The GreenPages/LogicsOne Team landed at Cisco Live last week and spent the days soaking up new tech, new trends, and developing a sense of where the market is headed with everything Cisco.
Digital Age Keynote
John Chambers gave an incredible keynote (and also took a picture with my colleague Nick Phelps! See below). He’s a very commanding speaker with a great vision. He highlighted that 90% of companies believe that they should become digital and that only 7% have a plan in their head on how to do so. That is our market in a bottle. In 10 years, it’s estimated that 40% of enterprise companies won’t exist anymore. In 1950 the average company had a run time of 45 years. In 2010 it was only 10 years. The reason? People feel that they need to keep doing what they have been doing, for doing’s sake. It’s time to step up and make change, disrupt, or run the risk of being disrupted.
The Internet of Everything and Internet of Things was once again a big hit overall with people at Cisco Live. They estimate that of the 7 billion people on earth, 4 billion have cell phones, 3.5 billion have toothbrushes. That’s how badly people want apps, app based lifestyles, and apps with sensors. And, on average, there are 50,000 new apps launching every week. The Internet of Things emphasized the different ways to apply the concept of everyone being connected to spark a generation of ideas and how to solve modern problems. Everything from providing a demo, to configuring a train to detect and change a signal to prevent a hypothetical crash, to a walking stick recently developed to enable the blind to see and feel their surroundings by detecting an announced crosswalk, traffic light status, and the number of stairs ahead to the user.
Meraki is getting some serious development and is growing like crazy! They are continuing to provide the 2 week and up to 6 week Proof of Concept demo, risk and cost free for any size deal, from a single access point to an entire site design of 50 devices including Aps, switches, and firewalls. Of these Try and Buy situations, 75% of customers keep and possibly buy more gear.
- The MX/Firewall appliance has had limitations with VPN support in the past, but has been updated to support 3rd party VPN connections, a visual dashboard with VPN traffic usage visibility, and a topology mode. GreenPages can enable the customer to manage and rapidly deploy this multisite VPN firewall solution out to hundreds of locations.
- Cisco is applying its iWAN portfolio to the Meraki MX Firewalls! Cisco Intelligent WAN (iWAN) is a collection of Cisco technologies that provide redundancy similar to an MPLS network without much of the cost. Meraki will soon be supporting dual-active path support for VPN, and with PfR (Performance Based Routing) and PbR (Policy Based Routing) a customer with 2 circuits can utilize VPN over both circuits at once without a load balancer, while allowing for intelligent link selection based on things like policy, latency, or loss.
- SourceFire’s AMP is coming to the MX firewall as well! This incredible anti malware protection centralized at the network firewall gives great visibility into what files, both malicious and non-malicious, are passing through.
- Cisco ISE (Integrated Services Engine) is now compatible with all Meraki devices in addition to the traditional Cisco product line like switches, routers, access points. ISE allows a customer to centrally apply a profile-detecting policy that rivals Microsoft Radius for port level wired, wireless, and VPN security access. Hundreds to thousands of access points, site core switches, and remote site firewalls in an enterprise environment can be updated from a single dashboard for agility and dynamic security.
- Cisco is soon introducing full Wave 2 AC Wireless. The upcoming 1902i and 2902i access points introduce a max speed of 2.3Gbps, and more incredibly, the introduction of MU-MIMO wireless technology.
- 2.3Gbps is a big deal. Think about it, 90% of customer client machines connect using existing 1Gb cabling, or the latest wireless of 1.3Gb. This new wireless is twice as fast, it can make more sense to go wireless instead of cabling for clients at all.
- MU-MIMO means Multiple User wireless. Wireless clients currently have to “share the air”, transmitting one at a time across channels. This can lead to bottlenecks, complex configurations, and having to choose between coverage or capacity. MU-MIMO allows multiple wireless clients to communicate over wireless channels at once, allowing the entire wireless spectrum to be consumed constantly, leading to much more highway for all those packets. Combine that with increased wireless transmission speed, and I feel confident saying that wireless could possibly disrupt physical cabling and introduce a wave of the “All Wireless Office”.
- With wireless AP’s capable of up to 2.3Gbps comes the need for faster cabling, but no one is going to want to spend the time or money recabling. Let’s face it; ethernet is the last cabling we’re going to pull. Introducing Nbase-T, 2 additional speeds of ethernet that run on the existing copper ethernet cabling customers have now and can perform 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps speeds. This has the potential to be huge to allow high density wireless with very limited cabling, complementing the new wireless AP’s high density capabilities.
- Also, think big picture here. Think how the market is going to respond to this. Manufacturers are going to want to build network cards for client workstations capable of using the same ethernet cabling at 2.5x or 5x the speed. We could see a huge shift to the end of a static 1Gbps wired speed to the client, with a move to an auto-detecting 100Mb to 10Gb spectrum. (.1Gbps) – 1Gbps – 2.5Gbps – 5Gbps – 10Gbs infrastructure all over existing cabling! This will let us keep up with the high bandwidth demands of our applications both internal and external. There are some cabling distance limitations, a chart showing that info is below.
Overall, it was a great event. If you’d like to talk in more detail about news that came out of the event or how you can take advantage of any of them in your environment, reach out!
By Dan Allen, Architect