Category Archives for "Network World LAN & WAN"

IDG Contributor Network: 6 steps to engage and manage a vendor who isn’t meeting your standards

During the sales process, every vendor sounds great. They have case studies, they have great-looking material, they talk like experts and everything is good. But nothing is as simple as it looks in the beginning.There are always additional challenges. The true test of a service provider, or any vendor, is how they respond to those changes and challenges. Do they put you, the customer, first or do they get slow and unresponsive? If you have a vendor who isn’t meeting your needs, but you’re locked into a contract that makes it cost-prohibitive to leave, these steps will help you reduce some of the friction in the relationship, while providing a better outcome for your company.To read this article in full, please click here

Wi-Fi Alliance announces WPA3 to secure modern networks

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an odd place to announce an enterprise product, but the Wi-Fi Alliance used the massive trade show — which has more or less taken over where Comdex left off — to announce a major upgrade to Wi-Fi security.The alliance announced the Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), a new standard of Wi-Fi security that greatly increases the security capabilities of the wireless standard. WPA2, which is the current standard in wireless security, has been around for 14 years, so this is way overdue.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Will China start blocking SD-WAN traffic…today?

More than a decade ago, I launched the forerunner to SD-WAN Experts, MPLS Experts, on a project to China. Back then finding out telecom services in another country, let alone another continent, seemed like a mission impossible. China was among the most difficult.Much has changed in our industry. MPLS has given way to SD-WAN, but some things remain the same. We still need global connectivity and China continues to remain a mystery. My story about China blocking VPN traffic – and potentially SD-WAN traffic – caused quite a stir in the industry, in large part because, like so many things when dealing with China, concrete information remains scarce (particularly for non-native speakers).To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: 5 things analytics could tell you about your network in 2018

1. Whether your users are happy (without having to talk to them) It’s not always cool to admit, but the ultimate goal of every networker is to have happy users. Like many other thankless jobs, we only hear about problems. When we do, we react. But that isn’t ideal. What we really want is to know about problems as they are developing, before users complain. They don't even have to know.  But we do.A Network Management System (NMS) has been the traditional go-to solution to sniff out these sorts of problems. But most were designed for just one view of a certain part of the network using antiquated technology that doesn't provide any sort of predictive problem solving based on what the user is actually experiencing. It's like trying to figure out San Francisco traffic based on the status of the traffic signals. Just because the signals are working properly doesn’t mean the drivers (users) are having a good experience.To read this article in full, please click here

How Cisco’s newest security tool can detect malware in encrypted traffic

Cisco’s Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), a software platform that monitors network packet metadata to detect malicious traffic, even if its encrypted, is now generally available.The company initially launched ETA in June, 2017 during the launch of its intent-based network strategy and it’s been in a private preview since then. Today Cisco rolled ETA out beyond just the enterprises switches it was originally designed for and made it available on current and previous generation data center network hardware too.+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: What is intent based networking? | Why intent based networking could be a big deal +To read this article in full, please click here

Is Cisco’s Mobility Express right for you?

One of the hottest topics on the minds of our customers for 2018 continues to be their wireless infrastructure. As WLAN 802.11ac wave 2 devices becoming mainstream, Cisco has placed a stake in the ground claiming to be the “value leader.”Cisco's solution to accomplish this is Mobility Express, designed to help companies easily set up wireless LAN (WLAN) networks. What exactly is Mobility Express? And is it right for you?What is Mobility Express? Mobility Express is the ability to use an access point (AP) as a controller. That means a lightweight network without a controller box. Instead one of the APs on the network acts as the controller. Here is how Cisco describes it:To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: How network verification differs from monitoring, and what it’s good for

In a previous post I discussed network verification, a new area of technology that applies what is known as formal verification – mathematical analysis of a complex system to determine rigorously if it meets the end-to-end goal – to network infrastructure.But what is such verification good for and how is it different from today’s common practice, whereby nearly every organization monitors its network, typically by sampling ongoing flows, events or logs. Isn’t that enough to catch problems as the organization deploys changes?To read this article in full, please click here

