Quintiles Embraced VDI for Next-Gen Work Space

Change. It’s part of how we work, live, and play. Change is inevitable and often feared rather than embraced. However, change could be a catalyst for innovation, a new way of doing things faster and more efficiently. It allows companies to capitalize on opportunities, creating strategic long-term value while also meeting immediate operational needs.

The market is changing and so is the IT landscape. By 2014, more than 70 million virtual desktops will be connected and 90% of organizations will allow work applications on personal devices (Gartner, 2010). Similarly, by 2015, 1.5 billion mobile devices will connect to the network (Gartner, 2011). These transitions add intense burden to the network, from manageability to security, availability, and scalability.  IT leadership often turns to stopgap measures such as getting faster WAN links to handle increased traffic. But that doesn’t solve everything. Organizations that want to propel forward (i.e. be competitive) must change their focus – that is focus not only on bandwidth management, features, and bytes, but also on business agility – giving themselves room to grow. One pharmaceutical services company did that with Cisco Borderless Networks infrastructure. 

As a data intensive operation, Quintiles needed to expedite onboarding of new users at 110 branch sites in addition to securing data access for 300+ home grown applications. Leveraging virtual desktop infrastructure, Quintiles embarked on a journey to centralize data access and accelerate delivery starting with 2,000 employees. That went well and they’re heading towards enabling up to 25,000 employees with virtual desktops.  The results: both operational efficiencies and cost-effectiveness.

“Typically, you always equip your network with capacity to scale,” says Brian Kachel, Director of Global Network Services.  “With VDI combined with WAN optimization, (Quintiles) has room to grow without adding extra servers or storage.” He continues, “At $600 a month for the T1 lines versus $4,000 for the faster links, we even considered the possibility that we might not need the higher-bandwidth links after all.”

Quintile’s VDI (powered by Citrix XenDesktop), built on Cisco Borderless Networks infrastructure (including, ISR G2s with WAAS on the SRE, WAAS Express, WAVE Appliances and ISEs) along with Cisco’s continued commitment in Cisco WAAS, positions Quintiles with a strong foundation to attain the next-generation virtual workspace: unified virtual desktops, voice, and video.

Published case study: Pharmaceutical Services Company Accelerates Virtual Desktops

Other resources:  Brian’s presentation at Cisco Live | Quintiles spotlight slide

For more information, visit: cisco.com/go/isrg2 | cisco.com/go/waas

 

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Poll: How many enterprise apps do you use?

I was impressed earlier this week when I read that Genentech has given over 14,000 iPads to their employees. The company doesn’t have a BYOD policy (yet?) but sees increased productivity from the employees it has given iPads.  While neat, the big “wow” came when I read how many internal enterprise apps they have.

Genentech has been running an internal app store for four years.  In that time they’ve amassed 110 apps.  While that might seem small compared with the hundreds of thousands of apps you’d find in Apple, Android, or Windows stores, it is impressive for a company creating apps just for its employees. 

A recent survey of 200 companies by MGI Research found seventy percent of the companies surveyed had five or fewer mobile apps in development and half  of the companies had no employee-focused mobile apps in production

Considering that a majority of you bring 2 or more mobile devices to the office (at least those of you who responded to last week’s poll) I’m curious as to how you’re using your mobile devices.  Specifically, how many business critical apps do you use in a typical day?  These don’t need to just be apps developed specifically for or by your company. As indicated above, many companies aren’t developing internal enterprise apps.  However it would be interesting to see how many apps people consider to be business critical.

Of course, “business critical” is just that — apps we need to get our jobs done. One example of a business critical app might Genentech’s company directory app. The company has a total of 44,000 mobile devices that might access it and the app is used 400,000 times per month.

Powered by Vovici survey software

If you’re using a lot (or more than even 2 or 3), I’d really like to know what type of business you’re in. Also, what types of apps do you find most critical throughout your week? I recognize my poll is heavily biased by my experiences, so I’d love to hear from others.

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VXLAN Gaining More Traction for Scalable Cloud Networks

At Cisco live last month I spent several days talking to a lot of customers about all the new enhancements to our Nexus 1000V portfolio, especially the programmable virtual network overlays that are part of the Cisco ONE framework for SDN/network programmability. While the Nexus 1000V-based virtual networks are really gaining traction (6,000+ Nexus 1000V virtual switch customers to date), I still found a lot of folks weren’t all that familiar with the concept of VXLAN, and why they are so important to building scalable cloud networks and multi-tenant data centers.

