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4 Ways Gigabit Ethernet Can Improve Your Business

A faster switch can provide the speed and reliability you need to support your business needs and help keep your company competitive.

When all you needed your network to do was connect devices and provide access to some applications, you could get by with an entry-level switch. But times have changed. The applications and tools you use to run your small business have gotten more complex,  requiring more bandwidth, and the need for reliable access has increased. Fast Ethernet may no longer be fast enough for your small business. If your network can’t keep up with today’s web-based applications, video and data-intensive business tools, it may be time to upgrade to a Gigabit Ethernet switch.

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Cisco Grows Leadership Position in Service Provider Networking

Cisco gained market share in service provider routing and switching in the first quarter of 2011, according to two key analyst reports issued this week.

In an ACG Research blog post issued today, the firm said, “Cisco continues to hold the number one position (in worldwide carrier routing and switching) with 50.3% of total market share…ACG is cautiously optimistic about the future outlook of the market. We see service providers spending on cloud computing and video services and managed services will help drive growth in the remainder of 2011.”

In a press release summarizing Synergy’s recent carrier routing and switching report, it said, “(We) find it notable that Cisco’s market share remains dominant and growing in the face of formidable competition and the ever-changing requirements of network infrastructure. Although there is ample opportunity for other vendors to participate in this market, Cisco still today holds the dominant #1 market share position with nearly 2.5 times greater market share than its closest #2 competitor and over 3 times the amount of market share than its more distant #3 competitor.”  Synergy is forecasting the Service Provider router and switch market to approach 20% growth in 2011.

With Internet and mobile traffic growth, the transition to IPv6 technologies, and new cloud and social computing market opportunities, innovation in service provider networking has never been more important.

Backed by Cisco’s flagship core and edge routing platforms – the CRS-3 and ASR families – we look forward to working with our service provider partners to build out the next-generation Internet and help drive exciting new services in the years ahead.

During Cisco’s Q3FY11 earnings announcement last week, Cisco stated that year-over-year product revenue for the ASR 9000, Cisco’s flagship edge router, had grown at approximately 140%.  Last month, we announced that just one year after it was introduced, the industry-leading Cisco® CRS-3 Carrier Routing System is being adopted faster than the original CRS-1 platform, with 80 customers in more than 30 countries.

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Keeping Your Cards Close to the Vest?

While there is a world of difference between a deck of 52 and a deck of credit cards, it is still wise to hold those payment cards close to the vest. A solid part of protecting those cards from prying eyes is ensuring your insurance firm is compliant with the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard.

Is PCI compliance important to insurers?  Every carrier CTO and CIO I have asked has said , “Yes, it is…and we are working on it now.” I’d venture to say, as with all compliance and risk management it is not a one-and-done effort, as regular reviews are required.

Today, April 14, 2011, Cisco announced its newest work in the area of helping companies across all industries comply with the PCI DSS 2.0 guidelines. And since the PCI DSS guidelines apply to all companies—including insurance—that transmit, process or store credit card transactions and cardholder information, I’ve recorded a video in which I discuss the PCI DSS standard and its applicability to insurance.

Cisco is at the table with its customers when it comes to enabling PCI compliance and is an active member of the Payment Card Industry Securities Standard Council’s Board of Advisors. We completed a new Cisco Design and Implementation Guide that includes 30+ Cisco and technology partner products that have been examined by an auditor.

Technologies involved in the assessment include core routing, switching and wireless, plus collaboration and physical security technologies.

Partners involved with this solution include VCE, HyTrust, RSA, EMC and Verizon Business who is the auditor.

Make sure you don’t show your cards….your credit cards…..at all times.

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Pilot: New Product Comparison Module

December 21, 2010 at 6:38 am PST

On the web team, we’re always experimenting with new functions to make your life easier.  The latest is an interactive product comparison module, that allows you to filters views of models by different criteria, and build a dynamic side-by-side comparison showing the different attributes of the models you’ve selected.

We’re piloting the first one on a Cisco Small Business 100 Series Unmanaged Switches comparison, and we’d like your feedback on this functionality.

Here’s how it works:  Let’s say you want to compare the features of the models in the 100 series. When you go to the comparison page, you’ll see the complete list, partially shown here:

You can check and compare straightaway, or filter the list (via the control box on the left) to make it more focused.  In this case, I have filtered on Gigabit Ethernet just as an example, which sizes down the list:

Then check off the boxes you want to compare, press the Compare button, and you’ll be presented with a side-by-side listing showing the various features and attributes of the various models:

We’re thinking of using this elsewhere around the site, so give it a try and let us know what you think.

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Energy Efficiency Extends to Your Network: Choosing a switch with power-saving features can save you money and protect the environment

Small businesses in the U.S. spend more than $60 billion annually on energy, according to Energy Star, a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Although there are many steps you can take to reduce your company’s power consumption, have you considered building energy efficiency into your network?

Whether you’re just starting to build your small business network or expanding it to accommodate your growing company, a “green” switch can help save money on your utility bill as well as contribute to a cleaner environment. Here are some features to consider when shopping for an energy-efficient switch:

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