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One Network for the BYOD Challenge

January 23, 2013 at 5:01 am PST

In my previous posts, I discussed with you the importance of unified policy and management as you respond to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. The Cisco Unified Access solution brings “One Policy. One Management. One Network” to help you with your BYOD initiatives. Today I’ll take a look at the third pillar of Cisco Unified Access, One Network. I’ll explore with you what it means and why it is a critical factor as you take on BYOD.

The workforce is increasingly going mobile. According to research firm Gartner, tablets will be the key accelerator to workforce mobility. A Gartner 2012 report suggested that annual tablet purchase by businesses totaled 13 million units and this number would more than triple to reach 53 million units by 2016. Such rapid mobile growth calls for major wireless network expansion. Market data from Infonetics showed that global wireless LAN equipment sales in the 3rd quarter of 2012 passed the $1-billion mark for the first time.   Read More »

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Network wide Bonjour® – How would you support Bonjour across multiple VLANs?

As the saying goes, “every stick has two ends”. While laptops, smartphones and tablets have enabled us to be more mobile without compromising on being “connected,” with it comes challenges such as WIFI accessibility, power consumption and your ability to find network based services, like a printer wherever you happen to be.

To facilitate the ability for an end user to discover Services on a network, various Service Discovery protocols have been introduced. One of the most popular is DNS-SD (DNS-Service Discovery), which in conjunction with mDNS (multicast DNS) make up Apple’s offering called Bonjour. Bonjour enables end users to discover Services on their local network. While Bonjour is focused on smaller networks (e.g. Home Networks) with the advent of mobile customers wanting to discover services in close proximity, Bonjour becomes an ideal option to facilitate that. However, as Bonjour utilizes mDNS which is constrained to a single VLAN, customers are not able to discover services across multiple VLANs.

There are a few approaches being proposed to support Bonjour across multiple VLANs:

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Webinar Thursday: Sneak Peek on #ConnectedMobile

This Thursday at 10a.m. PST, we have a fabulous webinar where we’ll discuss a new wi-fi solution that can help businesses more effectively engage and better understand their customers.  What’s cool is that this new wi-fi solution will help businesses offer personalized and enhanced mobile experiences for their end users – even based on where they are or how long they’ve been at a particular spot.  A great part of this webcast will be the discussion on how businesses who’ve deployed it are using this new tech.  Click on the image to the right to register. 

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The Network on Wheels – Raising Funds for Paralympic Athletes

October 30, 2012 at 9:37 am PST

“You mean you can Facetime us from your camp site”, my daughter said incredulously. “From the middle of nowhere?” she continued.  ”You lot are mad!”  OK she was more annoyed that I was taking our WiFi-only iPad away with me as I took some time out of my day job in Cisco Data Center Services, to participate in 2 stages of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. Prior to the ride, I blogged about this challenge here, discussing the scale of the event and our target to raise money for Paralympic athletes.   A nine day, 969 mile cycle over some of the most challenging terrain in Britain, the ‘Deloitte Ride Across Britain’ was an immense physical and mental challenge.  From Saturday 8th September until Sunday 16th September (just passed), over 700 riders took part in this epic journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats.  For the second year in a row, Cisco provided key technical support to the riders, so that they were able to focus fully on this enormous and exciting journey.

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Harsh Wireless Environment? Not a Problem.

It’s a fact – everyone wants wireless access.  Recent research indicates that by 2015, more US internet users will be accessing the internet over their mobile devices than on traditional computers.   With that many people online and on their mobile devices not having stable, secure wireless access is surely an impediment for companies as well as every day users. Companies leverage mobile devices to enable a more efficient workforce. Mobile devices are used to leverage “always-on” applications, increasing access for employees and as a better means of time management. Both of which increase employee productivity.  Companies also often rely on their wireless network for regulating employee safety.  Such is the case for the iron manufacturing company, North American Hoganas Inc.

With 11 production facilities across four continents in eight countries including the United States, where it staffs 250 employees, North American Hoganas Inc. needed to deploy an end-to-end wireless network in order to keep up with market demands and target new operational efficiencies.  Up to the minute communication is vital not only for business operations, but also for the safety of their plant employees.  Updating employees on risk assessments, proper product handling techniques, and work schedules are just some examples of mission-critical, daily communication from management to employees.  There was one problem that stood between North American Hoganas Inc and a successfully deploying a pervasive wireless network: North American Hoganas Inc. itself.

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