Archive for Cisco

Cisco Unites SD-WAN & Security To Address The New Cloud Edge

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 13, 2018 by itnerd

Cisco is unifying its security and software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technologies to help organizations embrace the cloud faster with choice and confidence.

The WAN is undergoing a radical transformation. Today, organizations host their applications in multiple clouds – public, private and SaaS. The way people work has also changed; employees connect from coffee shops and airport lounges, instead of just the office. Now, organizations must rely on the Internet to connect users to business-critical applications. This has resulted in a new Cloud Edge – the intersection of networking and security.

Until now, SD-WAN solutions have forced IT to choose between application experience or security. By evolving its SD-WAN portfolio, Cisco is addressing the new realities of the Cloud Edge. Cisco SD-WAN can help IT deliver better application experiences and make users more productive with unmatched simplicity and scale. And now, best-of-breed security can be easily enabled anywhere it is needed, from the branch to the cloud.

Cisco SD-WAN: Simple, Secure, Scalable

Cisco SD-WAN is built to address today’s most pressing issues, yet flexible enough to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. New innovations include:

  • Fusing Security with SD-WAN: From application-aware enterprise firewall and intrusion prevention, to URL filtering, advanced security is now integrated into Cisco SD-WAN devices and managed through a single pane of glass. And Cisco SD-WAN is all powered by Talos, the industry’s most powerful cyber threat intelligence solution.
  • Simplifying Cloud Security Deployments: By integrating Cisco SD-WAN with Cisco Umbrella, access to malicious destinations can be blocked before a connection is ever established.
  • Applications Experience: Cisco has partnered with Microsoft to enhance the Office 365 application experience for users. Unlike other vendors, Cisco SD-WAN monitors in real-time all available paths to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud. Using Microsoft Office URLs, Cisco is also able to determine the closest cloud, resulting in up to 40 percent faster performance for users.
  • Open and Programmable: With open APIs, Cisco SD-WAN provides service providers and partners the opportunity to create unique new services. To help developers and network engineers innovate, Cisco DevNet has created new SD-WAN learning labs and sandboxes.
  • New SD-WAN Infrastructure: With the world’s broadest SD-WAN portfolio powered by Viptela and Meraki, Cisco is offering even more options for customers with two new Integrated Services Routers (ISR) designed for small and large branch offices.
  • Quick Start Service: Cisco is also helping customers accelerate SD-WAN deployments and decrease risk via a new SD-WAN Quick Start Service. For a fixed-price, customers get access to remote implementation and knowledge transfer capabilities to streamline projects.
  • Easy to Buy and Manage: Cisco has made it easier to consume and manage the new solution. Both the network and security can be purchased through a single license model and managed through a single interface.

Availability

  • Cisco SD-WAN Security and Microsoft Office 365 software: beginning Q4CY2018
  • Cisco ISR 1111X-8P and 4461 are available now

Additional Resources

 

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Cisco Announces First Hybrid Solution For Kubernetes On Amazon Web Services

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 8, 2018 by itnerd

Applications are the lifeblood of business. Build them easily and get them up and running quickly and you have a huge competitive advantage. But get bogged down worrying about where those applications run, and you miss opportunities. Cisco is now solving that problem with a new solution built for Amazon Web Services (AWS) that makes running new containerized applications simple.

Organizations want the ability to develop and deploy applications anywhere they want. Across public and private clouds, without constraints. The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS makes it easy for customers to run production-grade Kubernetes on-premises.  This is achieved by configuring on-premises Kubernetes environments to be consistent with Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) and by combining Cisco’s networking, security, management and monitoring software with AWS’ world-class cloud services. This enables customers to focus on building and using applications, instead of being constrained by where they run.

This new solution:

  • Helps developers accelerate innovation and reduce time-to-market. Containerized applications can now be deployed and managed more easily across on-premises and the AWS cloud.
  • Reduces complexity and costs for IT operations teams. The management of on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure is simplified with a common set of tools on-premises and on AWS.
  • Meets the needs of both developers and IT operations teams.It allows containerized applications to work with existing resources and production environments.
  • Provides world-class support. Cisco’s enterprise support covers all parts of the solution.

Availability, Pricing, and Support

The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS will be available to customers in December 2018. It will be provided as both a software-only solution requiring only the Cisco Container Platform, or a hardware/software solution with the Cisco Container Platform running on Cisco HyperFlex™.  The software is licensed in one-, three- and five-year subscriptions. Pricing for software-only subscriptions will start at approximately $65,000 per year for a typical entry-level configuration.  On AWS, customers pay $0.20 per hour for each Amazon EKS cluster that they create in addition to the AWS resources (e.g. Amazon EC2 instances or Amazon Elastic Block Store volumes) they create to run Kubernetes worker nodes.

