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Cisco Case Studies

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend


                                                            Cloud Computing and Virtualization



Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend

Few organizations have been able to fight the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. With the consumerization of IT and the sub sequent availability of powerful smartphones and tablet devices, end users expect to obtain access to privileged company information and applications from their personally owned mobile devices. They expect to be able to work from any location, at any time and on any device.

What’s more, when users upgrade their devices every year or two, they count on the same level of access, regardless of the type of device and the platform running on it.

A technology refresh enables IT to meet end users’ expectations in a manner that also meets IT’s requirements for data security and device management. Many of the technologies and devices in use today simply did not exist as recently as five years ago. IT organizations carrying out a technology refresh had the option of deploying a desktop computer, a laptop or both to end users. That’s no longer the case. IT can now deploy enterprise-grade versions of the same technologies that users are adopting in their personal lives. Al though they look and feel like consumer devices, these laptops and tablets provide IT the controls it needs in order to secure the perimeter of the device.

From a technology perspective, a like-for-like technology refresh would ignore certain market realities. Today’s conversation needs to be more user-centric: What do end users require in order to do their job? This is where the BYOD trend facilitates a technology migration. It enables user segmentation, giving IT the ability to optimally align access devices, cost, risk, service level and applications with specific use cases. For example, a sales representative may want a single device for both content consumption and creation. A Windows tablet addresses both of those needs and satisfies the end user, who gets the convenience and ease of use of a tablet, and IT, which no longer has to manage multiple devices for this use case.

Another segment of users may need a keyboard for content creation but want a tablet for meetings. Based on the end user’s job, IT can determine whether it makes sense to provision a laptop and a tablet for that person or simply a tablet with a detachable keyboard. Ultimately, users are provisioned with a device that fits their work style rather than a one-size-fits-all device they must get used to.


Cloud Computing and Virtualization

Much like BYOD, cloud computing and virtualization enable end users to work when and where they please. Users are accustomed to saving MP3 files, photographs and personal documents in a public cloud, from which they can access those files on any number of devices. End users expect the same convenience and simplicity when it comes to accessing work files from home or on the road. A technology refresh offers IT a prime opportunity to evaluate virtualization and cloud computing as a means of enabling remote access while reducing the administrative overhead for IT. For example, it may make sense to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and stream Windows 7 desktops to thin clients in the office and mobile devices outside of the corporate LAN. Now is also a good time to determine whether an application should be configured to reside virtually or in the cloud, enabling access from any device without the concerns that come when data resides on the device itself. An organization that chooses not to seize the current opportunity to virtualize or prepare an application for the cloud is likely to find itself assigning a team in the near future to pull the application deck and review it from the the ground up—an onerous task that can easily be accommodated when preparing applications to run on Windows 7 or Windows 8.


                                        Using the USB Console Port on Cisco Switches and Routers

Many newer Cisco switches and routers support a USB console port in addition to the old-fashioned RJ-45 serial console port. For example, the Catalyst 2960-S switch has a mini type-B USB console port on its front plate as can be seen in the picture.

Any USB cable that has a standard type-A USB connector on one end and a mini type-B connector on the other end should work. If you wish to purchase a Cisco cable, the part number is CAB-CONSOLE-USB.

Steps for Using the USB Console Port

To use the USB console port from a Windows computer, you need to download and install a driver. Follow these instructions to do so:
1. Go to the Download Software page for branch routers here:
2. CCO login is required. After logging in, you will be redirected to the Download Software page.
3. From the Download Software page, go to Cisco 3900 Series Integrated Services Routers.
4. From there go to Cisco 3945 Integrated Services Router.
5. Then go to USB Console Software.
6. Download the zipped file and unzip it.
7. The zipped file includes a README.pdf file. Follow the instructions in the README to install the driver. For Windows XP use the Windows_32 instructions. 
8. Connect your USB cable from a USB port on your PC to the USB port on your router or switch. Windows automatically looks up the right driver to use. 
9. Launch Putty or HyperTerminal and select the right COM port for the USB port you are using. For example, on some laptops the USB port closest to the front is COM5. 
10. Use 9600 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, and no flow control (the usual settings for Cisco devices). NOTE: Some new switches and routers are shipping with 115200 as the default baud rate. If 9600 doesn't work, try 115200.
To use the USB console port from Mac OS X:
1. Install ZTerm from here
2. Connect your USB cable from a USB port on your Mac to the USB port on your router or switch.
3. Launch ZTerm. ZTerm automatically recognizes that it should use the usbmodem1 port. 
4. Use 9600 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, and no flow control (the usual settings for Cisco devices). NOTE: Some new switches and routers are shipping with 115200 as the default baud rate. If 9600 doesn't work, try 115200.
Console Input and Output and the Inactivity Timer

Console output appears on devices connected to both the RJ-45 and the USB ports. This can come in handy when two engineers wish to work on a problem together. For example, one engineer can be local with a laptop connected to USB and one engineer can be remote with a laptop coming in via Reverse Telnet through a terminal server to the RJ-45 console port. Only one engineer can input commands, however, the engineer connected via USB.

Console input is active on only one port at a time. If the USB port is in use, it takes input. A problem can occur if a user leaves a computer connected via USB. Input via RJ-45 is disabled in this case. It’s a good idea to configure a USB inactivity timeout to avoid this problem. The timeout causes USB input to be disabled if there’s no activity detected after a configurable timer. When the timer expires, the RJ-45 console becomes active.

To set the USB inactivity timeout to 30 minutes, in configuration mode, type these commands.

line console 0
usb-inactivity-timeout 30

If you need to reactivate USB input after the RJ-45 port takes over, simply disconnect and reconnect the USB cable.


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