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The Next-Gen Collaborator: Ready for a Mobile Workplace

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration  in Cisco’s Collaboration organization. Eric is responsible for hosted and “as a service” solutions, strategic pricing and licensing, and business development.

There is simply no denying the increasing importance of being connected. Generation Y in particular, who grew up with mobile devices affixed almost permanently to their hands, views connectivity as one of life’s fundamental resources.

The newest addition to the workforce considers their mobile devices as an essential workplace tool to managing their workload and connecting with their colleagues on the go. While sitting in a meeting or having lunch in the break room, you can almost visualize the text bubbles hovering over crowds of this generation of workers as fingers hammer away at phones and tablets, eyes glued to the shiny screens in their hands. BYOD

But this trend goes far beyond lunch hours and happy hours. As proven by Chapter Two of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the next-generation workforce is demanding flexibility in their choice of devices in both the workplace and remote-work options, illustrating the importance of the Internet in workforce culture. Social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility, in the case of 30% of the study’s respondents, are more important when accepting a job than a higher salary.

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Switching Roadshow – We Bring the Brains to You

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending a kind of roadshow of technical experts Cisco switching: From Campus to Data Center: Cisco Switching Deep Dive

This is a day-long seminar inviting customers and potential customers to find out about and discuss the technical specifics, capabilities, and applications of Cisco’s entire switching portfolio. The seminars are being held all over the US from the end of October and through the beginning of December. Here’s a little video I put together from the day and some notes on interesting things I saw. [Sorry for the shaky video!]

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Cisco Catalyst 6500 at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere!

Cisco Live: Catalyst 6500 and Sup2T: Engaging  attendees with Mobile Devices

With the launch of the Sup2T supervisor, and associated line cards (69xx), for the Catalyst 6500 Family Switches, Cisco embarked on an innovative strategy to help attendees learn about the features of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, by providing a simple “Trivia Game” that attendees could play by downloading a Catalyst 6500 Mobile app, directly to their mobile devices. 

Over 780 attendees completed the trivia game on iPhones and iPads, and each day at Cisco Live, three “winners” were randomly picked from all the attendees who had answered the most trivia questions correctly.

The mobile app, available at the iTunes app store, was a huge success, especially with its contextual set of features and content, centered  around the Catalyst 6500 family of switches.

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Cisco’s Catalyst 6500: Ready to embrace the next wave of networking challenges

As Mark Twain supposedly wrote, ‘rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated’ – a phrase that certainly rings true for Cisco’s Catalyst 6500.

With a raft of new innovations recently announced at Cisco Live, competitors that were struggling to catch-up with the last iteration of this flagship switch have now seen their goalposts shift yet again.

The latest innovations provide Catalyst 6500 customers with the capability to evolve their network infrastructure for the coming decade’s  proliferation of connected devices, growth of video traffic, cloud computing business models and increasingly mobile workforces—without requiring “rip and replace” upgrades.

So, once again, Cisco continues to deliver business-enhancing innovation and investment protection for its customers – and with a platform that many had wrongly assumed was dead. Amongst the enhancements announced were:

-          Yet another ‘industry first’ with seamless IPv4 and IPv6 support from the switch’s hardware platform
-          New network virtualisation capabilities
-          A comprehensive set of L4-7 integrated services modules and new application performance and visibility monitoring through a revamped implementation of NetFlow.

The real key though is the introduction of the highly anticipated Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T, a 2-terabit card that unlocks 80 gigabits per second per slot, new feature-rich 10-gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet line cards, and next-generation borderless services that provide customers with new mobility, security, network analysis and load balancing capabilities.

The new supervisor engine provides a threefold increase on throughput capability. It can also quadruple the number of devices or users that can connect to a network. For example, a single Catalyst 6500 can now support up to 10,000 mobile devices.

All new line cards and the 2 Tbps supervisor are compatible with all Cisco E-Series chassis models, offering minimal intervention to the existing Catalyst 6500 E-Series infrastructure. This compatibility prevents rip-and-replace upgrades that jeopardize a customer’s network uptime and require additional personnel, expenses and time.

The video below features Kumar Srikantan, Cisco’s VP of Marketing for the Scalable Networks Business Unit, as he talks about the latest updates to the Catalyst 6500, why Cisco and our customers are so excited about them and what it means for the broader industry.  Enjoy!

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Core vs. Edge: Why It Matters When Choosing a Switch

For a more detailed description of this topic and what Cisco has to offer in this space, please see Understanding the different types of Ethernet Switches

 

It can mean the difference between dependable service and frustrating downtime

When considering buying a new switch for your small business, you need to ask yourself a few questions: How many devices will the switch need to support? What kinds of devices will I be connecting? Has our network grown to the point where we need a switch with more advanced management capabilities? And don’t forget one more important decision: whether this going to be a “core” or “edge” switch.

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