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BrandPost: Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router #8: Garbled VoIP Calls and Pixelated Video

How often have you been on a VoIP call only to experience dropouts or garbled sound? Or endured a video conference with pixelated images or even a frozen screen? The expanding use of Unified Communications (UC) applications has placed increased pressure on IT to deliver an exceptional user experience to employees. But when user experience deteriorates enough, it results in a flood of calls to the IT help desk. Delivering consistent, high quality real-time communications is difficult, if not impossible, with a traditional router-centric wide area network architecture.Why? Because conventional routers can’t overcome inevitable packet loss that negatively impacts quality voice and video communication quality and the user’s experience and productivity. WAN architectures based on traditional routers typically backhaul all traffic to a headquarters-based data center, adding latency or delay that contribute to poor quality.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Simplify Cloud Networking with Microsoft Azure

As enterprises continue to rapidly migrate applications and infrastructure to the cloud, SD-WAN technologies are quickly gaining traction. Industry analyst firm IDC estimates that 80 percent of business is transacted from branch and remote offices, which is driving enterprises to deploy SD-WAN solutions to provide secure and direct branch connectivity to the cloud while lowering overall WAN costs.The Silver Peak® Unity EdgeConnect™ SD-WAN solution has been engineered from the ground up for the cloud. Microsoft’s recent announcement of the Azure Virtual WAN service comes in response to customer demand to optimize branch connectivity to their IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS cloud services. By integrating with the Azure Virtual WAN service, Silver Peak enables enterprises to easily connect branch sites and users to Azure services and Microsoft’s global IP backbone.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router – No. 9: Sub-par SaaS Performance

In the form of the iconic David Letterman Top Ten List segment from his former Late Show, Silver Peak is counting down the Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router. Click here for the #10 reason to retire traditional routers at the branch.The #9 reason it’s time to retire traditional routers at the branch: Sub-par SaaS Performance! We often hear from customers that their employees complain that (or Office365 or Workday or any of myriad SaaS apps) is more responsive from home or from Starbucks than from the branch office.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: What Will 802.11ax Bring To Your Airspace?

Aruba Tom Hollingsworth, Blog Contributor The industry is on the cusp of a new wireless protocol. It's been almost 10 years since 802.11ac was proposed, and five years since final ratification. 802.11ac has been built upon to deliver speeds past 1 Gpbs and has become the preferred method of wireless connectivity for computers and mobile devices alike.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Silver Peak Named a Leader in 2018 Gartner WAN Edge Infrastructure Magic Quadrant

For the past three years, the software-defined WAN or SD-WAN, has been one of the most talked about technology trends. By some estimations there are 60+ vendors, all marketing their products around the concept of SD-WAN, each vying to carve out a piece of this emerging multi-billion-dollar market. While all the discussion and hype around SD-WAN has helped shine the spotlight on the business value enterprises can realize by changing the way they build their wide area networks, it has also led to confusion and in some cases delays of adoption.That is why today’s release of the first ever 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure is such an important milestone for us. Gartner has long been one of the most influential industry analyst firms in the world, providing highly credible perspectives on technology vendors and markets. By listening to thousands of enterprise customers, reviewing each vendor’s solution in detail and analyzing their Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision, they have published a comprehensive report to provide their view of the Leaders, Challengers, Niche Players and Visionaries in this rapidly changing market (to get a copy of the WAN Edge Magic Quadrant click here). This new Continue reading

BrandPost: Extending Network Capacity in Enterprise WLANs with 802.11ax

When building networks in the ‘real world’ like city centers, stadiums, apartment buildings, and even office buildings, we frequently come across situations where many access points, installed independently or managed as one network, create overlapping coverage areas. When these access points choose to use the same channel, the performance of all users in such an area is reduced, as the Wi-Fi algorithm used to avoid collisions on the air is quite conservative.One focus of the next Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax is to improve the performance of ‘real-world’ networks. To this end, the new standard includes a feature enabling more simultaneous transmissions. This feature is known as ‘spatial reuse’ or ‘BSS coloring.’To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router – No. 10: It’s Getting Cloudy

Borrowing from the iconic David Letterman Top Ten List segment from his former Late Show, this new blog series will countdown the Top Ten Reasons to Think Outside the Router.The #10 reason it’s time to retire traditional routers at the branch: It’s getting cloudy! In fact, it’s already cloudy. In November 2017, Forrester projected that 2018 would be the year that more than 50% of enterprise applications would be hosted in public and private clouds. Here we are in 2018, and  96% of 997 SMB and enterprise companies surveyed now use cloud services. The migration to cloud-based applications and infrastructure continues to accelerate and is happening faster than anyone predicted. The challenge: enterprise router-centric WAN architectures weren’t designed for the cloud.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: How 802.11ax Improves the Experience for Everyone