How Chuck Robbins is turning Cisco around

Cisco’s CEO, Chuck Robbins, is a busy guy. I never see him not talking to a customer, partner, employee, analyst or some other person in the company’s ecosystem. Over the holiday break, I hope he took the time to put his feet up, light a cigar and reflect on what’s happened to the company he is leading over the past two years.If we roll the clock back to Jan. 1, 2016, the stock was at $23.79, which was the lowest price point since April of 2014, and many Cisco investors were skeptical of Cisco’s future prospects.Read also: Cisco CEO Robbins: Wait til you see what’s in our innovation pipeline A hefty amount of my business comes from my interactions with Wall Street, and two years ago, very few wanted to talk about Cisco. There were far more bears than bulls, and the feeling was that the cloud, software-defined networking (SDN) and other trends would slowly eat away at Cisco and it would go the way of Lucent, Nortel and so many other companies that were too stubborn to change their business models.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: China to block SD-WAN and VPN traffic by Jan. 11

A new Chinese policy going into effect next week, will have profound impact on businesses relying on Internet VPN or SD-WAN access within China.According to a notice from China Telecom obtained by SD-WAN Experts, the Chinese Government will require commercial Chinese ISPs to block TCP ports 80, 8080, and 443 by January 11, 2018. Port 80 is of course the TCP port commonly used for carrying HTTP traffic; 8080 and 443 are used for carrying HTTPS traffic. Commercial ISP customers interested in maintaining access to those ports must register or apply to re-open the port through their local ISP.  The news, first reported by Bloomberg July, was expected to be implemented by February, 2018. This is the first time a specific date has been provided for the action.To read this article in full, please click here

41% off CyberPower Surge Protector 3-AC Outlet with 2 USB (2.1A) Charging Ports – Deal Alert

The Professional Surge Protector CSP300WUR1 safeguards common home and office devices, such as computers and electronics, by absorbing spikes in energy caused by storms and electrical power surges. Designed for convenience, the portable CSP300WUR1 is ideal for travelers. It provides 600 joules of protection, has three surge-protected outlets, and a folding wall tap plug. Two USB ports (2.1 Amp shared) charge personal electronics, including smartphones, digital cameras, MP3 players, and other devices. A Limited-Lifetime Warranty ensures that this surge suppressor has passed high quality standards in design, assembly, material or workmanship and further protection is offered by a $50,000 Connected Equipment Guarantee. It currently averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, where its typical list price of $21.95 has been reduced 41% to just $12.99. See the discounted CSP300WUR1 on Amazon.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Is it time for a network tax cut?

It is truly remarkable to what extent corporate and personal behavior is dictated by tax policy. Much of the discussion in our nation’s capital in regard to tax reform has been about competitiveness as a rational to lower corporate tax rates. It appears as though the United States charges a 20 percent higher tax rate than much of the rest of the world, forcing corporations to shift some operations and assets into lower tax rate jurisdictions. It’s safe to say that tax policy impacts behavior in measurable ways.Just yesterday I was speaking with a communications service provider analyst. We discussed the overhead of SD-WAN tunnels. I showed the math of how it can tax various protocols. The tax for various protocols was:To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: 3 ways networking will change for the better in 2018

As I discussed in "Why web-scale is the future," over the past year, we’ve seen more organizations embrace it as the “go-to” model for flexible, resilient and on-demand infrastructure. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 40% of global enterprise CIOs will have initiated a corporate web-scale IT initiative.As web-scale principles continue their rise within large enterprises, the role the network plays for the business, as well as the day-to-day working lives of network engineers, will change in some pretty significant ways in the year ahead.1. Networks will help fuel digital transformation rather than slow it down 40 percent of CEOs rank digital transformation as their top imperative, according to a recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey. More than ever, digital transformation is crucial to business success; in 2018, spending on the software, hardware and services that enable digital transformation will reach nearly $1.3 trillion, predicts analyst firm IDC. This figure “represents a 16.8 percent jump compared to the $1.1 trillion spent this year,” according to Datamation.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Leveraging reconfigurable computing for smarter cybersecurity, part 2

In my last column, I looked at the challenges facing security teams today and, in particular, the need for more intelligent cybersecurity solutions, more powerful cybersecurity appliances and faster response to security incidents. We also looked at how reconfigurable computing solutions are addressing the need for more powerful appliances and enabling faster response to security incidents. In part 2, we will dive deeper into the latest developments in enabling more intelligent and comprehensive cyber security solutions and how reconfigurable computing can make a difference.To read this article in full, please click here

