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Secure Networking for (Really) Small Businesses

Today, Cisco came out with a new wireless VPN firewall specifically designed for the smallest of small businesses. In fact, the router is built for offices with one to five people that need remote access on a secure connection. The new router has what we call “business class” performance without the complexity often found in larger-scale products. Since the Cisco RV110W is designed with the “do-it-yourselfer” in mind, it’s very easy to use, and at $99 it’s affordable, even for extremely small companies.

It’s easy to set up, and requires no IT resources. You just plug it into the network. Partners can put it in place quickly so that you can stay focused on your business and not lose any time. The four-port switch that is integrated into the product lets you connect securely to computers, printers, IP phones, cameras, and other devices.  It works on both Windows and Mac OS-X for remote access to data anytime, anywhere. Also, the high-speed, wireless-N access points give you a faster file transfer time, which increases performance and the coverage area, helping employees to stay productive even if they are not at their desks.

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How Network Performance Management Can Increase Customer Satisfaction

Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group

Please join us tomorrow for the upcoming webinar “How to Improve Customer Satisfaction and Operational Efficiency with Performance Management.”

Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 8:00 AM, PDT
Duration: 60 minutes

We know that Communication Service Providers (CSPs) require more robust assurance capabilities to manage complex technology and services that span multiple domains. Operators need to have visibility of multiple network elements in order to enable them to manage the end-to-end quality of real-time services. Register now  to learn how performance management can improve quality of service and increase operational efficiency.

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The Seven Myths of the Good Enough Network

There is a debate raging in the IT industry about the role of the network.

In the same week that a gaming company’s network was hacked and the personal information of 60 million customers was leaked, there is a debate raging about whether the network matters.

In the same moment that the iPad is being adopted by 65% of the Fortune 100 — obliterating conventional wisdom about how corporate networks support consumer devices and mobility —there is a debate raging about whether the network matters.

On one side we have newcomers to the networking industry and some industry commentators who believe that the value of a network should be determined only by the cost of its components.  They argue that customers should focus squarely on acquisition cost, not the value of their network assets.  They argue that customers should focus on capital cost, not network capability and innovation. They believe the network has become a utility; that ‘good’ is good enough.

We all understand that negotiating the best price for goods and services always makes good business sense.  But this debate is about more than that.

The debate is about making a choice between a tactical network where getting the lowest possible price up front is paramount – and a strategic network investment that enables customers to adapt quickly to new business imperatives and to handle the increased demands on their business.

This debate has fueled numerous myths and misperceptions in our industry.  Here are the seven most misleading Myths of the Good Enough Network.

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Fearlessly Consume Tier-1 Enterprise Applications in “Clouds without Boundaries”

With an ever growing mobile and distributed workforce, application developers are being tasked to develop applications that can also be remotely accessed by this global workforce. Application developers, with a very basic understanding of networking, assume the network has no boundaries and applications perform optimally regardless of the mode of access. At the same time, cloud computing is enabling applications to be consolidated into centralized and virtualized data centers, further increasing the distance from where the applications are being accessed. Network architects are also being challenged with current network designs for this application deployment and delivery model. The available bandwidth is being taxed as the ever growing applications portfolio competes for network resources to provide a satisfying user experience across the network without boundaries. This application delivery model also demands capabilities for better visibility and control, WAN optimization, and agility of the network to rapidly deploy and manage enterprise applications.

The Cisco Application Velocity solution addresses all the challenges associated with the delivery and consumption of enterprise applications over the network without boundaries. It is one of the five services in Cisco’s Borderless Network Architecture and is composed of innovative Cisco technologies that help IT professionals meet or exceed business SLAs, maximize user experience, optimize resource utilization, and increase reliability and user expectations.

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Teleworking with Cisco Virtual Office: What’s New

In my last blog I described how Cisco employees have adopted teleworking, using either a software VPN client, or a hardware VPN solution called Cisco Virtual Office (CVO).  Cisco employees who telework on a regular basis prefer CVO over software VPN because the connection tends to be more stable and Cisco Virtual Office saves them the trouble of constantly logging back in. In addition, CVO provides QoS (quality of service) for voice and video which is critical to a high quality audio and video experience.

The preference for CVO is reflected in the fact that our employees who use the software VPN client work a little over 1 day per week from home while the 21,000 employees who use CVO report that they telework an average 2.5 days per week.

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