Lippis Report 137: Our Experience with Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex 7962 Smart WiFi Access Points and ZoneDirector 1000 Wireless LAN Controller

November 30th, 2009

nicklippis.jpgThis is a different kind of Lippis Report research note than those we usually produce as it is product vs industry or architecture focused. We were impressed with the ease of installation and performance of the Ruckus Wireless dual-band 802.11n ZoneFlex 7962 access points and ZoneDirector 1000 wireless LAN (WLAN) controller in our office so we decided to write about it. Ruckus provided these products for us to test and use. In this Lippis Report Research Note we document our experience.

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Securing The Network Edge

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November 30th, 2009

By Force10 Networks

Network security typically requires pulling together policies at Layer 2 and Layer 3 and at each topology layer to prevent malicious or inadvertent usage. The network boundary – where users enter the network – represents an effective security checkpoint to prevent a single end-point device from either hijacking network resources or impacting the ability of other users to access network services. End-point security traps the misbehaving end-point at its closest point and minimizes the number of network links which must carry any malicious traffic.
This paper details Force10 Networks approach to securing the network edge. Download it now.

The 802.11n Ratification Checklist

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November 30th, 2009

By Cisco Systems

Mobility has become a business expectation. IT is coming face to face with an increasingly savvy user community which is demanding the wireless performance required to deliver a ubiquitous computing experience. Wireless technologies are striving to keep up, and the ratification of 802.11n promises to unleash the true power of mobility. This checklist provides prescriptive guidance on how IT can harness the value of 802.11n, while avoiding the pitfalls.
To integrate 802.11n into your enterprise network, follow these steps.

True-Sizing the Network, Finding the Golden Mean in Wire Line and Wireless Networks

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November 30th, 2009

By ABIresearch

As sales of IEEE 802.11n wireless LAN equipment have increased over the past year, there has been a general outcry from some vendors who sell WLAN products exclusively for IT managers; they want to move to all wireless networks. Some skeptical IT managers have questioned the objectivity of such vendors and pointed to famed psychologist Abraham Maslow’s observation that “if you only have a hammer, then you tend to see every problem as a nail.” There are legitimate reasons to consider wireless LAN deployments just as there are good reasons to deploy wire line solutions. The purpose of this research brief is to look at the current network infrastructure landscape, consider the advantages and disadvantages of both types of solutions, and determine a common sense strategy for IT managers and CIOs, who are in the process of trying to determine the best course of action for their own particular network environments. Determining their own network technology roadmap requires honest answers to a number of questions rather than succumbing to vendor hype and hyperbole.
Find out how to approach wired and wireless LAN deploy by downloading this paper.

The Borderless Branch Office

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November 17th, 2009

In this 3-minute vidcast I review Cisco’s Borderless Network Branch Office solution, the ISR G2, and explain what is so special about the ISR G2 from an evolutionary perspective on branch office networking. Enjoy. Nick

Lippis Report 136: HP Plans To Acquire 3Com Accelerating A New IT Convergence Era

November 16th, 2009

nicklippis.jpgHP is planning to acquire 3Com for $2.7B to bolster its converged infrastructure position. HP, Dell, IBM, Oracle, Cisco, et al., are astute and see that IT is entering a new convergence era where servers, storage, management software, facilities and networking are packaged, bundled and sold as a unit. Convergence is being driven by technology and market dynamics that are forcing large IT suppliers to cross into each other’s traditional markets. While our industry is starting a new IT wave of virtualization and cloud computing which promises to distribute applications and content to thin, virtual and mobile end-points over massively connected global networks, the reality is that most corporations will contain a mix of private and public/outsourced/cloud computing environments. But be it on or off premises enterprise computing has entered a convergence era, which every large IT supplier is now engaged in developing solutions to address. It’s for this reason that HP is bolstering up its networking portfolio by planning to acquire 3Com and more than likely many others. The knee-jerk reaction to HP’s planned acquisition of 3Com is the competitive position that places HP against Cisco. HP and Cisco are on a path to becoming head-to-head competitors but as they fight it out in the market, their blows may land on IBM, Dell, Oracle, Juniper, et al., who have been slow to react to the new convergence era reality. In this Lippis Report Research Note I review the planned acquisition of 3Com by HP and its potential industry impact especially with respect to Cisco.

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Force10 Networks Dynamic Cloud Infrastructure

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November 16th, 2009

By Force10 Networks

The data center has been, and continues to be, one of the key resources of innovation, helping businesses become more agile and efficient while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) — as well as being the focal point for green IT initiatives. The first steps are widely underway, with data center consolidation bringing back the idea of the centralized glass room, enabling better control over fixed costs. Virtualization helps drive up utilization of existing server compute and storage assets, reducing sprawl, while also helping to reduce the power and cooling footprint. The next phase of data center evolution is aimed at helping applications dynamically adjust to load. Referred to as Services Oriented Architectures (SOA), it is now being mixed in with the likes of cloud computing and cloud networking. The tools are in place to usher in a new way of thinking about making the traditionally static networks ‘dynamic’, whereby the network itself responds automatically to requests for more, or indeed less bandwidth, provisioning network access, security and QoS, all without human intervention.
This paper explores the means by which existing data center assets can be repurposed to increase utilization and improved application agility. Download it now.

