Gartner: Operational Simplicity in 2017 Business Models

If you’re in any way involved with enterprise technology and haven’t seen Gartner’s 2017 Strategic Roadmap for Networking report, then I encourage you to give it a quick read. Very illuminating trends in the industry overall as cloud platforms are maturing and businesses are increasingly prioritizing agility-through-simplicity in a digital first economy.

Cisco MX SD-WAN Connectivity Models

As I consult with companies and organizations ready to deploy a cloud managed MX WAN infrastructure, I’m constantly tasked with helping them understand the different connectivity models available and the appropriate deployment methodologies. With the WAN connectivity options evolving faster than ever, it’s important to know what options are available and more importantly help map business requirements to the end design.

Cisco’s Tesla

If you haven’t checked out the Cisco Meraki YouTube Channel in a while, then you might have missed this recent gem.

The video highlights Cisco Meraki’s critical role in redefining IT agility and execution at a rate previously unthinkable. The Cloud Networking Group within Cisco is a rocket ship in the market and is disrupting traditional network models – even within Cisco itself.

A Look Into Meraki’s Intelligent AP Steering

Most wireless client’s aren’t smart, at least when it comes to picking what AP to join in crowded Wi-Fi spaces.

Most devices connect to the first AP they discover advertising the intended SSID to join. If you have enough of these kinds of devices all entering a building or room through a common path, you might find all the clients connecting to the same access point unintentionally.

New RF Metrics and Jammed Channels

Quick update on some newly baked wireless features available in the Cisco Meraki Dashboard.

RF Tab: Historical Wireless RF Metric Graphs

Some seriously cool new WiFi service graphs were added to the RF tab within the AP Status page. The graphs plot out relevant wireless events over time (e.g. channel and power changes), client count, channel utilization (per band), and total usage.

MX QoS and Traffic Shaping

Defining, building, and enforcing application-aware QoS and shaping options on traditional routers and firewalls can be tough. Class maps, policy maps, service policies, interfaces (and direction!) can become confusing quickly for even simple implementations. Try doing nested policies or shaping applications that aren’t easily definable with a standard access list. Forget it.

Contrast that with Meraki’s goal of making the process required to deploy application traffic policies on MX sane.