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Cisco extends market leadership for Unified Access with revolutionary ASIC

Cisco innovates in the industry’s largest product line

Cisco Unified Access is about converging wired and wireless networks to improve scale and quickly launch new services with new levels of security and compliance.

When Cisco launched the Catalyst 3850 and WLC 5760 Controller in January 2013, it stood alone in the market for truly converging Wired and Wireless networks. Over the course of the last 2.5 years, Cisco has progressively extended its lead with more platforms and features based on the revolutionary ASIC which makes this rich convergence possible. And just this month, Cisco delivered Multi-gigabit Ethernet (or mGig), which enables the move to higher Wireless speeds based on the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 standard. Let’s start by clearly articulating why the home-grown ASIC is so fundamental to successfully integrating Wired and Wireless networks in a seamless way.

The foundational ASIC which Cisco developed is called Unified Access Dataplane (UADP). It cost well over $150M, and took several years to develop and refine. It delivers Hardware performance with Software flexibility and comes with many unique innovations. The defining characteristic of this ASIC is the true full-featured convergence of Wired and Wireless traffic together with its flexible forwarding engine.

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This Summer’s Blockbuster starring Cisco Wireless

Last summer Cisco embarked on the ‘WLAN Express’ journey with the introduction of WLAN Express Setup. As I wrote about here, the Express Setup provides an easy three-step wizard to establish a best-in-class Enterprise wireless solution. These best practices are enabled by default, meaning that the solution is Cisco-powered and ready to go in matter of minutes once you take it out of the box.

When AireOS software release 8.1 debuted earlier this summer, Cisco introduced an enhanced WLAN Express Setup packed with over-the-air provisioning, enhanced search, new monitoring dashboards and companion mobile apps (iOS & Android). These new features took the user-experience to the next level.

Cisco Wireless Mobile App

As a busy network admin, there are times when your computer is unavailable but you need access to your wireless network. With that in mind, stay connected by using these newly created mobile apps for both Apple iOS and Android devices.

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The app allows for:

  • Over-The-Air Provisioning of compatible Wireless LAN Controller that enables configuration of best-in-class wireless network with best practices enabled by default in matter of minutes. Watch a demo here.
  • Monitor multiple wireless LAN controllers from same place. It provides real-time network issues with intuitive dashboards for network and client performance
  • Troubleshoot client and network issues through enhanced search functionality, enhanced RF and network details for APs and clients.

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Cisco 5520 and 8540 Wireless Controllers – Powering Next-Generation Wireless Networks

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Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller

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Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller

Recent trends suggest that unless upgrades are made to current wireless infrastructures, these networks are going to get bogged down in the coming years. By 2019, the way people use their devices are expected to change as more devices—which will all be incrementally faster—will enter the workplace. In addition to the overall number of devices increasing, the tasks that they perform will also evolve. Video streaming usage is expected to increase 13-fold and take up to 74% of total mobile data traffic, according to the 2015 Cisco Visual Networking Index Mobile Forecast Study (CMFS).

And while bandwidth intensive applications, such as video, will be the main culprits that chew up your wireless infrastructure, there are other factors that will slow down your networks too. The CMFS reports that by 2019, 53% of fixed IP traffic will be Wi-Fi, which means that wireless will be exceeding wired traffic by 21%. Couple that with an estimated 85% of enterprises implementing some sort of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy by the end of the decade—perhaps tripling the amount of devices on your workplace LAN—and increased video isn’t the only thing you will be worried about.

But it’s all not just extra laptops, mobile devices and streaming videos, the Internet of Everything (IoE) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) traffic will be vying for your wireless network too. The CMFS study says that 28% of device connections will be from M2M traffic. Read More »

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Cisco Collaboration at Tech on Deck

This week I had a great opportunity to participate in the first ever Tech on Deck with Robert Scoble and Scott Jordan.

Tech on Deck is being broadcast from SCOTTeVEST’s headquarters in Ketchum, Idaho, which happens to be a mile away from Sun Valley where the annual Allen & Co. Conference is taking place. This event boasts an impressive list of the who’s who in technology and media so Robert and Scott thought what better time to do a live broadcast exploring many different topics ranging from technology, to startups, to music and more. We provided the video collaboration and wireless network technology to help make Robert and Scott’s vision become reality.

During our discussion, we talked about what I am doing at Cisco, our vision for collaboration and dug deep into video and a hot new category called business messaging, Cisco Spark and our cloud platform. I am glad to have supported this inaugural event and check out the full interview here.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Congratulations to the entire Tech on Deck team for a successful event!

For more information, visit:

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3 Determining Questions and One Can’t-Miss 4G LTE Webinar

Hot Air Balloon in the FogAn Unforgettable Experience

It’s 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Filled with excitement and anticipation, I watched as my hot air balloon, the last one in the bunch, inflated. Around me, one after another, balloons started to float effortlessly off the ground into the air. The Napa Valley’s sun glittered in the distant as my balloon finally took off. At 1,050 feet, some fogs rolled by, then I saw it: a shadow of my balloon in the fog encircled by a rainbow – see the picture above, top right. I quickly pulled out my iPhone 6, snapped a panoramic, and posted it on Facebook. It was the most mesmerizing experience ever, not just because of the experience itself, but also because I can share it with my families and friends via 4G LTE. However, 4G LTE isn’t just for smartphones.

Connecting the Unconnected

The world of things, a.k.a Internet of Things (#IoT), around us is connecting in ways beyond imagination. According to a November 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review, “Smart, connected products are changing how value is created…(and) will affect the trajectory of the overall economy, giving rise to the next era of IT-driven productivity growth for companies, their customers, and the global economy.” For example, just-in-time inventory replenishment, powered by connected vending machines, enables one business to capitalize on OpEx savings and increase revenue per unit. Wireless monitoring allows an oil and gas company to quickly respond to pipeline issues in rugged, remote locations. Connected lightning empowers one smart city to reduce crime rate and improve its residents’ quality of life. Even one’s personal space, such as the home, is becoming more connected with the use of #WEMO products and smart devices integration (those coming to #CES, you must see the Connected Home demo). This Digital Transformation, powered by 4G LTE, brings about considerable improvements in the ways we work, live, and play.  Read More »

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