Clearpath’s Blog on IT Infrastructure, Hybrid Clouds and IT Security

Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA): The Software-defined Future is Happening Now

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 @ 12:47 PM

If anything is true in IT, it’s constant change.  Every few years—a new evolution happens.  While there are always incremental improvements in technologies such as chip designs, network speeds, and storage technologies, sometimes these small changes synergistically align on multiple fronts into something that’s new and exciting.

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Intent-based networking is such a combination.  It’s a new way to conceptualize and interact with the network that may fundamentally alter the foundation of networking in your organization.  But what is “intent-based networking”?  And how does it differ from the day-in, day-out networking that’s been running your enterprise for years?

According to the analyst firm ESG, “The concept of intent-based networking is that the network team could simply describe, in plain language, what they wanted to accomplish (the intent) and the network would be able to translate the intent into the numerous policies that would establish the appropriate configuration and settings changes across a complex and heterogeneous environment leveraging automation.”¹

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Topics: Cisco, Digital Network Architecture, Cisco DNA

Optimize your edge connectivity with Cisco Viptela: Is your WAN purpose-built for the cloud and the Internet of Things?

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 @ 08:54 AM

It’s getting harder to define the boundaries of your enterprise nowadays.  It used to be as simple as “inside and outside” the network and the firewall—but the distributed nature of today’s IT is rapidly changing the edge of your network. Your wide area network (WAN) needs to be able to easily expand and adapt to encompass not only branch offices—but also the resources and applications that are moving to the cloud.  Can your network easily handle that?  The sad answer is most can’t – because many networks have remained tied to the physical metaphor of perimeters, walls, and equipment.  You need to be thinking about the edges and expansion of your WAN—not necessarily the physicality of it.

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Don’t misunderstand, there’s no denying the physicality of the network.  After all, it’s put together with cables, wireless routers, and other networking equipment inside your buildings.  The fact is, the demand for increased bandwidth, optimized connectivity for the cloud, and improved security postures to tackle next generation threats can be difficult to meet with traditional WAN architectures.  Add to this, the increasing use of cloud-based applications and the emergence of the Internet of Things, and your WAN may be inadequate for the future. Even now, existing wide area networks across businesses and organizations of all sizes and across all industries are struggling to cope.

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Topics: Cisco, Viptela, WAN

Getting to the Cloud:  A Safer Approach with Cisco Cloudlock

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 @ 12:51 PM

Many organizations have moved to the cloud in some fashion—yet security stillremains a concern.  When asked about top security concerns with the cloud— data loss protection, data privacy threats, and confidentiality breaches are the top concerns.1 Yet, surprisingly, many CIOs don’t have solid plans on how to handle these concerns.  They rely on the cloud service providers themselves to guarantee their protection.  While major providers take great measures to protect themselves and you from breaches and data loss—the wise CIO should also take measures on their own end to guarantee the security of their cloud strategy.  Yet, surprisingly, only 27% of organizations plan to implement software to do this.1  With the potential risks the cloud may represent—and with more and more organizations adopting as-a-service solutions, you’d expect that to be higher.  Perhaps many don’t know there are perfect solutions available from recognized vendors like Cisco that can help guarantee their security.

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Cisco Cloudlock is a cloud access security broker solution that’s perfect for organizations using multiple cloud-based applications and moving their data to the cloud.  This solution tackles some of the most pressing cloud security concerns for CIOs such as user security, data loss prevention, and cloud app security. 

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Topics: Cisco, Cloudlock

Powering Up: Getting the Most out of Hyper-Convergence with Cisco and Zerto

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Apr 03, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

There’s little doubt that CIOs are interested in hyper-convergence.  In fact, according to IDC, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions are the fastest growing segment in storage solutions today.1  The promise of hyper-convergence is simplifying the operation and management of on-premises infrastructure through custom-built appliances that combine compute, network, and storage functions - all united through virtualization. 

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The concept has been a glimmer in many a CIO eye for awhile now—but the application of HCI was often limited to specific use cases such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) initiatives.  However, the latest generation of hyper-converged solutions like Cisco ‘s Hyperflex has really expanded to be a scalable platform for databases, commercial applications, collaboration, file and print services, and more.1  That’s got enterprises of all sizes wanting to adopt HCI.

The real promise of a future-forward data center also needs to incorporate cloud, and many HCI vendors are partnering with both cloud-providers and software providers to build a total end-to-end software-defined data center that extends from the physical data center and out to the cloud.  One such vendor that’s providing valuable multi-cloud integration with HCI solutions is Zerto. 