The new solution will be sold by Cisco and its global partner network. The platform will be supported by Cisco’s world-class technical support. Cisco DevNet will also provide an online resource for developers to trial and benchmark hybrid cloud applications using the solution.

Additional Resources

Cisco Unveils 400G Switching Done Right

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 1, 2018 by itnerd

Bandwidth and scale. These are two of the biggest challenges facing data center customers today. How can they support data-hungry apps like streaming video, or apps that use artificial intelligence and machine learning? And how can they keep growing their networks, without having to replace them every time? To meet the need for bandwidth and scale, Cisco is launching new 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400G) switches that will give customers an edge.

The new 400G switches allow customers to create more powerful networks, more cost-effectively and in a fraction of the space. They provide four times the bandwidth and four times the scale of existing switches without using four times the power. And since the new switches are built on Cisco’s leading Nexus portfolio, customers can choose to deploy 400G in the way that best meets their needs. They can be used on their own or in combination with Cisco’s leading security, automation, visibility and analytics software. 

400GbE Done Right

Dell’Oro predicts the market for 400G will grow quickly, reaching $1.5B in 2019 and more than doubling by 2020. Cisco’s new Nexus switches provide customers with the most comprehensive and customizable approach to 400G. They are: 

  • Built for the most demanding environments: The new 400G switches are designed to support the signature capabilities the Nexus switching portfolio is known for, delivered at wire speed. This includes support for advanced telemetry for deeper app visibility, real-time analysis and troubleshooting. And smart buffers specially tuned for scale-out app traffic. Customers can also integrate the switches with Cisco’s leading Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), Tetration, and Network Assurance Engine software. Doing this allows them to increase app agility and improve data center security and automation, bringing 400G to Intent Based Networking.
  • Built for customer choice and flexibility: Flexible deployment options let companies of all sizes support their specific needs and workloads. Customers can choose the options that best fit their needs, whether they are a webscale company, running a high-density or intent-based network, or using specialized apps.
  • Built to last: Cisco is actively working with partners and third-party organizations to drive standardization and interoperability around 400G. Cisco collaborated in the recent 400G industry plug fests with interconnect and test solution partners and demonstrated cost effective 100G lambda optics modules for 400G.

Availability

Cisco is beginning early field trails with customers in December 2018, giving IT organizations planning time to set up trials as soon as possible. The new Cisco Nexus switches will be generally available in the first half of calendar year 2019.

Additional Resources

Cisco Enhances Webex to Include More of What You Do Every Day to Get Great Work Done

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2018 by itnerd

“Let’s talk about it—I’ll set up a Webex!” Ever heard (or said) that sentence? If you are like most workers, the answer is yes; the name “Webex” is synonymous with the word “meet”. It is the gold standard when it comes to real-time meetings and getting things done. More than six billion meeting minutes happen in Cisco Webex every month.

But the way people meet is changing. And Webex is ready.

To make it easier for teams to meet and get great work done, today at Collaboration Summit it was announced that Cisco are converging the Cisco Spark and Webex platforms. The result is a new Webex Meetings application for your meetings and a new seamless team collaboration application called Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark). We are putting all our award-winning video devices onto this newly converged platform. And Cisco is adding a new hardware device that turns any work space with a TV into a Webex room. Plus everything easier to buy and Cisco is continuing to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence that will dramatically improve meetings as we know them today.

Here’s more information about each part of the news:

An all-new version of Webex meetings is launched.
The first thing you will notice about the new Webex Meetings is that it is “video first,” meaning you’ll be strongly encouraged to turn on your camera. That’s because seeing and being seen are fundamental to good teamwork. Gone are the days when you’d stare at the screen only to see the presentation. You’ll now see all your teammates, in crisp, clean layouts whether you are using your laptop, your Cisco video room device or your mobile device.

Because Cisco delivers Webex through the cloud, the one hundred million people worldwide who use Webex do not need to take any action. They will simply get the update in the coming months.

A brand new version of Cisco Spark with a new name.
Today’s business challenges are getting more and more complex, creating an urgency to help teams connect and get their best work done. Cisco wants to make it simple for Webex users to take the next step to team collaboration.

