This post is the first in a new series we’ll be featuring called Your Questions: Answered. In this series, we track down the answers to partners’ toughest technical questions. You can submit your questions here, post on the Cisco Channels Facebook page, or drop us a note on Twitter.
When Cisco recently introduced the Identity Services Engine (ISE), you likely started fielding questions, with many customers concerned about whether Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) and Cisco Access Control System (ACS) will cease to be supported or become end-of-life. (Kind of like how I felt when the iPhone 4 came out and I was stuck with the iPhone 3G).
To help you address customer questions, I went out looking for answers on what’s up with ISE, NAC, and ACS. First up, a little about ISE: It has similar functionality to NAC and ACS, combining the functionality of those two existing products onto a new platform. Your customers can gather information from users, devices, infrastructure, and network services to enable organizations to enforce contextual-based business policies across the network, create and enforce consistent policy from the head office to the branch office, and combine authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA), posture, profiling, and guest management with this single product. And that’s just the beginning--I’ll share details on how to find out more about ISE later in this blog.
Back to the issue at hand — I chatted with Brian Sak, Cisco’s Consulting Systems Engineer and expert on Borderless Networks Security products. He filled me in on the most frequently asked questions that he’s been getting from partners around ISE.
Are NAC and ACS being replaced by ISE?
No, both NAC and ACS have ongoing roadmaps, developments, and new releases planned. If ISE does not meet your customer’s current needs, your customers can still use NAC or ACS. Cisco will not stop innovations on NAC and ACS anytime in the near future.
Should I encourage my NAC and ACS customers to migrate to ISE now?
The answer varies based on your customers and their requirements. Check out this handy chart in the Partner Community Discussion Forum (log in required) to help you determine if ISE is the right fit, right now for your customers.
Our expert on this topic is Andrew Phillips, co-anchor of our Partner Update newscasts and our Cisco Channels go-to video guy. Andrew knows his way backward and forward in Final Cut Pro. And, he’s staged and filmed countless videos that we feature here on the Cisco Channels blog and elsewhere.
According to Andrew, nothing can ruin a video more than poor setup. If you invest some time and thought in lighting, staging, and audio, your video will come out so much better than if you just shoot in front of a window without regard to your light source, or if you film outside with loud cars driving by that drown out your audio.
Want to put Andrew’s tricks to use in your videos? Here are his Top 10 Tips for Setting Up the Perfect Video. Read More »
When budgeting for equipment to run enterprise networks, buying equipment that requires the least amount of upfront capital may sound like cheapest in the long run, but what about the cost of repairs and tech support?
Settling for a “good enough” network means your customers get a “good enough” warranty to go with it. Next-generation networks offer more support staff, diagnostic tools to keep networks up and running, as well as more robust warranties.
In our continuing coverage of the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network, we delve into myth number five: The Basic Warranty Myth.
Most enterprise networking equipment includes limited support and maintenance. With vendors like HP, according to Michael Rau (myth dispeller and Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture at Cisco), a warranty service call is limited to answering only the most basic questions. A support rep will typically ask, “Have you tried rebooting your switch?” If that’s not the issue, a replacement is sent with no effort made to troubleshoot the problem. If you want more in-depth support you have to purchase the extended support contract – which is not free.
Here are five things customers should consider when purchasing network equipment.Read More »
One of the key takeaways I heard consistently at the recent Citrix Synergy conference was the fact that you shouldn’t just do IT for IT’s sake: Your top consideration should be the end user experience. That’s one of the key lessons Seattle Children’s Hospital learned when it recently deployed Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) blade to support a 3000-plus deployment of virtual desktops and zero clients. This deployment and Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) as a whole was the topic of a panel discussion at the conference.
The panelists included Aaron Cockerill, Senior Director of Product Management at Citrix; Doug Dooley, Director of Product Management for Desktop Virtualization at Cisco; Jake Hughes, the Chief Technical Architect at Seattle Children’s Hospital; and Harry Labana, VP and CTO of AppSense. Aaron and Doug offered up their thoughts on the Cisco-Citrix partnership, and how Cisco is leading virtualization charge with its end-to-end solution. Harry provided insights around desktop virtualization and AppSense’s role in creating flexibility and a rich user experience. Jake, as a customer who has implemented virtual solution, discussed the nuts of bolts of implementation, and talked about key points to take into consideration when contemplating a deployment.
I chatted with the panelists after the session, and they each offered up their top takeaways from the discussion.
Want to learn more about the details of the panel discussion? Read on for tips and lessons learned around implementing a virtual desktop solution.Read More »
Last week at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco, I got the chance to see FlexPod in action. Partner MTM Technologies hosted sessions nearby at the W Hotel, showcasing their Virtual Desktop Alliance solution, which is based on Cisco Validated Design for Citrix XenDesktop, Cisco UCS and NetApp storage. They even offered attendees the opportunity to win a Mini Cooper! (Unfortunately, I wasn’t eligible to win, so I’m still stuck driving my old VW).
During the demonstration, MTM showed how businesses can move from device-centric traditional desktops to user-centric virtual desktops. Application Delivery Architect Rich Brumpton of MTM explained that a lab in Boston hosted the UCS and NetApp storage, and was outfitted with 10GB Ethernet. That was then connected over VPN to their setup at the hotel.
Rich walked through the virtual desktop solution, showing how customers could use the technology to collaborate, move between desktops yet retain their individual user experience, and even access data remotely. After the demo, I chatted with Rich about the value that selling such a solution brings MTM, and how Cisco partners can benefit, as well.
Here are a few more benefits a virtual desktop solution can offer to your customers.