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Topics: Cisco, Zerto, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Cisco Meraki Switches Expand Product Offerings

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 01:58 PM

Cisco Meraki products are 100% cloud managed - It’s IT that simply works. The new portfolio of networking devices is feature-rich with easy-to-use cloud architecture that enables your company to solve new business problems and reduce operating costs. Cisco recently announced the expansion of the Meraki portfolio to include more options and price points to meet the needs of even more customers in this highly-specialized market. These easy to use and powerful switches provide the backbone for networks of all sizes. They combine secure, scalable, robust performance with an elegant, intuitive management experience. Below, we outline the best features of two new Meraki models.

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Topics: Cisco, Meraki Access Points, Cloud-managed, Meraki, Meraki Switches

How Cisco Meraki Access Points Enable Your Mobile Workforce

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 @ 10:26 AM

It may be hard to believe, but there are currently more mobile devices in circulation than the global population.1 Mobile usage has proliferated and its use now exceeds that of desktops. Mobile devices and phones are now indispensable business tools, so it comes as no surprise that mobility has become a key priority for enterprises.

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To adapt to this shift, organizations need to support a greater range of devices and adjust their IT strategy to meet the demands of the increasingly mobile workforce. Yet the advances in technology required to enable mobile workers are making it more difficult for administrators to efficiently manage access, security and traffic policies for all of the clients on their networks across multiple work sites.

The key to solving this problem lies in centralized network management and control – removing as much of the manual work as possible by creating ways to dynamically and intelligently manage network connections and access points. A lean IT team that manages many different locations needs a secure, stable and simple solution.

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Topics: Cisco, Meraki Access Points

5 Ways Cisco’s Identity Services Engine Protects Your Network From Cyberattacks

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Nov 07, 2017 @ 09:55 AM

Mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) are radically changing the way we live and work. Employees are demanding access to their work resources through outside networks, from anywhere, at any time, with any device.

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The Challenge of Security Across Multiple Access Points

As the number of network access points expands, protecting your proprietary data from security breaches becomes even more complex, especially if you have disparate security solutions. How do you prevent an unauthorized computer from accessing your network? Or stop a malware-infested employee’s computer from infecting your entire network?

A new approach is needed to stay ahead of the curve – and it’s called the Cisco® Identity Services Engine (ISE). With Cisco ISE, implement 802.1X and enjoy industry-leading network access control in your IT environment.

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Topics: Cisco, Identity Services Engine, ISE

Protecting Off-Network Users From Security Threats with Cisco Umbrella

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 @ 11:31 AM

There’s a disturbing trend afoot when it comes to remote workers – 82 percent of them state that they do not use a VPN to connect to the company network. Gone are the days when desktops, laptops, business apps and critical infrastructure were all secured behind a firewall. With the rise of cloud-hosted applications, employees are using corporate-owned laptops to access Internet resources from both inside and outside the corporate network.  In doing so,  they’re effectively bypassing the corporate perimeter and creating new security risks for your organization.

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Get Ahead of the Security Curve With Cisco Umbrella Protection

Many organizations find themselves unprepared for the risk that off-network users create for malware, ransomware and other attacks. As a Secure Internet Gateway, Cisco Umbrella provides the first line of defense against threats on the internet, wherever users go. Umbrella delivers complete visibility into internet activity across all locations, devices and users, and blocks threats before they ever reach your network or endpoints.

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Topics: Cisco, Cisco Umbrella

Cisco ACI and VMware NSX: How They Can Coexist

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Feb 09, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

For customers looking to adopt a software-defined networking (SDN) approach to automating their data center network, Cisco ACI and VMware NSX are likely not foreign terms.  These SDN platforms, being two of the leading solutions in the market, have often been positioned against each other as apples-to-apples competitors.  In fact, of the 250 SDN-related inquiries that Gartner fielded in 2016, more than 50 specifically requested comparisons between VMware NSX and Cisco ACI.

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Topics: VMware, Cisco, VMware NSX, Cisco ACI

Clearpath Update - April 2016

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 @ 04:28 PM

 

Upcoming Events, Hosted or Sponsored by Clearpath

May 6, 2016 - Clearpath Movie Event: Captain America: Civil War - Reston, VA
Join us on May 6th for a private viewing of Captain America: Civil War in Reston, VA. The day will start out with breakfast and a brief and informative presentation on leveraging an active line of defense against cyber threats. Following the presentation and a short break for audience questions, we’ll be viewing Captain America: Civil War. Reserve your spot today!

May 6, 2016 - Clearpath Movie Event: Captain America: Civil War - Rockville, MD
Join us on May 6th for a private viewing of Captain America: Civil War in Rockville, MD. The day will start out with breakfast and a brief and informative presentation on EMC’s new hyper-converged appliance, VxRail. Following the presentation and a short break for audience questions, we’ll be viewing Captain America: Civil War. Reserve your spot today!

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Topics: VMware, News & Updates, Cisco, Zerto, AWS

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