Network optimization is a touchy subject for many in the IT world, and a particularly thorny issue for the Wide Area Network (WAN). The idea that the network architecture as designed cannot meet the needs of tomorrow is the cause of much discussion, anxiety and in some cases, gnashing of teeth. However, the reality is that the rate of change of applications and ways the WAN is utilized is accelerating, and the methods of designing, testing, implementing and troubleshooting of today are not keeping pace. In addition, traditional services offered throughout the WAN only offer a partial view of the capabilities of what may be available.
Happy Thursday all.
Yesterday, my brethren Product Manager, Ivor Diedricks announced his new 10 Gigabit Small Business Switch. This is the first 10 Gigabit Switch in the Small Business Series. This is an important announcement in that we are the only one (save one) to come to market with such a product for the SMB space. With its 10 Gigabit over copper interfaces, SMB’s can connect Servers and Storage devices cost-effectively for an optimal core deployment. This new switch has eight 10GBase-T copper, eight SFP+ slots and up to eight switches can be connected in a single stack. Ivor provides more color into the features of the new switch in his general availability release which also announced several new models for the 300 and 500 Series Switches which provide fantastic performance, ease-of-use, best-of-breed features and industry-leading warranty.
Thanks for taking the time to take a look today. Make it a great day.
Here’s Ivor’s Announcement:
The Small Business product team is pleased to announce the immediate orderability of a new 10 Gigabit switch together with several new models of the 300 and 500 series switches. Small Business switches deliver great value for SMB customers with outstanding ease of use, best of breed features and peace of mind warranty. And we continue to evolve the portfolio with the constant software updates.
The new SG500XG-8F8T switch features 8 ports of 10GBase-T copper for cost-effective, high speed connectivity to Servers and Storage devices. Additionally, there are 8 SFP+ slots for 10 Gigabit long-range connectivity over fiber for backbone, stacking, or host connectivity. Up to 8 units can be connected in a single stack and may be paired with SG500X switches in the same stack. It comes with a rich feature set including VRRP Resiliency, IPv6 First Hop Security, Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), Auto Smartports, CDP, and numerous Time-based capabilities for enabling items such as POE, ACLs, and 802.1x according to a schedule.
The new POE models expand the 300 and 500 Series portfolio with support for higher density POE capability, together with all models supporting IEEE 802.3az (POE+). The 300 and 500 series switches now incorporates full and half power POE models, thereby giving customers the options to select the models which best meets their needs. The new switches comes with all the rich feature set available with these product families.
As we head towards Thanksgiving, it amazes me how fast time flies. 4th of July was a few weeks ago, right? I have yet to start holiday shopping, although the conversation at least came up this week. Wait! There is so much to get done before Christmas, so much to do with the Cisco Small Business Team! But yes, I digress.
This week, my colleague Product Manager, Nasser Tarazi, who manages the Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points, created a short video covering how Cisco’s Single Point Setup makes the configuration, deployment and management of multiple access points a snap. In less than 5 minutes, he had a secure wireless network with two access points. All of configuration was done through a setup wizard that guides you step-by-step how to configure the access points. They automatically optimize the key radio settings so that is one thing less for you to do. I could go on and on about how easy and fast it was, but it would be easier for you just to watch the video.
The bottom line is that Single Point Setup saves you time and money and you don’t need to be or have an expert to configure these products. In fact, this is a consistent trait for all of Cisco Small Business Wireless, Switching and Routing Portfolios. We believe that making our Small Business portfolios are among the easiest to deploy, configure and setup as we have made it one of the top priorities.
Please take a look when you have a moment. If you have a little more time, remember to take a look at our list of Cisco Small Business online emulators. These emulators do just that, it provides a simulation of how the router, access point and of course switches can be set-up, configured and managed, all in an intuitive way.
Thanks for taking a look.
Securing the Critical Internet Infrastructure is an ongoing challenge for operators that require collaboration across administrative boundaries. Last September something exceptional happened in Ecuador, a small South American country. The entire local network operation community got together to be pioneers in securing its local Internet infrastructure by registering its networks in the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) system and implementing secure origin AS validation. This project is a great example on how a global technology change can be accelerated by maximizing its value to local communities.
The global inter-domain routing infrastructure depends on the BGP protocol that was initially developed in the early 90s. Operators know that a number of techniques are needed to improve BGP security (a good reference can be found here). Although these improvements, it is still possible to impersonate the entity with the right of use of Internet resources and produce a prefix hijack as the famous attack in 2007. The IETF, vendors and Regional Internet Registries have been working inside the SIDR working group to create technologies that allow the cryptographic validation. The initial outcomes of this effort have been the RPKI and the BGP origin AS validation; two complementary technologies that work together to improve inter-domain routing security.
Every morning, many of us have the same routine: the alarm goes off, we (reluctantly) get up and maybe hit the gym before showering and getting dressed. We gulp down a cup of coffee or bowl of cereal as we rush out the door to try and beat the traffic to work.
What if there was a better way? What if rush hour wasn’t so rushed? Picture leaving for work in your car one morning while it’s raining. As you begin your normal commute, a car half a mile ahead is involved in a fender bender due to the slick roads. Before the accident can snarl rush hour for everyone in the area, the connected network jumps into action. Safety systems on board the car involved in the accident automatically send alerts about airbag deployment so the network can pinpoint the reason for the delay and make an evaluation of the time it will take to clear the accident based on road assistance availability. Video surveillance allows 911 operators to quickly evaluate the seriousness of the situation – a two-car fender bender versus a multi-car pileup – and dispatch first responders or tow trucks accordingly.
As roadside help is on its way, the intelligent network synchronizes the traffic lights around the congested area to keep you and everyone else moving. Based on your new estimated time of arrival to the office, your calendar automatically updates, changing your first in-person meeting to a conference call via WebEx, instead, that you take from your cell phone in your car.
At the same time that you are rerouted around the accident scene, the transit authority automatically sends notifications through smartphone apps to riders citywide of delayed buses, offering alternate routes. But there is no rushing here – the transit authority talks to the alarm clocks, too, updating them to ring five minutes earlier. What if, on top of all those transit updates, your connected coffee machine updates, too, so that it makes you that cup of Joe as soon as the alarm goes off at the new time? That’s something I’d certainly appreciate!
The Internet of Everything is making these things possible. It is changing every aspect of our lives today – even the little things that we might not think about. Notifying commuters of traffic delays and offering alternate options can improve customer experiences and increase ridership. That can, in turn, reduce the number of cars stuck in traffic, improving the quality of the environment and even people’s health. People, process, data and things work together thanks to a unified framework approach, creating value for individuals and businesses alike.
Explore the interactive image above to learn more about the changes that IoE is making possible. And share your thoughts! Send me a tweet: @JimGrubb.