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IP Address Management, Part III: Moving to IPv6

With the rapid depletion of IPv4 addresses, migrating to IPv6 is no longer an option for many organizations.  Part of the challenge operators face is that both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses will be used within the same network.  In addition, individual devices will often have both types of addresses, making it more difficult to accurately view the current network topology.

Having to manage both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses increases the complexity of every task associated with IPv4 resources.  When addresses are managed manually, operators have to first look up a resource’s IPv4 address and then configure the IPv6 address by hand.  Operators then have to set up the address on the DHCP server as well.  This simple operation takes several steps and involves inputting the same data into the system multiple times.  Given that IPv6 addresses are four times longer than IPv4 addresses, this increases Read More »

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IP Address Management, Part II: Automation and Inventory

Efficient management of network elements requires that operators track the IP addresses assigned to each device when they are attached to the network.  When discovery is managed manually, an operator may forget to email a confirmation or perform one of the crucial steps in the provisioning process.  Rather than requiring operators to perform these steps manually, the management system can automatically assign and record IP addresses as well as send any confirmations.  In addition, the system can receive commands and trigger flows back downstream to further automate processes and simplify the workflow.

Cisco Prime Network Registrar, for example, offers a broad scope of IP address management (IPAM) capabilities for automating discovery. IP addresses for new devices are immediately added to the network’s IP inventory, guaranteeing that they will not be overlooked or mistyped.

Cisco Prime Network Registrar also locates and identifies unknown devices on the network, including smartphones, routers, and printers users have provisioned themselves.  When an IP address is used without being formally allocated, this creates a potential conflict with mission-critical equipment that could result in network downtime that is difficult and time-consuming to troubleshoot. Operators can either remove these rogue devices from the network or formally discover them to shore up potential security vulnerabilities that might otherwise pass undetected.

The accuracy of the IP address inventory is maintained by refreshing it at regular intervals to ensure it still correlates to the ever-changing configuration of the network.  Maintaining an accurate inventory of IP addresses is critical to reliable network operation.  For example, by Read More »

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IP Address Management, Part I: Agility and Integration

The ability to deploy new equipment and services in a timely and cost-effective manner – a quality known as network agility– is crucial to maintaining profitability.  Bottlenecks that hinder deployment, reduce performance, or result in downtime add cost to every operation. For example, managing thousands of IP addresses by hand creates bottlenecks when provisioning and troubleshooting as well as increases the possibility of service outages caused by human error.

The growing complexity of networks further increases the difficulty of managing today’s networks.  Operators must accommodate new types of servers and clients, potentially from multiple vendors.  TCP/IP continues to connect more devices, resulting in a higher cost to manage each new device as the number of devices added to the network increases.  Furthermore, new technologies like IPv6, virtualization, cloud services, and mobile connectivity which increase management complexity drive the need for comprehensive, integrated, and feature-rich IP address management (IPAM) capabilities.

Agility enables Read More »

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Take the BYOD Challenge and Win a Trip to the 2012 London Olympic Games!

Come watch a special edition TechWiseTV, featuring Ike, to learn how Cisco takes you Beyond BYOD. Take the BYOD challenge for a chance to win a trip to the London Olympics or other fun mobility gadgets.

Today’s enterprise mobility requirements go beyond simply connecting mobile devices. It’s about securing any access, simply managing the complexities while scaling efficiently, and ensuring an optimal user experience while easing the IT burden. Gallant Ike does all of this and more with Cisco Enterprise Mobility Solutions.

To participate, here is what you do:

  • Visit http://www.cisco.com/go/challenge
  • Watch the 20-minute video featuring TechWise’s Jimmy Ray Purser and Robb Boyd with IKE
  • Take the Challenge!  Test your knowledge and answer 10 questions. You just may win!

Good luck!

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The Case for Cable in the Tablet Era

By Roland Klemann, Director of Service Provider Practice, Western Europe, Internet Business Solutions Group

Although the coaxial cable may have been born in 1929, predictions of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

While traditional models for consuming television are indeed under siege—from time-shift TV, over-the-top video, and an ever-expanding array of new devices—cable remains highly relevant, even in an age of exploding data traffic. In fact, with savvy deployment of Wi-Fi services, cable providers can seize an opportunity—not in spite of the mobile data deluge, but because of it.

After all, that sleek new iPad—introduced last week while I was attending the Cable Congress in Brussels—boasts dazzling video resolution. But for network operators, it only adds to a growing problem. They are already reeling under the burden of a massive upsurge in traffic, from tablets and IP-enabled devices of all kinds. What’s worse, they are still at the low end of an ongoing mobile data explosion. Cisco’s Virtual Networking Index predicts an eighteen-fold increase in mobile traffic from 2011 to 2016.

As a result, two things are breaking down: 1) the physical capacity of the networks, and 2) their economics. Theoretically, mobile carriers can build enough macro cells to carry all the traffic in the world, but in reality, that gets prohibitively expensive—fast. No wonder some are feeling an encroaching sense of doom.

Read More »

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