Our insight


I've already written a bit about segregating enterprise networks, and about the new technologies that are making this easier and more effective. As Ideal's solution architect for networks it's something I get asked about a lot, so I thought it might be helpful to look at this from the customer point of view. You can probably boil it down to three questions: Do I need to segregate?, What do I need to segregate? and How do I segregate?

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Regular readers will know we've written a lot about the software-defined network (SDN), from explaining the concept in a two-page customer briefing, to building up a bricks and mortar analogy for what it actually means in real life. Inspired by Cisco's recent launch of Campus Fabric, I wanted to take a look at what comes next - and why we need it.

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I've recently been accepted onto the Cisco Champion programme, which gives me early access to certain key technologies and information. I'm delighted about it, as it gives me the chance to improve my skills and add to the pool of knowledge that we already have at Ideal. It's good for our customers, too, as it's another sign of us strengthening our relationship with one of our key suppliers, and gaining the strategic and technological insight we need to deliver effective business outcomes.

Last week I had an early sight of some major upgrades to Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA), incorporating network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). That's an awful lot of TLAs to juggle, but I'm going to try and explain it through the lens of the business benefits - in other words: what can all this cool stuff actually do for you?

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Last week saw me flying out to Barcelona for the European branch of VMworld - VMware's annual conference on data centre, cloud infrastructure and business mobility. It's a big, interesting event, made all the more so this year by the announcement, just before, that VMware vSphere can now be integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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Cisco's vPath is becoming well established within Nexus 1000V customer networks. I recently found myself with a requirement to add a load-balancing and three-tier firewall function to a VMware / FlexPod environment that did not have any existing hosting capability.

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