Well, not to fear, VXLAN MAN is here! Well, not really, but we have just released a great new fundamentals video on VXLAN from the creative geniuses at Techwise TV (Thanks to @JimmyRay_Purser and @robbboyd!). We’ve gotten great reviews on this so far, and I know the guys really had a fun time in creating this one.

But wait, there’s more… One of the VXLAN-related features that we started talking about at Cisco live is a VXLAN Gateway. Having already watched the above video, I’m sure you’re asking yourself “Gateway to what?”, “Why would you need that?”.

Well, since it wasn’t covered in the video, suffice to say that organizations are going to need a way to connect their virtual workloads and all those VXLAN virtual networks and tunnels to physical servers and applications and the broader WAN outside the virtual data center. The VXLAN Gateway is that portal from the VXLAN-enabled world to the non-VXLAN networks, probably your usual VLAN.

Since we know from the video that VXLAN is a MAC in UDP encapsulation with another 24 bits for the extended VXLAN identifier tag, the VXLAN gateway is resposible for stripping off the UDP encapsulation, translating to the traditional VLAN identifier, terminating the VXLAN tunnel, and thereby enabling connectivity to traditional networks.

As it looks now, we’ll be demonstrating an early version of the VXLAN Gateway at VMworld next month in San Francisco, although we haven’t announced a formal date for customer availability yet. If you still want more information on VXLAN, I suggest you go here, here, and here, if not here. And if you liked the above video, go here and give the Techwise TV guys a thumbs up.

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Accelerate from the Starting Blocks with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud

As the London 2012 Olympics kicks off today, the 100m sprint event will be one I’ll definitely be watching on TV.    And with Cisco as the Official Network Infrastructure Supporter for London 2012 – an event that is generating huge excitement here in Cisco UK and Ireland as well as Cisco globally, let me use an Olympics analogy to illustrate how Cisco Services helps you accelerate deployment of our recently announced Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition, described in excellent detail by my good colleagues Wayne Green and Jason Schroedl.

The Acceleration is in the Preparation

The Acceleration is in the Preparation

While the 100m sprint will (hopefully!) be won in a sub-10 second time, without doubt the winner will have taken much, much longer in preparation.  Like all the Olympic sports, the 100 sprint is an event where the participants will have prepared for several — if not many —  years.  They are at the top of their game.   As I learned recently in a seminar at our Cisco Scotland office with Olympic medal winners Roger Black and Steve Backley, what is maybe not so visible is that they all have an extensive team behind them, helping them deliver that fantastic time.  And despite their own expertise, commitment and talent, they will have called on specialist expertise — physios, expert trainers, even sports psychologists — to help them accelerate from those starting blocks and over that finishing line in record time.  And for those competitors participating for the first time in such a major event, this background team will be all the more important in helping them develop their race plan.

So now onto cloud automation, and how Cisco Services can — in an analagous manner — help you accelerate from the starting block with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition ….

If you’ve read some of my early blogs, you’ll know I’m somewhat cynical about the sometimes restricted scope that others in our industry portray the topic of cloud computing. The adoption of cloud computing requires you to consider a variety of IT and data center challenges, ranging from network and compute infrastructure to hypervisors and pervasive security, chargeback and more.    Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, an integral part of the Cisco cloud strategy, addresses the needs of some of these key requirements of a cloud computing solution- namely cloud automation, orchestration and self-service portal.  So much so that I could make the case quite easily that Cisco Intelligent Automation is one of the major differentiators between a traditional data center and a cloud-ready data center.

To support our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud product launch, we’ve recently enabled the global Cisco Services team to deliver a range of new services to help customers deploy Starter Edition.  With Starter Edition, you can deploy it in one of 3 ways –

  1. “Standard” — out of the box, as it were, into your data center environment
  2. “Enhanced” — taking advantage of a range of powerful enhancement options, and
  3. “Custom” — where you may require custom designed cloud services, end user portals and automation workflows

And as the diagram below illustrates, we’ve aligned our services offerings to each of these modes of deployment.