Building Mission-Critical Data Centers

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November 16th, 2009

H3C Resilient Virtual Switching Fabric
By 3Com/H3C
3Com’s enterprise H3C switches make use of an innovative technology called Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) to enable the creation of a resilient virtual switching fabric. IRF delivers network and data center geographic independence, and distributes high-availability and resiliency by extending the network control plane across multiple active switches.  This technology can help simplify large scale network design, reduce network complexity and eliminate the need for slow convergence technologies such as Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).
To learn more download this new 3Com/H3C white paper.

Cisco and Standards: Opening the Door to Borderless Networks

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November 16th, 2009

By Cisco Systems
Networks and related network standards have come a very long way over the last few decades. Could you imagine a world without ethernet? Or the Internet? Or wireless? Could you imagine the not-so-distant past in which your work location, user device, communications path, destination computer, and application/information access were defined by the network and not by you? In the present, imagine not being able to collaborate across locations or across company boundaries because of mismatched networks. Flash forward and imagine not being able to take advantage of developing cloud computing services because of connection and exchange barriers between your infrastructure and the cloud—any cloud. Hard to imagine, given the connected world within which we all work, live, play, and learn.
Find out how standards-based networking is opening up borderless networks.

Lippis Report 135: A Flash Point From Internet To Infrastructure 2.0 Is Approaching

November 2nd, 2009

nicklippis.jpgCloud computing has become of great interest to providers, business and IT leaders as the economic downturn forced review of business processes and IT’s automation of them. As business and IT leaders searched for efficiency, cloud computing came into focus as it promises a different and favorable IT economic and delivery model. There are multiple cloud visions and use cases, but one I hear most often in corporate IT organizations is that of thin and mobile clients accessing a mix of custom, consumer-based and cloud-based applications. In this scenario real or virtualized desktops and mobile clients present applications that are hosted in a cloud residing on a virtual machine isolated from another corporation’s applications. Economics, technology and business imperatives are driving this future into reality. In fact, IT organizations are increasingly losing control of their application portfolios as a new generation of IT savvy workers develop and/or find applications that help them get work done without the blessing or assistance of corporate IT. As cloud computing promises to radically expand access to applications and low cost application development, IT leaders fear that the portion of applications they control will increasingly shrink if they don’t get ahead of this curve. As such, IT organizations are focusing like a laser on cloud security, application control, portability and the critical potential role of the network.

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Borderless Networks Links

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November 2nd, 2009

There has been huge interest in Borderless Networks since Lippis Report 134. The following are links to Cisco’s site which cover Borderless Networks and its ISR G2 announcement. There is content here from other industry analysts and of course from Cisco as well.

Borderless Networks Experience – The World is Your Workspace
See business innovation in action as Cisco customers and executives discuss how Borderless Networks enables greater productivity, collaboration and efficiency.

Borderless Networks Experience

Borderless Networks

Building Tomorrow’s Borderless Business
Enable a new borderless workspace experience at remote offices with Cisco Integrated Services Router Generation 2

Integrated Services Routers

Impact of Virtualization on Cloud Networking!

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November 2nd, 2009

By Arista Networks
The adoption of virtualization in datacenters creates the need for a new class of networks designed to support elasticity of resource allocation, increasingly mobile workloads and the shift to production virtual workloads, requiring maximum availability. Building a network that spans both physical servers and virtual machines with consistent capabilities demands a new architectural approach to designing and building the IT infrastructure. Performance, elasticity, and logical addressing structures must be considered as well as the management of the physical and virtual networking infrastructure. Once deployed, a network that is virtualization ready can offer many revolutionary services over a common shared infrastructure.

Tussle in Cyberspace: Defining Tomorrow’s Internet

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November 2nd, 2009

By: David D. Clark MIT Lab for Computer Science ddc@lcs.mit.edu, Karen R. Sollins MIT Lab for Computer Science sollins@lcs.mit.edu, John Wroclawski MIT Lab for Computer Science jtw@lcs.mit.edu, Robert Braden USC Information Sciences Institute braden@isi.edu
The architecture of the Internet is based on a number of principles, including the self-describing datagram packet, the end-to-end arguments, diversity in technology and global addressing. As the Internet has moved from a research curiosity to a recognized component of mainstream society, new requirements have emerged that suggest new design principles, and perhaps suggest that we revisit some old ones. This paper explores one important reality that surrounds the Internet today: different stakeholders that are part of the Internet milieu have interests that may be adverse to each other, and these parties each vie to favor their particular interests. The authors call this process “the tussle”, and their position is that accommodating this tussle is crucial to the evolution of the network’s technical architecture. They discuss some examples of tussle, and offer some technical design principles that take it into account.
This paper is 7 years old but is still right on. Anyone interested in internet architecture directions should download this paper

3Com Extends Value Proposition to Large Enterprise Market With China Out Strategy

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November 2nd, 2009

Ron SegeWe decided to re-run this podcast interview with Ron Sege in light of HP’s intent to acquire 3Com.
Ron Sege, President and Chief Operating Officer of 3Com discusses its worldwide strategy, value proposition and how it plans to gain share and compete in the large enterprise market. 3Com has an entirely refreshed product line that spans switching, routing, security, wireless and unified communications and has been tested in large enterprise customers. 3Com is differentiating this product with cost advantage, total cost of ownership and services. Ron explains how 3Com survived the crash and is positioned to lead in the recovery as IT leaders’ buying patterns have shifted. It’s a fascinating discussion, enjoy. Nick