Steven Blog 2The headline at Cisco Live London this year is undoubtedly the major advancement of Cisco Unified AccessTM. Thousands of attendees witnessed the introduction of new Unified Access products that simplify network design by converging wired and wireless networks. It’s been a long journey to London and here’s how we got there.

Cisco Unified Access Wave 1 at Cisco Live San Diego
Cisco first announced the Unified Access vision with a “One Policy. One Management. One Network.” approach at Cisco Live San Diego in June 2012. From the very beginning, our solution has focused on consistent policy for all access methods, a single platform for managing wired/wireless networks, and unified wired, wireless and VPN access networks. The Cisco Unified Access vision resonated with customers greatly as it aimed to help IT organizations deliver uncompromised user experience, business agility and operational simplicity.

Cisco Unified Access Wave 2 at Interop New York
Cisco followed the Unified Access vision with the swift delivery of One Policy and One Management solution components at Interop New York in October 2012. The solution was powered by Cisco Identity Services Engine for One Policy and Cisco Prime Infrastructure for One Management. On the One Network front, a rich portfolio of new wireless products and enhanced switching software capabilities were introduced to provide a consistent user experience no matter how a user connects to the network. The significance of the Cisco Unified Access Wave 2 solution launch was the ability for IT organizations to become a competitive differentiator to their business by shifting the focus from time-consuming operational activities to developing innovative business offerings.

Cisco Unified Access Wave 3 at Cisco Live London
The Cisco Unified Access momentum continued after New York. Cisco publicly unveiled our newest solution portfolio at Cisco Live London in January 2013, which signified a major Cisco Unified Access milestone. At the heart of this new solution announcement is the One Network component, composed of the innovative Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches and Cisco Wireless 5760 Controllers. By allowing direct wireless traffic termination on the Catalyst 3850 switches, instead of having to send all the wireless data traffic to a central location for processing, the new solution delivers true wired+wireless network convergence at the network edge. The Catalyst 3850 switches and the wireless 5760 controllers provide a number of highly scalable networking design options. Customers can readily integrate these new solution components with their network architecture without interruption or overhaul to their existing infrastructure.

Customer deployment scenarios
Let’s look at how some of the Cisco customers have adopted or are planning to deploy the Cisco Unified Access solution and the new products. These are based on customer first hand experiences communicated at Cisco Live London 2013.

  1. Cisco Unified Access helps Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board (also known as University Hospital of Wales) realize its dream of “Delivering healthcare without boundaries”
    Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board is one of the largest National Health Service organizations in the UK. Cardiff needed an improved network solution to help their clinicians, doctors and patients better connect to clinical test results, medical records and people. The new Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches provide wireless access in the Bone Marrow Transport Ward so that medical staff can get more efficient access to medical records for safer treatment and help patients achieve quicker recovery.  In addition, patients now enjoy a renewed hospital experience as they use their own devices to connect with their families and friends.
  2. Cisco Unified Access helps Technische Universität Darmstadt continue academic excellence
    Technische Universität Darmstadt (Technical University of Darmstadt) is a top-tier technical higher education institution in Germany. The University is constantly seeking the latest technologies and solutions for academic excellence and world-class research achievements.  Cisco Unified Access provides great potential for Technische Universität Darmstadt to deliver improved mobile user experience and collaboration results. Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches can provide an excellent connected experience for dense wireless deployment areas such as students resident halls because no “hair pinning” of data traffic is required. In the meantime, Cisco 5760 wireless controllers can help provide a highly scalable mobility architecture for the entire campus.
  3. Cisco Unified Access helps University of Liège streamline IT operations and support the growing use of mobile devices
    The University of Liège is a major public university in the French Community of Belgium. Given their limited IT staff and fast growing mobile user and device population, the University is always looking for efficient solutions to support their academic requirements. Two immediate goals that Cisco Unified Access can help address are (1) resilient network for campus and branch sites and (2) high bandwidth and availability while lowering operating costs. Cisco Catalyst 3850 switches can continue to support local switching and wireless communications at branch sites even when WAN links are interrupted. Also the granular QoS capabilities will help the university to establish bandwidth fair-share policies.

I’m sure that you are very excited about the progress so far. I invite you to learn more about Cisco Unified Access at our website.


Steven Song

Business Manager