Borderless Networks: Meat to Go
Yesterday we took a look at some concrete examples of Borderless Networks in the enterprise and home office.
Today, while we have seen that there is plenty of meat in Borderless Networks in the office, Borderless Networks has plenty of meat on the road as well. Bob, our enterprise worker, travels a lot, doing tradeshows and customer visits and dispensing Kool-Aid of various types. When he knows he is going to have to do some heavy lifting with PowerPoint he is sure to take a laptop running AnyConnect, a secure VPN client that works with the Cisco ASA firewall back at HQ to give secure, encrypted remote access. Even if he is in a coffee shop using public Wi-Fi, he knows that his data is safe because everything is going back through that encrypted tunnel. But it is more than just connectivity that we are talking about here because traffic goes through a Cisco Ironport web security appliance, filtering spyware, trojans and the like. And, just like when he is in the office, TrustSec ensures that he has access to what he needs and can’t touch the things he doesn’t. Security is deeply integrated into the network itself, not just an afterthought or add-on appliance.
These days, with smartphones getting better and better, sometimes Bob doesn’t even need to bring a laptop on day trips, he just brings his phone. His recent upgrade to an iPhone 4 meant that he could run AnyConnect on his iPhone, so he has secure access to resources back at work, which sure makes things easier when he is travelling lightly. Bob is interested in tablets too. He is thinking about getting either a Cisco Cius or an iPad, either of which would allow him to ditch the notebook for most trips, both of which would be lighter and cooler than a laptop and both of which are targeted for AnyConnect support.
So, when I hear things like Borderless Networks needs more meat, I just laugh. The architecture is there, the products are there and the synergies are all there. The beef is it connects anyone, anywhere, on any device – securely, reliably, and seamlessly.