The goal has always been to make Cisco Spark the simplest, most secure team collaboration tool on the planet. Today, they launch a new version of Cisco Spark, and give it a new name: Webex Teams. Now, when companies are ready to make their move to team collaboration they can do so with the brand that they already know and love—Webex. All they need to do is add the Teams extension to start using team-based persistent collaboration.

With this new version, we have completely integrated the technology across the applications— so you can expect the same rich Webex meeting functionality in Teams meetings, and a common experience no matter which you choose.  Webex Teams gives you a much richer set of tools –including whiteboarding, persistent messaging, simple guest access, content sharing and integrated tools—to support teams both during and after the meeting.

The new name also extends to the award-winning devices. For instance, the Cisco Spark Board becomes the Webex Board. That’s because Webex meetings are even better when you join from one of Cisco’s video devices.

A new device that turns any space with a TV into a Webex room.
While visiting customers Cisco noticed that many huddle spaces—most, even—have a little-used TV hanging on the wall. What if you could enlist these TVs to make team huddles better?

Out of that question came Webex Share, a low-cost, super-simple way for teams to share content on the big screen in the space.  Simply plug the palm-sized adapter into the back of the TV. Pair with the system, and start sharing your document or screen.  When you’re done, keep the work going in your Webex Teams space. Plus, with Webex Share, teams will be able to easily reserve rooms, know when a room is already booked, and much more.

Webex Share will be available for Webex Meetings and Teams towards the end of 2018.

An all-new roadmap for how Webex will work with tools from Google, Microsoft, and other companies.
Cisco believes in choice. Cisco wants their customers to be free to choose whichever tool is right for them. Want to use Webex for meetings but Microsoft for team collaboration? No problem. With the new Webex you can do just that. It will work with Google, Slack and others, too. It’s important customers have choices, and therefore it is important to make it easier for them.

Cisco makes buying great tools for your team easy.
Buying should be simple and with the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan, it is. As of today, companies can simply pay a subscription fee for each active user. And with Webex Meetings, now up to 1,000 people can join and we have added more storage, advanced security and analytics capabilities.

Cisco puts artificial intelligence (AI) to work to end lousy meetings.
In November, Cisco announced plans to use AI to make meetings better.  Today they build upon that in two ways:

Webex Assistant (formerly Cisco Spark Assistant) will be available on more devices and with more functionality. Cisco continues the journey to inject AI into every meeting, every call, every conversation and every interaction that you have. Based on technology from our MindMeld acquisition, Webex Assistant will start showing up over the next couple of months in all cloud-connected Webex Room Kit and Room Series devices.

Noise suppression saves the call. The loud typist. The barking dog. The side conversation. These are just a few of the annoyances that disrupt many meetings. But not anymore: all Cisco cloud-connected and on-premise video devices can now suppress disruptive noises. This means the next time someone starts loudly shuffling papers on a call, the system will automatically turn the volume down enough so that the sound no longer interrupts the conversation. And when the paper shuffler chimes in with a comment, the system will “know” that and automatically stop suppressing the sound. To the user, it’s magic: no need to do a thing.

Additional Resources:

Watch the Collaboration Summit keynote live today at 9 am Pacific.

Read Jonathan Rosenberg’s blog on this platform convergence news.

Read Snorre Kjesbu’s blog on Webex Share.

Cisco Doubles Down On Security Innovation & Investment To Protect The Endpoint & Email

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 16, 2018 by itnerd

Employees remain an organization’s greatest asset however they can be a risk when it comes to cybersecurity. Attackers are crafting highly targeted, fraudulent emails that look legitimate and use them to deliver malware to unsuspecting users. When successful, it costs the majority of companies $500K or more in lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs. To combat the rise of advanced threats targeting employees, Cisco is announcing new email security services to protect users from these fraudulent emails, as well as new capabilities to protect employee’s devices from ransomware, cryptomining, and fileless malware.

Nearly all endpoint security solutions on the market claim to block 99 percent of malware. But what about the one percent of threats that evade detection using sophisticated techniques? Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints, a cloud-managed endpoint security solution, prevents attacks and helps uncovers the one percent of threats that can cripple a business. Cisco is adding a number of new capabilities to AMP for Endpoints, including:

  • Sophisticated detection and protection mechanisms to stop today’s threats, including ransomware, and cryptomining: Cisco is now bolstering its threat protection even when a user is offline. The new AMP for Endpoints exploit prevention helps protect against fileless attacks, including those that reside solely in memory. Cisco AMP’s new malicious activity protection stops ransomware execution, killing the processes and preventing propagation.

o   Cisco threat researchers analyzed ransomware variants to identify the common techniques used for encryption. The result: a new engine that continuously protects against ransomware encryption and propagation to keep businesses safe from ransomware.

o   Fileless malware has recently gained popularity in part because of the difficulty in detecting it. Built directly into the foundation of Cisco AMP is a new protection mechanism that requires no tuning or adjustments to stop these threats. It protects against unpatched software vulnerabilities and keeps working around the clock, even when users are offline.