SD-WAN deployment options: DIY vs. cloud managed

So you’re ready to deploy an SD-WAN. Now you have a decision to make: Do it yourself or buy it as a managed service?As the Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) market continues to see substantial growth, the ways that organizations are deploying this technology – and the ways vendors offer to sell it –  are evolving.+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: After virtualization and cloud, what's left on-premises? |  SD-WAN What it is and why you’ll use it one day | IDC: SD-WAN growth is exploding for at least the next five years +To read this article in full, please click here

Secure your SDN controller

Managing networks has become increasingly complex, and it will remain a challenge as the use of Internet of Things devices continues to grow. This complexity makes it difficult to reconfigure a traditional network in a timely manner to respond to malicious events or fix configuration errors.A software-defined network (SDN) can help by giving network engineers the flexibility to dynamically change the behavior of a network on a node-by-node basis — something not typically available in a traditional network. An SDN uses virtualization to simplify the management of network resources and offers a solution for increased capacity without significantly increasing costs.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: 4 advantages of using a Bluetooth mesh network

Companies everywhere are waking up and starting to realize that implementing a mesh network is the best choice for them if they want to remain relevant well into the future. While various technologies are being employed across the nation to achieve this goal, it remains inarguable that Bluetooth is the best option for most companies aiming to leverage a mesh network for success in the marketplace.So why should you choose to employ a Bluetooth-based strategy, and what specific advantages will you gain from it that others who shun it will miss out on? Check out these boons that you’ll soon be enjoying if you rely on a Bluetooth mesh network, and your company will be clamoring to adopt it in no time.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: How interconnection can set the pace as holiday shopping gets more digital

The arrival of the holiday shopping season always brings sharp focus onto ecommerce, which just keeps disrupting how retailers and consumers shop. But it’s striking just how much running room remains in front of this trend, which already has a couple decades of Christmases under its big black Santa belt.According to eMarketer, ecommerce sales will grow more than 23 percent in 2017 – and still only account for a tenth of retail sales globally. Opportunities remain huge in the online shopping sector, but only if companies can continue to keep the digital payments at the heart of it simple, fast and secure for consumers and retailers alike. That’s a perpetual challenge.To read this article in full, please click here

Artificial intelligence may not need networks at all

The advancement of edge computing, along with increasingly powerful chips, may make it possible for artificial intelligence (AI) to operate without wide-area networks (WAN).Researchers working on a project at the University of Waterloo say they can make AI adapt as computational power and memory are removed. And indeed if they can do that, it would allow the neural networks to function free of the internet and cloud — the advantages being better privacy, lower data-send costs, portability and the utilization of AI applications in geographically remote areas.The scientists say they can teach AI to learn it doesn’t need lots of resources.To read this article in full, please click here

Juniper brings AI bots to intent-based networks

The concept of intent-based networks has received a lot of attention from media and networking professionals since Cisco launched its “Network Intuitive” earlier this year. Cisco has certainly made the term “intent-based” a household term, but that wasn’t the first time I had heard a vendor talk about this vision. Years ago, I was at an event held by Juniper Networks where its founder and CTO at the time, Pradeep Sindhu, talked about the death of Moore’s Law and how that would drive us towards this thing called intent-based networking. To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Debunking today’s dominant automation myths

Automation is dominating a significant portion of the conversations trending among IT professionals. To those working in the industry, this comes as no surprise – the topic is not a new one. More and more enterprises are adopting automation as it quickly transforms from a luxury to a necessity.However, while there are well-defined benefits associated with automation, there are also important questions and misconceptions that remain. Smart IT teams must evaluate and analyze the pros, cons and impact of automation in their unique enterprise before moving forward.  The first step is debunking the most common automation myths with the facts.Myth: automation will completely replace jobs and employees This tops the list of the most significant automation myths. Some research studies do suggest that automation (especially in the form of robotics and artificial intelligence) will completely replace human jobs. This misconception must be clarified once and for all. There is no doubt that automation will have a noticeable impact on human jobs, but we can rest assured it will not replace them completely. Automation is assigning everyday tasks to computers to free up time for humans to be more creative and strategic.  This takes the meticulous tasks that Continue reading

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