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Your Right to Choose Your WAN Connectivity and Your Right to Security

Still too often, nowadays, I look at my phone and my stomach drops.

I see: “3G”…

Even worse, I see: “1x”…

I think to myself: It’s the year 2015 and the world is becoming increasingly digitized. IDC’s Internet of Things Forecast states that there will be 4 billion people using 50 billion devices all in one hyper-connected world. I (along with 3,999,999,999 other people) believe it is my right to always have a consistent and high-performing 4G-LTE connection.

For the enterprise, Cisco’s SD-WAN Bill of Rights talks about what customers should expect and demand as they prepare their WAN for tomorrow. Among these rights are two that are very important to branch security in particular: Read More »

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Digital Vortex Part 2: Key Tenets of a Digital Business Network

Yesterday was “Back to the Future Day.” Michael J. Fox had a glimpse into his futuristic world. What if you too had the same capability? Imagine this: you’re an astronaut on a time travel space mission. You come upon a futuristic world years from today, and this is what you see.

A vortex of insurmountable forces sucking you and the surrounding environment into the abyss. Yet you’re still attached to the present. You still have control. (It is a visual presentation of a Digital Vortex, working its way into becoming a black hole putting your business at risks.)

A vortex of insurmountable force is sucking you and the surrounding environment into the abyss, yet you’re still attached to the present. You still have control. (It is a visual presentation of a Digital Vortex, working its way into becoming a black hole, putting your business at risks.) Image Source: Lightfarm Studios

Armed with this vision, what would you do if today, October 22, 2015, is your “Back to the Future” day?

This is a continuation of a previous post by Hugo Vliegen, Digital Vortex, Part I: How Not to Be the 40% That Will Fail. (Re-read that post here). In this blog (part II), I will share four key tenets of a digital business network, a.k.a recommendations for the hypothetical NeedToChange company scenario (as referenced in part I).

Read More »

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#CiscoChat: Benefits of Software-Defined WAN Solutions

Depending on the publications you favor or industry news sites you frequent, Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs) are either the next best thing on the network horizon, or a tech innovation that still needs to be met with just a hint of skepticism. Regardless of your stance, the question on most people’s mind is can this emerging technology deliver the benefits it promises?

Answering this question is critical.  Today’s WANs are becoming increasingly complex and in turn, difficult to manage.  And SD-WANs are garnering more headlines as organizations begin to turn to them for maximizing bandwidth without completely overhauling their networks. But just like any tech advancement, CIOs are cautious, still wondering if SD-WANs are indeed  ready for “prime time” and can be implemented without being difficult to manage and more importantly, not increasing the bottom line.

Many organizations are struggling to find their sweet spot when it comes to rapidly responding to new business opportunities, optimizing user experiences and controlling costs. This has become even more of a challenge with the proliferation of mobile devices, wide-spread adoption of cloud-based services and increasing use of high-bandwidth applications. Read More »

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Cisco Intelligent WAN with Akamai Connect At Interop

Interop is just around the corner. I am sure there will be plenty of thought provoking content about how to transform IT, compelling demos, and SDN everywhere. But let’s not forget the reality of most IT organizations today.

The majority face the fact that digital innovation is overwhelming their enterprise network. Everything from internal and external Web apps, SaaS, HD video, software updates, mobile apps and even digital signage are traversing the network eating up valuable bandwidth. Analysts even predict that average enterprise bandwidth requirements will increase by up to 50% per year while 60% of WAN budgets are flat or declining.

interop blog 2


In addition most enterprises seem to subscribe to doing more with less – particularly when it comes to IT – so upgrading enterprise network bandwidth across locations every few years just isn’t viable – both from a budget and agility perspective. That is not to mention that a lot of enterprises can’t upgrade their bandwidth even if they wanted to due to branch location. Read More »

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Bringing Up a New Branch Site the Easy Way with Prime Infrastructure – Part 4

Last week, I went through application assurance with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. Today, as the 4th post of a 5-part blog series, I’ll go into troubleshooting for your branch site with Prime. Again, as a quick recap, here’s my blog series on how to set up networking with Prime for a new branch site.

WAN deployment – blog 1
Converged wired and wireless  – blog 2
Application performance – blog 3
Troubleshooting – (this blog)
Network health – blog 5
 steve song blog 4 pic 1

By now, your new branch site is in perfect condition with Cisco IWAN, wired and wireless Converged Access, as well as application assurance all working as designed. But you need to be prepared to start troubleshooting if something goes wrong. Every user who runs into network issues means productivity loss.  Every minute of a down network causes a significant amount of business loss. Fortunately, Cisco Prime Infrastructure gives you many tools, so you can achieve speedy problem resolution and provide outstanding user experience.

Here’s a Prime troubleshooting success story that a customer told me. It’s a hospital in Dallas, Texas. Keeping their wireless network running was a critical business priority because the medical staff depended on it for communications and patient care. One day, nurses reported intermittent wireless problems in a room. You know, intermittent problems can be hard to troubleshoot. When you are ready to diagnose the problem, the symptoms may or may not exist anymore. Using Prime, their networking team was able to narrow down to a laptop which was always present when the wireless problems occurred. As it turned out, it was doing heavy and unauthorized live streaming which hogged the wireless bandwidth. The owner was immediately notified to stop streaming. Problem solved and case closed. Read More »

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