 

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition Services

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition Services

 

These services each help customers achieve a well defined deployment goal. These services can also be aligned with a pragmatic phased approach to solution rollout — a topic I’ll return to in my next blog.  They are also aligned to the various customer groupings we typically find.   Some customers prefer to have something up and running quickly.  They are opting for the “Standard” deployment, preferring to defer enhancement and customization to later phases of their cloud automation rollout.  Services providers and public sector organizations who plan to offer shared services require advanced features such as multi-tenancy, and as such,the “Custom” deployment service is more appropriate.   We’ve also analysed the needs of customers and determined a range of commonly requested enhancements to the out-of-the-box product, that we enable in the “Enhanced” service offer, and these are best served the middle tier in the above diagram, the “Enhanced” offer.

Aha you say, we’ve deployed management products before, we have a good team, why do I need Cisco Services?

As with my Olympic analogy above, you can be more successful in your cloud project by adding to your team a group of people who bring additional perspectives and expertise, who’ve “been there, seen it and done it”.  You can be more successful when you have a detailed deployment plan, when you have people on your team who have invested thousands of man hours in understanding the product, working with the software developers to understand the nuances of the product, to understand the strengths and alternative options that are at your disposal in these complex software solutions.

Cisco Services can bring these facets to your team, saving you substantial time and accelerating your project milestones.  This year, I’ve had the privilege of working with a highly disciplined team of experts in cloud automation — the solutions architects in our cloud automation team within Cisco Services.  I’ve participated as they invested the thousands of man hours in building out a deployment methodology, while they learned the best practices in how to customize and extend the product to meet your needs.  You can add them to your team through the above set of offerings. And you can accelerate from the starting blocks to make this your most successful management solution deployment ever.

For our Olympic sprinters, it’s not just about the 10 seconds they run  the race for.  It’s about all the preparation investments they’ve made, in advanced of the race.  And it’s often their background team — and the specialist expertise they engage — that takes them from a competitor to a world record holder.  Cisco Services can be this team for you.

You can learn more about Cisco Data Center Services here or in my previous blogs.  And if you are involved in planning your company’s cloud deployment …. make sure you watch that 100m sprint final! :-)

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Cisco + EMC + VCE + VMWare Spells Success for SAP HANA and Cloud

Do the technology partners that comprise your data center really make a difference?  In the case of SAP HANA and Cloud, the answer is yes.   The Application Data Centers of the future look much different than the Application Data Center of the past.  CIO’s are looking for ways to reduce costs, floor space, and management of their Data Centers while increasing the intelligence they gather from their existing data in order to get a leg up on their competition.

Thanks to their numerous advanced technologies (i.e UCS..)  Cisco and EMC, with the active participation of VMware and VCE have developed over the past years a strong architecture to support the traditional needs of the SAP customers, but also new requirements related to cloud and big data.

With the recent certification of SAP Scale-Out, Cisco and EMC are partnering more closely than ever to provide Application Data Center Managers with the platform and persistent storage needed to solve the issues that keep CIO’s awake at night.

Thanks to SAP HANA, data that previously was unattainable or unstructured, is now reportable to CIO’s in a format that will allow them to make instantaneous decisions to the benefit of their customers and to their bottom line.   Since everything with SAP HANA is real-time in memory, reports that used to take days or weeks are now attainable in seconds.   Cisco and EMC have provided the perfect platform for these transactions giving Application Data Center managers choices they may not have with other hardware vendors.

“Cisco and EMC have teamed up with SAP around SAP HANA, building an integrated and certified appliance (read more here)   The benefits are that the appliance leverages the very dense memory footprint of the UCS B440 M3 blades, and use MPFS (a very unique storage protocol on the VNX) and NAS on the EMC VNX5300 to solve one of the challenges that HANA on it’s own doesn’t address – which is data persistence, as well as delivering replication options.  Interestingly, we saw 3x higher performance leveraging MPFS and NAS together, as opposed to straight up NFS. ” EMC VP Chad Sakac  (blog The Virtual Geek )

In addition to being the ideal platform for SAP HANA, when you add in VCE and VMWare to the mix, the combined Cloud Vblock solution becomes an optimized platform for any Application Data Center Manager.   Servers become virtualized, Data Centers become consolidated, and management become simplified.

So how do you spell success?  Cisco+EMC+VCE+VMWare.