 

  • Threat investigation with Cisco Visibility, a new cloud application built into the endpoint console which simplifies and accelerates security investigations so security analysts can rapidly investigate incidents with confidence, quickly and at scale. It ingests, normalizes, and enriches security events and provides a visual representation of the extent of a compromise spanning from endpoints to network to cloud.

o   Cisco Visibility combines threat intelligence from Cisco Talos™ and third parties with internal security event and alert data from across an organization’s security infrastructure to simplify investigations, reduce complexity, and shorten incident triage and remediation time.

o   Visibility minimizes the need to switch between multiple consoles to perform common tasks. With a few simple clicks, a user can dive deeper into the data from Talos, Cisco Umbrella Investigate™, Threat Grid, AMP, and other sources to quickly understand how observables exist in an environment and how they relate to each other.

Cisco invests in new email security services

No matter how much the threat landscape changes, malicious email and spam remain vital tools for adversaries to distribute malware, and many of these threats reach the endpoint. Organizations must protect their own company domains from being misused as the delivery mechanism of malicious emails, as well as protect their internal users from phishing and spoofing attacks from emails with suspect senders.

Cisco is helping address these issues and more effectively prevent email identity deception used in phishing attacks. Cisco has concluded an OEM agreement with Agari to market and sell new services that enhance its Email Security product. The new email security services introduced include:

  • Cisco Domain Protection: Automates the process of using email authentication to prevent phishing, protect brands from fraud, and maintain email governance by analyzing, updating, and taking action against senders misusing their domain to send malicious email. This service uses Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC),an email authentication standard, and real-time reporting back to domain users about noncompliant emails being sent from their domains. This will be a requirement for many organizations in the future, and as of October 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ordered federal agencies with .gov email domains to fully implement strict DMARC policies by October 2018.
  • Cisco Advanced Phishing Protection: Adds sophisticated machine learning capabilities to Cisco Email Security to block advanced identity deception attacks for inbound email by assessing its threat posture. It also uses both global and local telemetry data combined with analytics and modeling to validate the reputation and authenticity of senders. This helps organizations understand which emails carry targeted phishing and business email compromise (BEC) attacks so only legitimate emails reach an employee inbox.

Deployment through managed security services

To enable customers of all sizes to realize the benefits of these new capabilities, Cisco is expanding its relationship with ConnectWise so managed service providers (MSP) can offer Cisco Security as a part of their portfolio. The expanded relationship will offer the new ConnectWise Advanced Security Dashboard. This cloud management platform fully integrates with the ConnectWise Manage business management solution and complements ConnectWise Unite with Cisco, the existing portal for MSPs based on leading Cisco cloud-managed products. The new ConnectWise Advanced Security Dashboard provides MSPs with the ability to deliver managed security services with Cisco’s security portfolio including Cisco AMP for Endpoints, Cisco Umbrella, Cisco Stealthwatch Cloud, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances, Cisco Next-Generation Firewall, and Cisco Meraki MX appliances.

Supporting Resources:

Cisco Launches Inaugural Tech4Good Hockey Tournament

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 13, 2018 by itnerd

Seven-time Stanley Cup winner Bryan Trottier will return to the ice and lead Cisco Canada’s inaugural Tech4Good Connected North on Ice Challenge, a fundraising tournament raising critically needed funds to deliver virtual education and youth mental health and wellness services to students in Indigenous communities in Canada’s remote north.

On Saturday, April 7th 2018, players will hit the ice at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville. Eighteen teams and 250 players are expected, consisting of Cisco employees, customers, partners, and NHL Alumni Stars of Hockey, including Bryan Trottier, Ric Nattress, Gary Leeman, Tom Fergus and Arron Asham. Teams will get their pick of these NHL all-stars during an exclusive draft party taking place the evening of April 6 at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Additional alumni will be announced in the coming weeks.

