On The Edge: Innovations that Break Down Borders

May 12, 2011 - 1 Comment

The best way to predict the future is to create it.”Peter Drucker

In 1989, a couple of amazing changes occurred that are still affecting our world today. The Berlin Wall fell, and a little company called Cisco developed the Border Gateway Protocol so routers could eventually connect the entire world. These developments still reverberate through our lives as outdated social, political, and economic borders continue to break down, and we enjoy more freedom than ever to connect and interact with virtually anyone.

While the public debate on the abstract value of these freedoms continues, most private organizations see very concrete value in giving their employees, partners, and customers the ability to connect globally using any type of device or media. And they’re investing accordingly.

For example, more than half of all companies surveyed* have already spent some of their precious I.T. budgets deploying video or collaborative applications, allowing personal devices for work use, or adopting software as a service models. Of course, these new innovations also require more bandwidth and more security; but leading organizations are minimizing additional costs and earning ROI sooner by integrating these new technologies directly into their routing infrastructure, which in turn can actually reduce overall traffic loads and complexity.

In highly collaborative organizations with multiple sites, for example, video conferencing is a frequently used application that’s bandwidth-intensive because media processing is typically done at a centralized location. However, using new video capabilities in the ISR G2 integrated video conferencing, ad hoc conferences can now be processed locally, reducing bandwidth usage by approximately 35% in a typical scenario.

Web security can be expensive because traffic is often backhauled from branches to headquarters or data centers for inspection. With Cisco ScanSafe, which is now available in IOS as Cisco ISR Web Security, that traffic can be intelligently routed to the cloud, reducing bandwidth by around 30%, depending on the amount of web traffic at each site.

Here’s a dramatization of how the Cisco SecureX architecture, which includes Cisco ScanSafe, ISR G2 Router Security, and many other capabilities, can protect your organization:

IPv6 is another challenge that requires more I.T. time and money as more IPv6 smart phones and other devices are used globally, and as IPV4 address space runs out. By turning on Location/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) on edge routers such as the ASR and ISR G2, companies can now transition to IPv6 much more cost effectively and manage the size and complexity of routing tables much more effectively.

Whether it’s a couple of offices just a few miles apart in Berlin, or sites on opposite sides of the world, the freedom to communicate is more important to business and society than ever before. Innovations that enable us break down physical and technological borders and communicate more clearly, cost-effectively, and securely also help us create a better future for everyone.

For more technical details on improving communications between branch offices, see Branch Routers and Medianet pages, and this case study on how a Malaysian government agency is using routing and other Borderless Networks technologies to reduce poverty and transform business operations: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps10195/Case_study_c36-654549.pdf.  Click here for previous installments of this blog.

*Source – Cisco Connected World report and others

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