March 7, 2016
Mindsight has once again earned the Cisco Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture Specialization and maintained our status a Cisco Gold Partner for 2016. This specialization enables Mindsight to sell, design, and deploy advanced network solutions to companies of all sizes, including the enterprise.
Considering the breadth of networking options Cisco provides, this is an immensely valuable certification for Mindsight and our Chicago clientele. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the specialization itself, what it says about the quality of engineers at Mindsight, and a few of the networking options available with this specialization.
Earning the Advanced Network Architecture Specialization and Gold Certification
This certification stands as a testament to our reputation as a tried and tested Chicago IT consultant. Every year, our engineers must maintain the four following specializations from Cisco in order to retain our Cisco Gold Partner status:
- Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture Specialization
- Advanced Security Architecture Specialization
- Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialization
- Advanced Data Center Architecture Specialization
Earning or refreshing the Advanced Network Certification requires technology partners to undergo a series of exams and dozens of hours of instructor-lead coursework. Whether account manager, architecture systems engineer, or one of two field engineers, designated team members must complete specific requirements related to the job role in order to be certified. Once complete, there are a handful of additional exams and coursework required for the partner to earn the specialization.
Now, extrapolate this level of continuing education across four specializations, and you’ll gain a better understanding of the quality of expertise our engineers have for the technologies we recommend. Even further, this education is only concerning Cisco products—our team maintains the same depth of knowledge regarding all our technology solutions.
Cisco Network Options for the SMB up to the Enterprise
Cisco’s network options are as powerful as they are diverse. From Meraki to IWAN, Cisco doesn’t just allow Mindsight to deploy a functional network, they empower our Chicago IT consultants to create real solutions to address real challenges in the most cost-effective way.
Here are just a few examples of the kinds of networking products available from Mindsight and Cisco.
Meraki: Meraki began as an independent networking company offering cloud controlled WiFi, routing, and security appliances. Acquired by Cisco in 2012, Meraki now operates under the Cisco banner and provides a versatile, agile, and easily manageable networking option.
Meraki’s big selling point is its cloud-based management. Network administrators can simply open the Meraki Systems Manager from any device at any location and access a complete picture of their network. From there, they can monitor mobile devices, set security policies, and modify VPN connectivity settings based on user groups. Whether a single branch or an international enterprise, the network from top to bottom can be controlled from a single pane of glass.
Just a few short months ago, Meraki expanded their product line by releasing a new firewall, the MX84, to replace the MX80, and the MS350 Switch to diversify their selection of switches. Learn what sets these new products apart from the rest of what Meraki has to offer in our Mindsight blog.
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI): Cisco ACI is arguably a software defined networking (SDN) solution with key distinctions. Rather than a software overlay like VMware NSX, Cisco ACI focuses on the hardware touching the network. Nexus switching uses an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) to create bandwidth priority templates for applications. These templates can then be cloned and applied across the network to ensure that mission-critical applications always have the bandwidth they need to maintain peak performance.
Learn More: SDN, ACI, and Micro-segmentation, Oh My!
Through Cisco ACI, network and security administers can create a granular east-west firewall policy known as micro-segmentation. Instead of keeping a single firewall at the perimeter of the network, micro-segmentation adds additional firewalls around virtual machines to prevent any nefarious traffic from moving about the network once inside. Check out how Cisco can accomplish this with ACI in our blog post.
Cisco IWAN: With bandwidth costs steadily rising and IT budgets remaining consistent at best, IT directors are in need of a smarter solution. Cisco Intelligent Wide Area Network (IWAN) automatically routes and reroutes traffic through the WAN to give top priority data the space and speed it needs to maintain performance. In addition to intelligent routing, Cisco can help optimize applications so they use less bandwidth and employ advanced caching techniques to keep content on hand for immediate use.
Cloud applications such as Office 365 both make heavy use of the WAN and have exceptional performance requirements in order to remain an effective tool. Microsoft Office 365 is a perfect example of this dynamic and a excellent example of an application that can be greatly benefited by Cisco IWAN. Read our blog post and discover how IWAN can help and encrypt the Office 365 data traffic.
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Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.