Tag Archives: IT services

Intent-Based Networking’s Next Evolution: The DNA Centre Platform

For more than 20 years, organisations have been running their networks pretty much the same way. But recently, that way has become increasingly difficult, fragmented, and expensive. Modern networks need to be both more integrated, and yet more flexible.

So a year ago, we launched our most ambitious network re-think in our history: our intent-based networking offering, Cisco DNA, and its centrepiece control software, DNA Centre. It treats every network device — be it wired, wireless, or wide-area — as part of a unified fabric, giving IT a simpler, more cost-effective way to take control of one of their businesses’ most valuable assets: network infrastructure.

DNA Centre makes it possible for network operators to react to business needs and security threats at machine speed, across their entire network. This means, first, that they don’t have to rely on time-consuming human-powered workflows, making changes one network device at a time; they can interact with the network as a single fabric. And second, that when there’s an issue with the network (like a cyber attack), the network can react to it in real time.

More recently, we rolled out DNA Assurance, which provides deep visibility and insights into everything that happens on a network, and everything that has happened previously. When there’s an issue to solve, it gives network administrators the capability to go back in time and see exactly what was happening at the precise moment that the user or device experienced a problem. It makes troubleshooting immeasurably faster, and more proactive, than it is today.

Now DNA Centre is an Open Platform
And now we’re opening the network fabric itself to developers. DNA Centre’s new open platform capabilities mean all its powerful, networkwide automation and assurance tools are available to our partners and customers. With the network as a programmable platform, they will be able to make IT and business applications run better and more securely, deliver better experiences to employees and customers, and extract the value of the data that their networks are collecting.

The first uses of the new DNA Centre platform capabilities will be IT applications. Already, the IT service management system ServiceNow has an integration into DNA Centre. With it, DNA Centre can automatically create trouble tickets in ServiceNow. The tickets are enriched with insights that IT personnel can use to resolve network, user, and application issues. IT operators can also trigger remediation events using ServiceNow, that take advantage of DNA Centre’s reach across the network. Together, DNA Centre and ServiceNow can create and close out a ticket — faster and more accurately than either system could independently.

Other partners are creating services for things like software image updates (Accenture), power management (Presidio), physical security (Italtel Netwrapper), mobile operations management (WWT), 3rd-party device provisioning (HCL), and other IT solutions.

Our platform for intent-based networking is built on DNA Centre. It allows customers and partners to develop network-centric applications without having to program devices directly.

As more customers learn what DNA Centre can do, its applicability will extend into line-of-business applications. For example, new platform capabilities will expose location data from network devices, which can be used to dramatically improve logistics. In healthcare, location data (for personnel and equipment), can improve care and lower costs.

Open to Ideas
We’re proud to be able to open up this rich and valuable resource to our customers. But it’s still early in the evolution of intent-based networking, and we want to help people learn and share new ways to make their assets work better for their organisations. Our DevNet program is where this all comes together. We have 500,000 developers on the program already, and we continue to add resources to help everyone grow. We also launched this week three new programs for DevNet: Ecosystem ExchangeCode Exchange, and DNA Developer Centre.

Cisco’s Services group is also working to help business leaders take full advantage of the new DNA Centre platform.

The new platform capabilities that DNA Centre offers are based on a flexible architecture that will make new business processes and flows possible, both through the control it enables and the data it makes available. We can’t anticipate all the innovations that people will build on it. We’ve already been surprised by what some of our earliest partners have done.

DNA Centre is our most ambitious and flexible platform ever. It builds on 30 years of knowledge across all areas of networking, on all the rich relationships we have with customers and partners, and on top of the vision our engineers have about where networking is going in the near future. We hope you find it valuable.

By Scott Harrell
Cisco Senior Vice President and General Manager
Enterprise Networking Business
This post is from the Cisco Executive Platform blog

 

802.11 Wireless Standards Explained

The explosion of mobile devices continues to drive not only digital transformation of businesses, but also how those businesses’ employees work. According to Gartner, in 2017, 50% of employers required employees to supply their own devices for work and 89% of employees accessed business applications through personal mobile devices.

Think about it: what device do you have with you all the time? Your phone. But you probably also have a tablet and laptop that you use to access work applications. Most people have three mobile devices and Wi-Fi is a critical component of how we connect at the edge, whether that edge is the office, your car, the airport or even your kitchen table

Mobility is changing how we work and where we work. The base of that transformation has been the IEEE wireless standards: from the original standard, which left many of us looking at a spinning wheel and waiting for connectivity, to the latest proposed standard that will give us all simultaneous wireless access. End-users now demand anytime, anywhere, any device connectivity- fast and with high availability. The question is, can your wireless network provide that?

This tutorial will decipher the alphabet soup of the most common IEEE 802.11 standards and describe how they have evolved over the years and what standards your enterprise needs to enable digital transformation.

