveness and Leadership. Each workshop gave women tools that they could immediately implement and take back into their everyday life. Feedback from the event was extremely positive – 88% of the women scored the event 4 or 5 on a scale from 1-5.

As a young female employee of Cisco, I cannot stress enough the importance of networking events like the Women’s Spring Forum. Cisco is founded on the principle of networking -- Welcome To The Human Network after all! And although women make up approximately 60% of graduates, there is still a shortage of women going into the technology sector. Networking events like the Women’s Spring Forum show the opportunities technology companies like Cisco can offer to women. I myself do not have an engineering degree and if you asked me to fix your computer or explain to you how a computer works, I wouldn’t be very useful! However, Cisco has provided me the opportunity to not only put my strength -- including creativity, interpersonal skills and being able to take a complex idea and make it simple – to good use but also do what I love the most – communications. And Cisco has also opened my eyes to new opportunities like Inclusion and Diversity. It is one of my goals in Cisco to share my experiences with other young women and to encourage more females to apply for jobs in technology.

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