The next advance in Wi-Fi, 802.11ax, is fast approaching. As we seek to raise the performance bar yet again for the sixth generation of Wi-Fi, the traditional techniques used in 802.11n and 802.11ac – wider RF channels, more MIMO antennas, higher QAM modulation – have been pushed almost to the limit, and it’s time to look for new ideas.802.11ax introduces techniques for ‘massive parallelism,’ especially OFDMA, multi-user MIMO, and ‘BSS coloring.’ All of these require the access point to make control decisions that have a significant effect on network performance, a new emphasis for Wi-Fi that will move access point networks closer to cellular base station infrastructure in terms of functionality.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Why is OFDMA a Magical Feature in the 802.11ax Standard?

As we explore the new features appearing in 802.11ax, the list is unbalanced. Some would say there’s a pig in the python. One feature – OFDMA – seems much more significant than the others. First, a brief background, then a view of its implications.A Quick Review of OFDMAOFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) is an extension of the OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) architecture. OFDM takes an RF channel, such as the 20 MHz channel often used in Wi-Fi, and instead of using a single carrier-frequency modulated by AM, FM, or other means, sets out a number of sub-carriers. 802.11ac used 52 data-carrying sub-carriers in a 20 MHz RF channel, while 802.11ax has 234.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: The Marketplace Requirement for a Secure SD-WAN

When SD-WANs first began to be discussed, the focus of the discussion was on the potential cost savings that would result from incorporating more cost-effective broadband connectivity into the WAN. Reducing cost is clearly an important goal, but achieving that goal is only meaningful if the WAN is also providing all the requisite functionality. This blog will discuss the importance of WAN functionality such as security and the ability to effectively support cloud computing. This blog will also identify the key characteristics of a secure SD-WAN.Required WAN Functionality The functionality that WANs must provide was identified in the 2018 Guide to WAN Architecture and Design. That guide presented the results of a survey in which the respondents were presented with fifteen factors and asked to choose the top three factors that would likely have the most impact on their WAN over the next twelve months. The factors that were the most important are shown in Figure 1.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: When Will We Be Able to Purchase 802.11ax Access Points and Client Devices?

Today we focus on when new 802.11ax access points and client devices will become available. The Wi-Fi industry has made these questions uniquely difficult to answer, but this blog explains what we expect to happen. If you have the patience, save these predictions for rereading toward the end of 2019!The three important milestones along the path to commercial equipment are the IEEE 802.11ax standard, the Wi-Fi Alliance 11ax certification, and integrated circuit chips. These are a sequence in time, but with a lot of overlap.The First Milestone: IEEEThe IEEE writes standards: very detailed definitions of the packet formats, fields, and functions that make the protocols work. IEEE 802.11ax is written as an amendment to the current 802.11 standards and eventually will be folded into the mainstream 802.11 document. Even as an amendment, however, it is 600 pages long. Getting every detail of such a standard correct requires scrutiny from many experts, and the IEEE process involves reviewing drafts and submitting comments and corrections, which then update new drafts, and are reviewed again.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Goals and Key Features of 802.11ax

As WLAN access point and device vendors work toward product launches at the end of 2018, we will publish a series of blogs covering all aspects of 802.11ax technology. This first one introduces the motivation and main features of 802.11ax.Download our 802.11ax technical white paper.How to Improve Today’s Wi-Fi?When deciding how to improve Wi-Fi beyond the current release, 802.11ac, the IEEE and Wi-Fi Alliance surveyed Wi-Fi deployments and behavior in order to identify obstacles to wider use and causes of dissatisfaction among user communities. The conclusion was to focus more on performance under “typical” field conditions, a departure from previous upgrades that advanced peak data rates under “excellent” field conditions. With 802.11ax, peak performance and average and worst-case performance under real-world conditions will see improvements.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Discover the Four Key Capabilities for Better IT Management

Management has always struggled how to optimize and oversee IT resources, tasks and operations. This challenge is becoming more complex due to “digital disruption”. As a result less tech-savvy companies are more likely to fall behind the competition and not able to attract top talent.Most of the times it is not that managers do not see the dangers of digital disruption coming. They do understand the challenges as well as the opportunities, and they know the competition sees them as well. Unfortunately, top management decisions often tend to focus on who is responsible for IT and where IT should be located, rather than the how.Generally, the assumption is that the right people will do the right work, either internally or in another company. However, this assumption is flawed. In that regard, an important reminder is that digital transformation is more about how companies do things, and less about who or where those tasks are performed. Digital disruption changes entire industries so fast that companies lack a structured process or the capabilities to handle it. IT management should offer not only the resources (people and equipment), but also the processes and capabilities to eliminate the risks, tackle the problems Continue reading

