Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cable & Wireless: APM Managed Services Differentiation

Organizations are changing how they use the network to access applications and managed service providers are changing their network services to meet the challenge. As they centralize applications and access them across the WAN organizations need a network that delivers their applications with high performance and they need to see how their applications are performing. Managed service providers are meeting customer’s requirements by moving away from offering standard low feature WAN links and creating new innovative application performance management (APM) services that accelerate applications and provide customers with real-time information on the results that are being delivered.

In this video Steve Horwath, Product Manager at Cable & Wireless, talks with Stephen Makayi, Marketing Manager at Cisco, about the growing demand for application performance and the Cable & Wireless managed WAN optimization service, which provides customers with optimized application performance with advanced reporting, which in turn give customers information they can use to drive their business. Steve discusses how APM enables managed service providers to deliver an application-aware network with uptime guarantees for applications that changes the conversation MSPs can have with customers, from selling plain WAN links to providing application performance assurances, and putting the MSP in the role of a trusted advisor.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fuji Television Uses Cisco WAAS to Accelerate their Vancouver Olympics Coverage

The Olympics give us a chance to marvel at and enjoy the performances of athletes who demonstrate their intense dedication to the pursuit of excellence and their determination in the face of fierce competition. The games are a worldwide event and with audiences in the home countries anxious to see their athletes’ performances national television stations also have a challenge that they must meet. Fuji TV of Japan is no exception. With a long history of Japanese participation in the winter Olympics and a large home audience to serve, they have set up shop in Vancouver. Making this trip can be a costly undertaking and given the distance back to Japan they needed help in keeping communications smooth and keeping costs down.

To communicate with the home office Fuji TV set up a dedicated line between the company’s data center in Odaiba, Japan and the Olympic Media Village in Vancouver, a distance of over 7500 km. This connection provides Intranet access enabling the on-site staff, including production and news employees, to access the head office file servers and use its systems. This long distance WAN access allows Fuji TV to avoid having to transport and install data and application servers at Vancouver and thus avoid the cost of additional on site staff to maintain these servers. By reducing staff the costs savings is considerable, including air travel, housing, transportation and food.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Forrester Acknowledges Cisco as a Leader among WAN Optimization Vendors

In their Q4 2009 WAVE report Forrester recognized Cisco WAAS as a market leader in WAN optimization in their comparison of the top 8 vendors, considering criteria such as the offering, strategy, market presence, and technology.

Forrester says that WAN optimization is increasing in importance to IT organizations and that business issues such as consolidating branch office servers and rolling out new collaborative applications are driving its adoption. This is because companies rely on the WAN for delivery of their business-critical services, but the WAN suffers from poor performance because of latency over distance.

Forrester advises that WAN optimization technology plays a critical role in improving application performance by using techniques such as caching, protocol optimization, compression, traffic management and quality of service (QoS), to increase effective throughput and mitigate latency, while providing visibility into the traffic mix.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Optimizing Delivery of Applications from the Cloud

The adoption of cloud-based computing promises to improve the agility, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of IT operations required to provision, scale, and deliver applications to the enterprise. As with other technology trends, delivering applications from the cloud, to remote sites, creates challenges with application performance, availability, and security.

Enterprise IT departments are continuing to invest in technologies that generate cost savings while making their business applications more agile and available. These initiatives, such as consolidation of branch-office servers and virtualization of data center servers, are increasingly being adopted by the enterprise; however, they have not been without consequences. For example, branch-office server consolidation projects, while reducing the server footprint, can result in a poor end-user experience and increased bandwidth utilization because applications traverse a WAN link with higher latency and packet loss and lower bandwidth than they traverse a LAN link. WAN optimization solutions, such as Cisco® Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), are implemented to deliver LAN-like application response times for end users and to defer a WAN bandwidth upgrade.

Optimizing your Hosted Virtual Desktop Delivery Architecture

Delivery of hosted virtualized desktops is seeing increasing up take by organizations that want to reduce the cost of deployment and management of end user systems. While desktop virtualization offers many advantages, there are benefits to be gained in performance, scaling and security that can be addressed by choosing the right hosting platform and networking components. By optimizing the network architecture organizations can host and deliver the highest number of view images and users sessions while keeping down the total cost of ownership.

For example by hosting virtual desktop images on the Cisco Unified Computing System organizations can greatly increase the number of images per server while reducing complexity, by taking advantage of capabilities such as memory capacity, virtualized adaptors, Unified Fabric and centralized management that is integrated with solutions from VMware.

By using Cisco ACE to provide server load-balancing services organizations can greatly increase the number of user sessions per server, while increasing system security, by taking advantage of SSL off load and TCP reuse capabilities and built in intelligent security functionality, and they can realize cost reduction through virtualization capabilities and integration with provisioning systems from VMware.