Lippis Report Issue 100: A New Approach to Branch Office Networking and Communications Emerges

February 21st, 2008

Network services follow computing and application paradigms. IBM's SNA extended mainframe-based transaction processing applications over large distances between the 1960s and the 1990s. SNA was/is a deterministic delay network assuring strict response time for applications and thus a consistent user experience. During the 1990s multi-protocol LANs connected over WANs supported client-server computing and desktop productivity applications. Networks were required to be multi-protocol while supporting bridging, switching and routing and provide best effort packet transfer. In the late 1990s into 2000 converged IP networks supported web-based applications and the beginning of IP telephony. This generation of networks was required to deliver quality of service to applications, support faster bandwidth speeds and deliver power over Ethernet to various end-points. Today the demand is for networks to support unified communications, web 2.0 applications, and mobility in addition to decades of legacy applications. As networks transitioned through these stages network services were added to support a changing computing and application environment.

Avaya Guest SpeakersRelated Podcast:
Intelligent Branch, A New Value Creation Model Emerges

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Intelligent Branch, A New Value Creation Model Emerges

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February 21st, 2008

Avaya's Tony Kleckner and Bruce MazzaMany business thought leaders in financial services and retail are exploring how best to leverage their branch assets to up and cross sell customers while improving the branch office experience. These thought leaders are collectively thinking in terms of Intelligent Branch solutons , which from a real estate and staffing point of view is a smaller footprint but rich in IT.

Bruce Mazza , Director of Branch Solutions and Tony Kleckner Practice Leader for Financial Services both of Avaya join me to discuss what I call Branch 2.0 and how it addresses and solves the main concerns of retail and banking executives.

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Managing Cisco Catalyst Fixed-Configuration Switches

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February 21st, 2008

By Cisco Systems

Maintaining a low total cost of ownership (TCO) with limited resources and within increasingly complex networks is a common challenge for today's IT managers. Effective management tools are needed to take advantage of switching solutions while keeping TCO down. Network management solutions can help control an ever-growing network infrastructure. Unauthorized or unaccounted-for configuration changes can contribute to substantial network downtime. Without effective network management, large portions of an IT budget can be spent on maintenance and operations causing IT initiatives to be delivered late or compromised. IT managers can use tools such as CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) and CiscoWorks Network Compliance Manager (NCM) to address these challenges. This white paper discusses several aspects of network management. It focuses on managing fixed-configuration switches, such as the Cisco® Catalyst® 3750E and 3560E Series, and discusses how CiscoWorks LMS and NCM can be deployed to meet a wide variety of switch management needs.

Network Helps Take Healthcare System into Bold Future

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February 21st, 2008

By Cisco Systems

Sanford Health launches ambitious initiatives for expansion and integration of healthcare services with Cisco advanced network. Sanford Health serves nearly 100 communities, covering roughly 80,000 square miles across South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. It is the largest healthcare system between the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis and Denver and serves an average of 30,000 in-patient and one million outpatient visits annually. Sanford Health has spawned an extraordinary vision for new healthcare initiatives, including developing a world- class clinical research and education program and the creation of a multi-faceted initiative focused on the health and well-being of children. Arlyn Broekhuis, Sanford vice president and CIO, knew that this vision for the future of healthcare would require an equally forward-looking technology foundation to enable continual advances. Scott Sylliaasen, network security manager, was brought on board to oversee a complete upgrade of the network infrastructure. "œSanford is creating one of the few truly integrated, comprehensive health systems in the nation," says Sylliaasen. "œWe needed a robust, unifying network that would support our picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and electronic medical record (EMR) applications, as well as telemedicine and unified communications in the future."

Interactive Digital Merchandising in Retail Banking

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February 21st, 2008

By Avaya

Avaya explores the retail banking trends and best practices in interactive digital merchandising with Charles Ansley, CEO of Symon Communications. With thousands of installations worldwide and more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100 as valued clients, Symon Communications has set the standard in digital signage and real-time data display solutions for more than 25 years. Symon Communications is a long-standing Avaya Platinum DeveloperConnection partner.

Lippis Report Issue 99: Cisco and Juniper Launch New Switching Platforms: One is Innovative, One is Not.