If you want to know more about the solutions provided by the Alliance between these companies

[]  Join me for an unique webinar

Cisco And EMC Transform SAP Landscapes Leveraging Big Data And Cloud
11:00 AM EST / 8:00 AM PST July 31st, 2012
More information and registration here 

I am looking forward to your participation at this webinar.

 

I am looking forward to your participation on July 31st at the webinar !

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Cloud Operating Model – How Does Your Cloud Run?

Wow, lots of excitement this week with all the news in the cloud space.  All very interesting and very much validating of the work that our Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit is doing around automation of the cloud.   Now on to actually showing ROI right now for your CIO.

We in the Cisco Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit define the cloud operating model as a set of behaviors that define the operational characteristics of your private or public cloud.  Our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud  models a private cloud operation through a set of behaviors around the following areas:

  • Catalog of Services
  • Tenant / Organization Model
  • Site / POD model
  • Lease/Capacity management
  • Network Segregation
  • Roles
  • Lifecycle management
  • Administrative capabilities
  • Installation
  • Image Management
  • Storage and Network Automation

Let’s take a look at each of these items and show how this work in our Intelligent Automation for Cloud  Starter Edition:

Catalog of Services:

In the Starter Edition we have the concept of 3 core services (Provision a VM, Provision a VM and PXE boot it, and PXE boot a physical server).   We find these basic single VM and physical services are critical to the early “crawl” stage of a cloud. The catalog can be the same across all “consumers” or allow variation across organizational / tenant constructs.  In the Starter Edition, we have implemented a single catalog across all the organization units.

Tenant / Organization Model

The tenancy model of a cloud is a critical design time consideration.  The Starter Edition is targeted for a single company, with any number of organizations to which end users can be assigned.  The Starter Edition is not build out of the box for a multi-tenant cloud (although many of our customers extend the Starter Edition into multi-tenant environments.  My next blog (with a guest co-author) will go into this in much greater detail)

Site / Pod Model

A cloud needs to have a deployment model that aligns the functionality with the infrastructure model.  The Starter Edition is set up for a single UCS POD and single vCenter instance.  This in effect limits the Starter Edition to a single site, which is perfectly fine for most IT shops starting their cloud journey.

Lease/Capacity Management

Ensuring that once a VM is “spun up” that it is not lost for good and consume capacity when perhaps it is no longer needed is a top of mind concern of many cloud architects.  In the starter edition the lease management is accomplished by a choice at order time (or through lifecycle services) to have a specific time for the lease of the particular VM or physical server.  What happens to the end user as they approach the lease termination point is two reminder emails at pre-set times before termination.  In addition there is a period post termination where the VM is powered down and only a lease extension can “reactivate control”.  After the final expiration time the VM is then deleted. Capacity management is indeed a complex topic with many levels of consideration.   The Starter Edition has basic capacity management in that the self service and automation framework cannot provision over the top of the pool of resources available.   We also show resource utilization in the Starter Edition cloud through the System Resources console.

Network Segregation

Different organizations (and tenants) may require some form of network isolation.  Sometimes a single flat zone for an R&D cloud is good enough.  Sometimes you want separation by organization or by tier in the application.  If you are a service provider, you may require complete virtualized network separation through a highly functional and differentiated network container.  Since the Starter Edition is focused on the entry cloud for enterprises, we have implemented a multi-organization cloud through assigning network VLAN to specific organizations in the cloud.

Roles

Our starter edition cloud has 3 basic roles:  cloud administrator, organization administrator and end user.  Obvious the operating model gets more complex as you move toward unified infrastructure management (pod administrator), multi-tenancy (tenant administrator), and business centricity (business account manager).

Lifecycle Management

Those end users will demand the ability to control the state of their infrastructure.  Lifecycle management that provides the self service is critical to the low cost nature of end users controlling their resources.

Administrative Capabilities

Making a cloud easy to manage from an administrator perspective is critical.  This extends from installation wizard, to post installation administrative console for changing the configuration of the cloud.

Image (and Template) Management

This is a fascinating area of standards.  When you think about designing your cloud operating model, do you want to maintain a standards library of images (OS + application) and limit the options available to end users, or do you want to give some the ability to build images and load into the cloud, or do you decide to make it wide open and give the users the ability to create their own images in a self service fashion.  In the Starter Edition we begin with the administrating controlling the library of images and other key templates available to end users:  a great place to start gaining control of image sprawl.