In June 2017, Cisco Canada launched a fundraising program to mark Canada’s 150th year since Confederation to help the Connected North program reach more students, and add more digital content partners. The Tech4Good Hockey Tournament will cap off a very successful year of outreach. Each participating team is required to raise a minimum of $10,000 in order to qualify and draft an NHL Alumni teammate. Current teams include Cisco Canada, TELUS, National Bank, Scotiabank, Shaw Communications, Home Hardware, Dimension Data, Scalar, Softchoice, Turbonomic, Ernst & Young and Solutions with Impact. Media partners include The Toronto Star and Rogers Media. Tournament sponsors include Cisco Canada, Hydro One, Canadian Tire, Benchmark and Shaw.

Joining the event as official spokesperson and player is Bryan Trottier, a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. Trottier is a passionate and active champion for helping Indigenous youth reach their full potential, and proud of his Metis heritage. He won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders, two with the Penguins and one as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche, making him the most decorated Indigenous athlete in the world.

Since its inception in 2013, the Connected North program has been using collaboration technology, such as Cisco’s high-definition video conferencing solution Telepresence, to deliver immersive and interactive virtual education and mental health and wellness services to remote Canadian Indigenous communities.

Funds raised by the Tech4Good Hockey Tournament will help to expand the number of schools in the Connected North program as well as further build the support network with additional experts, content providers and experiences that address each school’s unique cultural and educational needs.

Today, the Connected North program, under the leadership of charity partner TakingITGlobal, serves over 7,500 students and 32 schools across Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

Cisco Launches New ‘5G Now’ Portfolio for Service Providers

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 26, 2018 by itnerd

Continuing on its path to disrupt the industry by redefining the network, Cisco announced today its ‘5G Now’ portfolio for service providers ready to go full throttle on their 5G roadmap.

5G services promise to offer emerging new services at significantly faster speeds, expanded capacity and stronger coverage to accommodate the more than 27 billion connected devices expected on service provider networks by 2021. Beginning 2020, 5G connections will grow more than a thousand percent from 2.3 million in 2020 to over 25 million in 2021.

At Mobile World Congress this week, many technology vendors are focused on the spectrum advantages, radio equipment and architecture to support 5G services. Cisco is committed to showing service providers and mobile operators why 5G is important to plan for, and what they can really do with it. Cisco’s role here is focused on three things:

  1. Services: Planning for new 5G-enabled services Cisco can help deliver
  2. Infrastructure: Mapping the right 5G infrastructure to their needs
  3. Automation: Helping to make the mass network scaling for 5G simpler to manage, operate and secure

Cisco uniquely offers its customers a cloud-to-client approach for 5G networking, resulting from its investments and commitment to developing cloud applications and services, to help customers unify multi-vendor solutions into a single, standards-based architecture. Key elements in the Cisco ‘5G Now’ portfolio include:

  • Multi-cloud: Helping manage workloads across a full ecosystem of private, public, and hybrid clouds to connect enterprise, consumers, and service providers.
  • IP Core: Cisco can expand programmability and capabilities of the network with real-time telemetry for automation, featuring the new Cisco NCS-500 Series of access routers with the Cisco IOS XR software as a single domain from the data centre to the cell tower.
  • 5G Packet Core and Service Edge: With Cisco Ultra, its cloud-native, mobile virtualized packet core, Cisco provides a unified platform for service enablement over licensed and unlicensed radio solutions and IoT services – all the way to the network edge.
  • Access: Cisco offers a comprehensive solution that unifies cable, fiber, Wi-Fi, and a variety of licensed radio solutions including virtualized RAN architectures such as Open RAN. The new Cisco SONFlex Studio features drag-and-drop ease to create new self-organizing network (SON) APIs to customize service handling and quality of experience in the radio access network.
  • Client Services: This is where the cloud meets the customer. Cisco will be demonstrating a number of client services that can be delivered today including Managed Cisco Spark for collaboration service over mobile, virtual managed services for cloud-based SD-WAN business services, and the Cisco Jasper platform for IoT.
  • Security: Cisco secures the Service Provider from the cloud, to the network, to the client with its new 5G Security Architecture that builds upon the comprehensive portfolio of threat-centric solutions to securely enable 5G mobile networks. New offers include Stealthwatch for enhanced breach detection and visibility within Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and network slices, Stealthwatch Cloud for cloud-managed network security, and the Cisco Umbrella Security Suite.
  • Professional Services: Cisco takes an open approach to partnering and co-developing with its customers to fit the right solution, offering experienced personnel to support the customers’ teams from start to finish.

Cisco’s ‘5G Now’ demonstrations are available at the Cisco booth in Hall 3 Hybrid Hall, #3E30. Or check out Cisco 5G Now.