Archive for June 2017

Embracing automation allows IT to work on strategic things

Today at a media and analyst event in San Francisco, Cisco announced it plans to deliver on “intent based” networking, which has the potential to be the biggest change ever in the way networks are managed.

Turnkey service masks complexity for global organizations.

The interest in software-defined WANs (SD-WAN) has exploded over the past few years as businesses look to use WAN budget dollars more efficiently and improve application performance. Despite the popularity, global solutions are few and far between as most SD-WAN service providers are regional in nature.

NTT Communications, the ICT solutions and international communications provider inside NTT, today took the covers off of a global SD-WAN service that spans 190 countries. Additionally, NTT Com becomes the first global service provider to transform its own network into one that is 100% software defined, enabling it to offer customers a broad set of additional WAN services. Looking ahead, the software-centric nature of the network should allow NTT Com the ability to roll out new, value-added services much faster than is possible with a traditional network.

When it comes to the cloud’s impact on the network, there are two things I hear over and over again that I disagree with. The first is that the cloud commoditizes the network. This actually dovetails into the second fallacy where some believe that merchant silicon based products offer no differentiation and “good enough” will become the norm where price is the only way to compete.

Aryaka’s SmartACCESS SD-WAN product improves application performance for remote and mobile workers, providing a global private network, WAN optimization and dynamic IP app acceleration

It seems over the past few years the world has gone software defined crazy. We have software-defined networks, security, data centers, WANs, storage and almost anything else one can think of. 

In executive center briefings, company showcases the roles Breeze, Equinox, and Oceana can play within a digital organization.

I recently had two opportunities to discuss digital transformation with top Avaya customers gathered for events at the company’s executive briefing centers. In hosting these events, Avaya’s goal was to educate customers on the meaning of “digital transformation,” provide examples of digital organizations that hit close to home for those in attendance, and, of course, showcase the arrows in its quiver they could use to achieve their own digital transitions.

The concept of the “thin branch” enabled by simplifying infrastructure has been around for as long as there have been branch offices. Branch offices are typically a microcosm of the company headquarters, but without the necessary IT staff to run them. It’s common to find a myriad of network and security equipment in a branch including a router, firewall, WAN optimizer, VPN concentrators, along with almost anything else you can think of. This, of course, results in an operational nightmare as network administrators must deal with multiple devices in dozens, hundreds or even thousands of branch locations. In small networks it can be extremely challenging to track all the different hardware components and related software versions across the various locations. In large networks, this task is impossible as the number of possible combinations of hardware and software grows exponentially in relation to the number of locations.

Cisco expands the benefits of the Apple device fast lane to macOS devices and developers.

In the mid ’70s, the fine band the Eagles wrote a song that goes, “Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind”, which peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100. About 40 years later (yikes, I’m old), Cisco and Apple formed a partnership aimed at giving iOS business users a network “fast lane,” providing an experience that would hopefully cause them to lose their minds (in a good way!) — at least when compared to a more traditional mobile experience that is often inconsistent and at times frustrating.

The initial joint Cisco-Apple “fast lane” prioritized Cisco Spark and WebEx application traffic running on iOS devices over other types of data on Cisco networks. Also, iPhones and iPads automatically select the best Wi-Fi access point so real-time apps like VoIP and video have superior quality. Without the partnership, users could have a diminished experience, given that Wi-Fi is a shared medium and people watching March Madness or the latest Dave Michels–Zeus Kerravala video on the office network are consuming all the bandwidth.

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