Storage and Network Automation

Full Infrastructure as a Service requires Storage and Network automation to support the rich set of services in your private cloud.  However, many cloud program entry points can be very successful based upon pre-provisioning storage and network.  Over time and with the move to multi-tenancy you will want to perform the storage and network automation and self service.

With this blog about cloud operating model, you can see the nuances and some of the simple but yet very impactful decisions you will need to make about your operating model.  Stay tuned for my next blog on multi-tenancy.

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One Customer’s Voice: FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud

 

 

 

 

 

 

The University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada was one of our first FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud engagements this year.  Alantex, based in Woodbridge, Ontario was the Cisco Advanced Technology Partner driving the project.  Vlad Kryukov, CEO of Alantex, and his crew delivered the integrated value of the FlexPod solution to the University.

View this video to hear from the University of Waterloo’s Infrastructure Architect Greg Parks on the results and their satisfaction with Cisco, NetApp, and Microsoft.

Learn more at www.cisco.com/go/flexpod  or www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.  

 

 

 

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Cisco’s continued commitment to WAN Optimization (WAAS) Market and Our Customers

WAN Optimization is an essential element of Cisco’s network-centric platform strategy, enabling key transitions such as data center consolidation, virtualization, cloud, virtual desktops and BYOD. Cisco is continuing to invest in the Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) portfolio to drive our strategy of integrating WAN Optimization into the network fabric to achieve unmatched scale, performance, and simplicity, while reducing overall customer TCO. The WAAS team is an integral part of Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group to help achieve these goals.

Recent speculation that Cisco has dissolved its WAAS business is inaccurate. Cisco’s strategy to deliver WAAS pervasively as part of the Cisco WAN infrastructure remains unchanged.

Consistent with the strategy of providing application optimization as a key function of the network infrastructure, Cisco provides a broad portfolio of appliances, router-integrated and virtualized form factors. Strong alignment between the WAAS and Services Routing Group (SRG) product development teams has helped drive innovations such as AppNav with WAVE appliances for data centers, Cloud Services Routers with virtual WAAS for public clouds and highly scalable router-integrated form factors. Cisco accelerates a wide variety of applications including file, email, web, secure applications, SaaS, virtual desktops and cloud services.

In conjunction with the broad based success and adoption of the WAAS solution in the market, Cisco is integrating the sales coverage into the mainstream sales force within the US.  For our customers and partners, this will simplify how they engage with Cisco by providing a single point of contact for the full range of Cisco networking solutions.

Cisco’s Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) product portfolio has achieved tremendous customer and market success in the past several months, including many industry awards and recognition:

  •  Over 10,000 global customers have invested in WAAS with an installed base of over 165,000 units. The vast majority of the Fortune 100 use Cisco WAAS, with many large customers scaling out to thousands of sites as they deploy WAAS end-to-end.
  • Cisco is #1 in unit share (Source: Infonetics) for the last 3 quarters, a clear customer validation of Cisco’s WAN-integrated optimization strategy.
  •  Winner of “Best of Interop Awards 2012” in Performance Optimization, beating Riverbed — Cisco WAAS with AppNav for private and public clouds.
  •  NetworkWorld.com product brief declared that WAAS provides, “the best performance we’ve seen”, based on the new WAAS appliances and application-aware optimizations for VDI, Video and Virtualization.
  • Winner of all 6 categories for IT Brand pulse 2012 awards for WAN Optimization, including Market Leadership, Innovation, Performance, Value, Services and Reliability, again beating Riverbed.
  • In January, Ed Tech Magazine reviewed the smallest WAVE appliance and exclaimed, “There’s a lot for IT to love”
  • Winner of Nemertes Research award for best customer satisfaction for WAN optimization products.

Cisco recently launched the Cisco Cloud Connected Solution with WAAS and AppNav as critical capabilities to ensuring high performance for applications delivered from virtualized data-centers and public clouds. At the launch, Mike Ruchensky, vice president and chief information officer for SWIFT Transportation stated, “[Swift Transportation] sees Cisco AppNav, the latest virtualization technology, as the solution to easily scale our 2nd data center deployment, reaping additional benefits such as on-demand provisioning of WAN optimization resources, virtualization of service infrastructure, and investment protection.”

