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Policy and Resource Management – The Traffic Police of Video Services

Operators like to provide their subscribers plenty of services. It’s how they win loyalty and differentiate themselves from the competition. They want to offer HD channels and Video on Demand (VOD), they want to optimize delivery by means of Switched Digital Video (SDV) and Adaptive Bitrate (ABR), and of course they want to ensure that all these video services are available on a wide range of devices.

Here’s the problem: each of these services has evolved and rolled out piecemeal over the years. Not only does each service require its own Session and Resource Management (SRM) tool to manage it, but each service is also processed differently per device, thanks to device manufacturers sticking with proprietary protocols. In short, siloed SRMs make scalability unwieldy, driving up Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and sowing Quality of Service chaos when traffic surges hit. Picture a traffic light out at a busy intersection at rush hour with no policeman to direct traffic: Read More »

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NSS Labs Breach Detection Systems Testing Demonstrates Why Threat Protection Must be Continuous

Long before becoming a part of Cisco, the Sourcefire team was aggressively addressing the advanced malware challenges our customers face daily. We believe that the most effective way to address these challenges is a continuous Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) approach that does more than just track malware at a point in time, but is also unrelenting in both monitoring and applying protection. Cisco shares this vision, which is why the combination of our technologies is so powerful. It’s not just about the network, or just about the endpoint— it’s about connecting these and everything in between for complete protection.

While our customers knew it and we knew it, the industry at large can now be certain that this continuous approach is the most effective for addressing advanced threats. NSS Labs tested AMP along with other security solutions for its 2014 Breach Detection System Security Value Map (SVM) and Product Analysis Report (PAR). NSS Labs defines Breach Detection Systems as solutions that provide enhanced detection of advanced malware, zero-day and targeted attacks that could bypass traditional defenses. The SVM results speak for themselves:

NSS Labs Breach Detection SVM Graphic

The SVM is a unique graphical representation of the security effectiveness and value of tested products. It’s no surprise to us that AMP scored as high as it did, but the results are great validation of our commitment to delivering this leading protection with the best total cost of ownership (TCO).

The SVM is also further proof that solutions marketed at addressing targeted advanced persistent threats (APT) and zero-day attacks can’t stop at only offering point-in-time detection. Advanced Malware Protection is the only solution to offer continuous analysis, retrospective security, and multi-source Indicators of Compromise (IoC) for protection before, during and after attacks across the extended network. These capabilities address an important gap that exists in all point-in-time products. Our AMP solution provides the continuous capability to “go back in time” and retrospectively identify and then remediate files that initially evade defenses.

Some highlights from testing:

  • AMP has the lowest TCO of any product tested
  • AMP is a leader in security effectiveness achieving detection of 99 percent of all tested attacks
  • AMP excelled in time-to-detection, catching threats faster than competing Breach Detection Systems

When we talk about AMP with our customers, we call it “AMP Everywhere” because it can protect from the cloud to the network to the endpoint. It has been available as a connector for endpoints and mobile devices, a standalone appliance, and as part of Next-Generation Firewall and Next-Generation IPS for the last two years. It has also recently been integrated into Cisco’s portfolio of Web and Email Security Appliances and Cloud Web Security. With web and email interactions remaining one of the primary vectors for malware infection in organizations, AMP integration on our leading email appliance and web security gateways provides our customers with even stronger protection wherever a threat can manifest itself.

“AMP Everywhere” is a reality. An extremely effective one, at that. I encourage you to see the results for yourself. Download a free copy of the 2014 NSS Labs Breach Detection Systems SVM and PAR for Advanced Malware Protection.

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How Much for the Doggy in the Window?

What is Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)?  We at Cisco have emphasized this when possible (see: Why TCO is the Only True Way to Measure Network Costs) but this concept isn’t always well understood.  Let me give you an example:  I have two dogs and when asked, I tell people these are the last dogs I’ll have.  The reason for this is simple, dogs are expensive!  Typically, “how much is the doggy in the window?” doesn’t even begin to cover the complete costs once you bring Spot home.  You need to buy a dog bed, a dog collar, toys, bones, and of course the daily pile of food they eat.  Let’s add to that veterinary bills, which are only annual if you are lucky, and then the wear and tear on your home.  That last one is a doozy.  I have watched three couches take a beating, carpets ruined, stuffed animals gutted, scratched doors happen – well, you get the picture.  So, ball parking it, my “free” dogs from the local rescue have a TCO of at least $2,000 a year with a potential lifetime cost of $20-30k!  Who am I kidding, they are worth every penny…

While that’s easy to understand, the TCO of a network isn’t always an intuitive thing and can certainly be a Read More »

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Cisco Unified Communications 9.0: A 360° Investment Protection Formula for your Collaboration Experiences

July 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm PST

Every time I have the opportunity to discuss technology investments with a CxO I hear these 2 requests over and over again: 1) reduce my cost of ownership (acquisition, operation and maintenance); and 2) protect and leverage my current investments.

It is straight-forward to see that with Cisco Unified Communications Release 9.0’s new assisted service capabilities such as native call queuing and one button to record, we’re further reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and offering more value to our solutions. But if we look beyond new features and capabilities there are other factors in play, and the quality of the experience is becoming a very common theme of these conversations.

Don’t get me wrong, CxOs still want investment protection, and they still want the best TCO. But they ALSO want to make sure that their company is investing in the best platform to drive better collaboration experiences, in-house AND out, for the short AND long term.

It occurred to me that as more and more executives realize the great value that the collaboration tools provide, they’ve also grown more and more concerned about Read More »

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Cisco UPOE Ramps to One Million Ports

March 22, 2012 at 8:00 am PST

Cisco Catalyst 4500E, our leading modular campus access switching platform, continues to maintain over 65% market share globally for modular Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports by addressing customer requirements through a continuous stream of innovations – witness the 60 Watt PoE capabilities (Cisco Universal Power Over Ethernet, or Cisco UPOE), and Supervisor Engine 7L-E which we delivered last year. We also launched Cisco Catalyst SmartOperations at Cisco Live London earlier this year in February as part of a broader launch across multiple switching platforms.

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