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Is Your Customers’ Network Covered by a “Good Enough” Warranty?

June 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm PST

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 »

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How Do You Balance Network Innovation with Standards?

June 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm PST

Do you recall what it was like before email? Nah, me neither. If you were around for the pre-email/pre-personal computer era, you may recall sending someone a letter written using a pen and paper. The only way the letter would arrive safely was (and still is) to affix a stamp to it. Feels like ancient history now when it’s possible to email a message around the globe within a matter of moments.

Suffice it to say, technology has advanced the method and speed at which we communicate. But innovation hasn’t happened in a vacuum; the standards governing the technology industry have evolved, too. Just imagine what your digital life would be like if we didn’t create standards. Would you want to put postage stamps on your email messages?

Of course, the question is, how do you balance innovation with standards? Without standards, you may miss out on the brilliant innovations that have come before (security and a framework that keeps things running smoothly, to name a couple). But rely too heavily on standards and you miss out on future innovation.

In our continuing coverage of the Seven Myths Around the Good-Enough Network on Silicon Angle, we explore myth number four--The Standards Myth.

Read More »

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Is Your Network Flexible and Secure?

May 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm PST

Remember the old days when work meant sitting at your desk, typing away at your desktop computer, at the office? There was no such thing as a smart phone or even a laptop or a tweet – you just sat at your desk and waited for the network, which was probably running at 56k dial-up speeds or slower. (Now I probably sound like my father who told me he had to walk uphill to school in the snow every day.)

These days, we don’t need to be tied to a desk, but we also expect much more of our networks: they need to be fast, secure, run the applications we need, and allow employees to work anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

So how to design an enterprise network with enough flexibility and security to address users’ needs without CIOs and IT managers having coronaries in the process? And how can enterprise networks live harmoniously (and securely) with our many devices, from smart phones to iPads to laptops?

As we continue the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network series over on Silicon Angle, Cisco’s Mike Rau--Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture--tackles those questions and more as he dispels the second myth: bolt-on security.

What exactly is bolt-on security anyway? Read More »

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How Mobile Devices Impact the Network

May 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm PST

dog facebookAre you among the one third of smartphone owners who use social media applications from bed?

I’ll admit I was surprised to hear so many people check their phones even before having a morning cup of coffee, mostly because I didn’t realize other people did that, too!

This phenomena probably won’t be as surprising in a few years when there will be one mobile device for every person on Earth, according to the Connected World Report, 2010.

While these stats may sound like drivel, they actually underscore the importance that a reliable network plays (and will play) for an increasingly mobile workforce — not just for those people checking Facebook under the covers.

Let’s face it: a network built on “good enough” equipment isn’t going to deliver the same experience as one using next-generation equipment designed for the loads of today’s demanding applications—including voice, video, and data.

Curious about the importance of the network as it relates to mobile? Head over to Silicon Angle where Mike Rau (Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture at Cisco) blogged on myth number one --The Single-Purpose Network Myth.

In the post, Mike explains that a good enough network is not designed to handle the needs of an increasingly mobile population, but is built to serve the single purpose of connecting users to resources in silos of connectivity. As mobility demands on the enterprise increase, he indicates that it becomes critical that an end user is consistently managed as they access the network, whether over a wired, wireless, or VPN connection.

Read More »

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