BrandPost: It’s Time to Think Outside the Router

“Turn Me Loose” I finally delivered four large boxes of CDs to my local library – my collection of nearly 1,000 titles, some as old as 33 years, like my Loverboy CD, when I acquired them in back in 1985. And back in 1985, or maybe 1986, I did a similar uncluttering with my cassettes and vinyl (except for a few select albums like an original release of Dark Side of the Moon).Music has gone from 12” vinyl to more compact cassette tapes to even more compact CDs and now streaming services that connect listeners to music anywhere, anytime. Just as music technology has changed through the years to provide more flexibility on how music is consumed, the application consumption model has changed, too. The “job of the WAN” has always been to connect users to applications, but wide area networking (WAN) technology based on conventional branch routers has not kept up to provide the optimal means of connecting to them.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Malicious Tactics Have Evolved: Your DNS Needs to, Too

Unfortunately, as cyberthreats have evolved, over 86% of companies that leave DNS unmonitored have not modernized their DNS to help thwart malware before malicious adversaries exploit the glaring hole on the network. This blog looks at the ways threats have evolved to take advantage of legacy DNS, and what organizations should do now to increase their defenses and reduce their attack surface.Remember when cyberattacks were delivered via faxes from Nigerian princes? Although the objective – separating a business from its money – hasn’t changed much, the methodologies certainly have. In the 80s and 90s, when enterprise networks were beginning to connect to the internet, DNS was simply the phone book that translated domain name to IP address. Soon enough, bad actors evolved from phreaking to phishing, dropping telephone scams in favor of the rapidly spreading internet, bombarding users with seemingly innocuous emails whose goal was to harvest network account and password information to gain inside access to applications, data, and ultimately money.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Security and the Cloud Go Hand-in-Hand: Are You Prepared?

Just because you’ve tapped into the vast resources of a cloud service provider to replace previously on-premises IT assets doesn’t lessen your management or cybersecurity burden. In fact, cloud migration creates new issues for network admins to focus on: migrations are inherently risky from a cyber perspective – data on the move is data that can be exploited in transit.Cloud providers are prone to proclaiming that their security is better than any single business can achieve, simply because they have more resources to apply to the issue. By now, we all know that simply throwing money at the challenge is no guarantee of success, so maybe take that with a dose of skepticism.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Where the Adaptive Network Is Headed in CALA

Ciena Fabio Medina, General Manager and Vice President of Sales – Latin America With the move toward autonomous networking underway across the CALA region, as well as the rest of the world, one thing is very clear—the current modes of operation won’t cut it in the future. Fabio Medina, Ciena's General Manager for Caribbean and Latin America explains how the Adaptive Network is the solution to remaining competitive and on the cutting-edge.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: 10 new terms that will help define the future of 5G

Ciena Bo Gowan, Leader, Social Media 5G is coming, and with it a host of new terms and acronyms. We try to make sense of it all with definitions for the ones that matter most for the future of 5G network architectures.Trying to digest the vast amounts of information related to 5G is like drinking from a fire hydrant, and it doesn’t help that there is a litany of new terms being introduced as part of the journey to 5G architectures.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Ethernet Adventures: Learning to Thrive in a New World

Ciena Chris Sweetapple, Consultant, Managed Service Providers In our final post in this 3-part series covering one hero’s journey on the road to streamlined enterprise networking operations, Ciena’s Chris Sweetapple describes how Our Hero embraces business Ethernet to shed complexity and simplify operations, creating a network that grows with the business.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Ethernet Adventures: Making Progress with an Old Friend – Good ol’ Ethernet

In the second post of this 3-part series we unravel one hero’s journey on the road to streamlined enterprise networking operations. Ciena’s Chris Sweetapple follows Our Hero’s adventures as he realizes the opportunities of high-bandwidth business Ethernet.In episode 1 our hero, stuck in a tangle of outdated networking equipment, services and complexity, realizes that with business Ethernet as his WAN technology of choice, he can complement the existing network set-up and connect his branch offices, while handling massive volumes of traffic concurrently using high speed (up to 100G) high-performance Ethernet connectivity.To read this article in full, please click here

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