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Where Virtualization Does and Doesn’t Make Sense – An Optimization Primer

bioShot-sWritten By Wayne Cullen, Senior Manager, Service Provider Architectures

Along with cloud computing, M2M, collaboration, and hoodie sweatshirts, virtualization is a trend du jour. Like all trends, it’s based on an old idea (dating back to the mainframe era) that has now been reimagined for new purposes. One of the newest roles for virtualization is network functions such as those in switches, routers, and network appliances, including firewalls and load balancers—thanks to Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). And this is just the beginning of what is going to be virtualized in your network.

Being a Selective Virtualizer

Virtualization can provide some big cost savings and reduce network complexity. But virtualization is like chocolate. You eat too much and some bad things can happen. The early days of virtualization (when servers were virtualized) provide a cautionary tale. Server virtualization lowered CapEx but led to skyrocketing operational costs because much more complex processes—hence highly-skilled staff—were required.

The lesson: Be selective in virtualizing your resources and functions. And focus your time optimizing your network to lower TCO with a flexible, adaptable infrastructure as part of your virtualization efforts.

How and Where to Optimize Your Network for Virtualization

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Get Your WLAN Ready for Google Android L and Apple iOS 8

July 24, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

This fall your wireless networks will experience many devices upgrading to the new Android 5.0(L-release) and Apple iOS 8 releases (cue: IT managers groan). There have now been many blogs attempting to capture the enhancements expected with these releases. Today I am going to focus on describing how Android L and iOS 8 may affect customers deploying Cisco enterprise grade Wi-Fi networks based upon our research and testing of the Apple seed. Our verdict: Carry on with business as usual.

Here are four features we predict will have the most impact your networks:

1. Chromecast and Google Cast Enhancements (Android L)

Rishi Chandra, the Director of Chromecast Product Management announced that, starting with the Android L release, users have the ability to cast to your neighboring devices such as a TV without having to connect to your Wi-Fi network. In the demo, a phone used the cellular connection to connect to chromecast through the cloud. A variety of techniques are used to authenticate the users in the same room OR use a pin-code as an alternative. Users can Google Cast an ecosystem of applications or even their own applications over any Android or iOS device as well as Cloud based apps on Chrome.

Predicted Impact: Given that this feature works transparently to the Wi-Fi, it is expected that there is no impact on the WLAN in your classrooms or dorm rooms or auditoriums where this will most likely be used.

2. Peer-to-peer AirPlay discovery and playback (iOS 8)

Starting with the iOS 7.1 release, AirPlay devices will discover an AppleTV via the bluetooth network. Users could also secure their AppleTV via a 4 digit pin-code. With the iOS 8 release, Airplay devices can also mirror their content via Airdrop. This feature offers an alternative method for customers to discover and mirroring of Bonjour traffic without accessing the corporate Wi-Fi network.

Predicted Impact: Again this feature operates transparent to the Wi-Fi and therefore customers using this feature should not see any impact on the WLAN. Cisco wireless customers also have the ability to use the Service Discovery Gateway on Cisco IOS based switches, routers or wireless LAN controllers or the Bonjour Services Directory on AireOS controllers. Read More »

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Fresh Perspectives on Monetization in Programmable Service Provider Networks

bioShot-sWritten By Wayne Cullen, Senior Manager, Service Provider Architectures

Agility. Scalability. Automation. Orchestration. Programmability. Service providers are exploring such an array of new and exciting capabilities these days! You hear a lot about lowering costs by increasing efficiency and decreasing complexity.

But what about monetization? More specifically, do programmable networks help make you money while also saving it? What are the competitive benefits that lead to higher revenues from service agility and faster time-to-market? According to a 2013 Heavy Reading study, that’s a top expectation of service providers when asked about the potential benefits of software-defined networking (SDN). The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has also promoted monetization opportunities based on SDN through new service creation and the enhancement of existing ones due to faster service creation, easier scalability, and mass customization.

Enhanced Revenue Generation with SDN-enabled Applications and Services Read More »

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Good News Keep Coming on the Mobility Front

Recently I shared with you an ACG Research report which shows Cisco leading in Mobile IP Infrastructure and gaining market share.

Now step with me into the future for a moment and picture this.

2018 -- nearly 21 billion globally networked devices and connections are live, 7.3 billion M2M are online, four billion global Internet users are connected, and IP video  represents 79 percent of all Internet traffic. According to a recent Cisco Visual Networking Index study, this is a mere glimpse of the future. And who is at the heart of enabling all of this? You’re right, mobile service providers.

The next thing you will want to know is what puts them in this sweet spot. Capturing  the opportunities afforded by everything going mobile is not easy. Yet service providers alerted at this high-stakes business promise of the future are racing to set themselves up with the means to leverage it. They are employing an architectural approach to their networks that will allow them a couple of things; apply Read More »

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Stay Ahead of Internet of Things (IoT) Traffic Demands and Maintain Your Competitive Advantage

davacostBy David Acosta, Technical Marketing Engineer

Our service provider customers like you are trying to simultaneously keep pace with the surging network traffic in today’s Internet of Things (IoT) era while providing consistently high quality of experience and introduce new services quickly for a competitive advantage.

New technologies like Voice over LTE and the need to connect the expected 37 billion devices like cars, trains, building sensors, and “wearable devices” by 2020 means that data must be treated differently than it has been historically.  At the same time, your consumers are expecting the same quality of experience whether they connect to th Read More »

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