 

IEEE 802.11 Standards
Standard Released Frequency (GHz) Speed Range
IEEE 802.11 1997 2.4 2 Mbps Indoors: 20 m
Outdoors: 100 m
IEEE 802.11a 1999 5/3.7 54 Mbps Indoors: 35 m
Outdoors: 120/5000 m
IEEE 802.11b 1999 2.4 11 Mbps Indoors: 35 m
Outdoors: 120 m
IEEE 802.11g 2003 2.4 54 Mbps Indoors: 38 m
Outdoors: 140 m
IEEE 802.11n 2009 2.4/5 600 Mbps Indoors: 70 m
Outdoors: 250 m
IEEE 802.11ac 2013 2.4/5 450 Mbps/1300 Mbps Indoors: 35 m
IEEE 802.11ad (WiGig) 2012 60 6.7 Gbps 3.3 m
IEEE 802.11ah (HaLow) 2016 0.9 347 Mbps 1 km
IEEE 802.11ax 2019 est. 2.4/5 GHz 450 Mbps/10.53 Gbps TBD


802.11/a/b
. This was the original standard created in 1997. It only provided data throughput of 2 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz frequency, which was too slow for most applications. The A version (5 Ghz) boosted data rates to 54 Mbps. The B version (1999) went back to the 2.4 GHz frequency and boosted data rates to 11 Mbps. Your first home router was probably 802.11b.

802.11g. Released in 2003, this was the next significant wireless standard with speeds of 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz frequency making it backward compatible with 802.11b.

802.11n. Approved in 2009, 802.11n enables operation in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies, a game changer at the time. It was the first standard to use MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) and offered better speed, 300 Mbps, better range, more resistance to interference and backward compatibility with 802.11b/g.

802.11ac. This is what we use now for Wi-Fi connectivity. Introduced in 2013, AC provides speeds of 1300 Mbps in the 5 GHz frequency and 450 Mbps speeds in the 2.4 GHz frequency. 802.11ac access points are widely used in large enterprise networks to complement DAS and small cell wireless networks. 802.11ac access points also provide the primary wireless connectivity in smaller businesses, retail establishments, and most likely, your home.

802.11ax. Expected to be released in 2019, 802.11ax is a game changer in terms of Wi-Fi. AX is expected to be anywhere from four to ten times faster than 802.11ac, with a maximum data rate of 1.3 Gbps. AX operates in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies and is backward compatible with 802.11ac/n. To achieve the significant speed and capacity increase, AX will layer MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) with orthogonal frequency-division multiple access technology. This enables a large number of devices to use the same access point at the same time rather than sequentially. AX is designed for high-density digital edge environments and will be able to accommodate large numbers of users and IoT devices.

Time to upgrade?
If you’re thinking about your mobile-first strategy, talk to us. We can help you make mobility happen with the right intelligent edge foundational technology that connect people and devices, drive collaboration and enable anytime, anywhere positive end-user experiences. When you enable mobility, you enable connectivity at the digital edge.

Learn more at BlackBox.co.uk

Myths of Managed Services

Studies Find that Managed Services Help Drive IT Success

Get the Facts

The myths that surround the use of Managed Services (MS) to support IT business continuity oftentimes are fueled by misconception. As these services are adopted by more companies, the advantages become clear. Companies are:

  • Minimising the cost of legacy IT infrastructure from multiple vendors
  • Promoting the adoption of new and sophisticated technology for business continuity, and
  • Allocating limited resources to maximising overall impact on the organization

Consider this:

  • 74% of enterprises anticipate increased demand on IT
  • 30% of IT budget has become strategic; operational expense is reduced by 13%
  • 48% of companies are expanding adoption of MS
  • Companies who use MS see a reduction of 25% in IT costs

6 Myths of working with a Managed Service Provider

IT business leaders know that demand on their current IT systems, and the need for additional capacity and functionality, will continue to increase. By outsourcing IT responsibilities, IT business leaders can shift their focus from daily task management to driving strategic thought leadership.

In fact, studies show that world-class companies commit 30 percent more of their IT budgets to advancing business processes—and nearly 13 percent less on day-to-day operations—than their less successful counterparts. These companies seek a Managed Service partner to support both IT infrastructure and platform and application needs, and to mitigate challenges associated with:

  • Staffing: 42% of CIOs are concerned they are missing IT expertise
  • Technology adoption: 51% of CIOs are concerned about enterprise adoption of new technology
  • CAPEX versus OPEX business models: 50% of OPEX budget is lost to failed IT projects

Are Managed Services Right for You?

Think about the following questions:

  • What are your biggest challenges—staffing, infrastructure, applications, platforms, devices, security?
  • What percentage of time is spent on day-to-day tasks?
  • Are you evaluating different deployment scenarios, such as leveraging OPEX or the Cloud?
  • Do you feel you have the expertise and staff to design, deploy, and support enterprise technology?
  • Have you considered third-party resources or partners to supplement your existing team or to manage specific components of your IT infrastructure?
  • Are you contributing to the enterprise in a strategic way, or are time-consuming tasks detracting you from moving the organisation forward?

A Managed Services partner offers the solutions you need to address these questions by providing objectivity, an expanded resource pool of expertise, and cost-effective strategies that align with overall corporate needs. IT services are available in varying degrees. Some companies seek support with one specific IT challenge, such as on-site maintenance; others outsource all IT functions, known as IT as a Service.

Separate fact from fiction. Download: 6 Myths of Working with a Managed Service Provider or visit us at: www.black-box.eu/services/managed-services