Cisco WAAS is the most powerful WAN optimization system in the market today. You can be assured that Cisco is committed to WAAS for the long-term.

We remain fully engaged and working against our long term WAAS roadmap to drive application awareness into the network

For more information on Cisco WAN Optimization (WAAS), please click here

For more information on Cisco Cloud Connected Solution (part of our Cloud Intelligent Network strategy), please click here

 

Please post any questions or feedback in the comments box below.

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Enterprise Strategy Group Sheds Insight on Nexus 1000V Virtual Network Overlays

ESGThe Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) has released this week a whitepaper and companion video looking at virtual network overlays and their use in multi-tenant environments. This comes on the heels of the ESG research brief on Cisco’s recently announced Cisco ONE set of network programming interfaces which includes Nexus 1000V-based virtual overlays.

ESG points out that virtual network overlays are important to building out multi-tenant environments like private and hybrid clouds, as well as overcoming scalability issues in those environments that have traditionally been based on VLANs. As ESG notes, and as Cisco mentioned in it’s ONE announcement, programmability of the virtual networks is what really separates them from classic overlays based on MPLS or GRE tunnels. The Nexus 1000V will achieve this programmability capability by SDN API’s such as OpenStack on top of the Nexus 1000V virtual supervisor module.

ESG included some interesting market insights on what organizations look for when choosing a particular virtual switch. These selection criteria from a multitude of organizations highlight specific Nexus 1000V benefits, such as seamless integration with servers and fabric interconnects, a common management infrastructure across physical and virtual switches, and the ability to support heterogeneous server (and even hypervisor) environments.

ESG chart

ESG also points out that northbound API’s in this new generation of virtual network overlays will eventually allow for much greater automation and orchestration of cloud environments:

The ability to tie into higher levels of automation and orchestration will be important to enable private cloud environments. The northbound interfaces from the Nexus 1000V VSM will enable application developers to build cloud automation tools, and because the Nexus 1000V will use open APIs like OpenStack, these application developers may be able to port their orchestration applications to other SDN and virtual overlay infrastructures.

As virtualization increases, programmable virtual networks are going to be an important foundation on which to build more scalable multi-tenant environments. This ESG research points to some key attributes to consider and should be a good resource to clarify their role in cloud networks.

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Got an iPad? We’re Speaking Your Language.

When it comes to discovering available resources, Apple and WiFi networks can quite literally speak a different language. Apple has always done things a little differently. That’s one reason Apple is Apple. But with the ballooning share of iPhone and iPads on the enterprise network, it’s time for a little cross platform diplomacy.

To explain, let’s think of a network as a mall.  Network resources are stores and devices are customers.

In the non-Apple network, each store manager—our available resource, remember?—stands outside their store waving a sign that advertises their service. A printer store would wave a banner exclaiming “printing available here.” And a music library would sing out “songs available here.” To find a service, the customer—our device, again—wanders the mall to see what services are available.

In the Apple network world, it’s the customer that does the advertising. The customer comes to the mall to perform a specific task. Maybe print a document. Or play a song. Or buy a new pair of bright red pumps. The customer sends out a packet to announce what they need. If they’re looking to print a document, the printer store would answer “you can print here” while the music library and shoe store would take a break. And if the customer wants the red pumps, the shoe store might ask “wouldn’t those look great with a matching handbag and a new belt?”

Simple and elegant. Except when the network starts getting too large. Like when it grows from a home network to an enterprise WiFi network.

Let’s use our mall analogy again. This time the device or customer is traveling downtown where there are several malls or subnets. The customer sends out a message asking where they can find the service they need. Now, because there are multiple malls available, the message doesn’t know where to go.

The Bonjour Service Directory currently being tested by Cisco helps overcome this challenge. Essentially the wireless controller maintains an inventory of available services—think directory of all the malls—and uses that directory to identify which store in which mall has the resource the customer wants. Not only can the controller find the right resource, it can also apply individual profiles and permissions. Using our mall example, the customer needs a printer and pings the controller. The controller finds several printer stores—but two are for commercial accounts, two are closed, and only one is available for consumers like our customer. The controller then points the customer to that store.

Want a more technical explanation? Watch this video to see more:

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