February 11th, 2008

The last week of January 2008 kicked off a year in which Cisco delivered a new switching architecture for the data center and Juniper finally made public their LAN switching products. The announcements were a day apart and many in the industry thought that these products would be head to head competitors, like the companies themselves. When you look into the two announcements you find that Cisco's Nexus is a generation above Juniper's EX-series of switches as Cisco's vision of Nexus is beyond server connectivity and looks to redefine how all data center servers, storage and networks are wired. Juniper's EX-series of LAN switches can have a role in the data center, but they're designed for enterprise desktop and server connectivity. In short Juniper does not offer anything more compelling than what is already available from Cisco's Catalyst 6500 and 4500E switches, Foundry, Extreme, ProCurve and Force 10. I am disappointed that Juniper didn't take this opportunity to innovate and offer solutions to today's pressing enterprise infrastructure problems. Below is an assessment of the Cisco and Juniper product announcements.

Zeus KerravalaRelated Podcast:
Juniper Disappoints while Cisco Surprises and Delights

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Increasing Application Performance with Flow Management

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February 11th, 2008

Kim Niederman of AnagranKim Niederman, CEO at Anagran, a developer of intelligent flow-based products for next generation networks joins the Lippis Report podcast. Network traffic such as P2P, IP video and VoIP traffic is increasing exponentially creating congestion and poor application performance. Flow management is a congestion management/avoidance scheme that groups’ different traffic classes by flows to assure application performance. In this podcast we discuss Anagran and its value proposition.

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Enhanced Power over Ethernet: Easier Deployment and Improved Mobility

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February 11th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

As the network has become an integral part of the enterprise and small- to medium-sized business, new applications have added new devices onto the network infrastructure. From IP telephony clients to new IEEE 802.11n wireless access points, the requirement to provide increasing levels of power to network end devices has grown dramatically. Cisco® was the first to develop the capability of providing power network end-points when it enabled power from an Ethernet switch port to its Cisco IP phone. From there, Cisco began work with numerous other vendors within the IEEE to create a standards-based means of providing Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE is now a widely adopted IEEE 802.3af standard. Cisco Enhanced PoE is Cisco's extension to the IEEE 802.3af standard that supplies greater amounts of power per port. By expanding its PoE support to deliver more than 15.4 watts (W) per port, Cisco offers greater flexibility and mobility to users while offering greater operational manageability to network managers.

Technical Overview of Virtual Device Contexts

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February 11th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

The Cisco® Nexus 7000 Series Switches introduce support for the Cisco NX-OS Software platform, a new class of operating system designed for data centers. Based on the Cisco MDS 9000 SAN-OS platform, Cisco NX-OS introduces support for virtual device contexts (VDCs), which allows the switches to be virtualized at the device level. Each configured VDC presents itself as a unique device to connected users within the framework of that physical switch. The VDC runs as a separate logical entity within the switch, maintaining its own unique set of running software processes, having its own configuration, and being managed by a separate administrator.

This document provides insight into the support for VDCs on Cisco NX-OS.

Continuous Operations and High Availability

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February 11th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

The Cisco Nexus 7000 platform is modular in its design, with an emphasis on redundant critical components throughout all of its subsystems. A highly modular and compartmentalized approach to systems design is applied to all facets of the platform, spanning across the physical, environmental, power, and system software aspects of its architecture. Additionally, a distinct functional separation between control plane and forwarding data plane is emphasized in its design to allow continuous operation and zero data loss during planned or unplanned control-plane events or failures. This document provides details of the high availability features and options across all of these areas to provide the reader with a better understanding of the hardware and software fault tolerance capabilities of the Cisco Nexus 7000 platform architecture.

Juniper Disappoints while Cisco Surprises and Delights

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February 4th, 2008

Zeus KerravalaOn Jan 28th Cisco announced its Nexus data center high performance switch while the day after Juniper announced its long awaited arrival into the LAN switching market with its EX-Series of Ethernet switches internally called Hurricane. Zeus Kerravala, of The Yankee Group and I analyze Juniper's LAN switches and Cisco's new Nexus 7000 data center switch. It's a 20 minute podcast, but its worth the time. Enjoy, Nick

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