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Cisco Live! Brings Virtual Communities Together

Today we have a special guest post by Andrew vonNagy, CCIE #28298 (Wireless), author of the blog Revolution Wi-Fi, Twitter @revolutionwifi and a Cisco customer. Huge thanks to Andrew for taking the time to share his Cisco Live experience!

Last week Cisco Live! 2011 took place in Las Vegas, NV. This year was my first time attending the conference, and I am a bit amazed at my experiences looking back on the event now that it is over. In addition to the deep technical content the conference is best known for, I found more valuable benefits are afforded to attendees willing to take a more active role in the technical community.

Arguably, the most valuable aspect of the conference is the opportunity for professional development through interaction with influential members of the industry, both internal and external to Cisco. Professional networking provides a foundation for growth and success by drawing on the energy of a collective group of friends and associates who share similar ambitions and have a drive to be successful, enabling the group to move forward as a whole. Building communities within the industry is when the magic starts to happen. Joining these communities can provide access to shared knowledge, creation of new and exciting opportunities, leveraging of broader connections throughout the community, and promotion of valuable content, products, or services created by trusted members within the community.

Many of these communities begin as virtual communities, built on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the rapidly growing Google+. These platforms enable greater access to members within the community, but must be used appropriately to be effective. Individuals trying to join the community must provide value to the larger collective and interaction must be genuine. A quote from a widely successful writer and blogger comes to mind…

Networking is always important when it’s real, and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake.Seth Godin

Industry events, such as the Cisco Live! conference, bring the virtual community together allowing attendees to build on existing relations formed online and expand on them by providing more personal interaction, helping to form more meaningful relationships.

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

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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