Cisco Targets Branch Office Security Via The Cloud

Cisco this week launched new security and mobility products with an eye toward easier management of branch offices. It's another update to Borderless Networks, the vision Cisco's been pushing for seamless and reliable network architecture.

New to the Cisco lineup is its Flex 7500 Series Cloud Controller, a branch controller that can centrally manage up to 2,000 access points and 20,000 clients in up to 500 branch locations, all from a single data center. IT managers can also set wireless policy and management controls remotely, cutting back on branch office site visits, Cisco explained.

"It's here to really help our customers lower costs -- they're not required to put a controller into every branch," said Sylvia Hooks, senior manager of mobile marketing at Cisco. "The management is all in a central plae and in one, rackmount-able appliance."

Also new as of this week is Cisco's ISR Cloud Web Security with Cisco ScanSafe, which extends Cisco's ScanSafe, the networking giant's SaaS-based Web security technology, to branch offices using Cisco's ISR G2 branch router. The appeal for IT managers is the ability to assign and manage Web security and usage policy for branch offices remotely.

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"It's clear that because of data center consolidation, a lot of branch offices are operating in a very lean structure, with very limited support from an IT perspective," said Prashanth Shenoy, senior manager, Borderless Networks marketing. "That's a big challenge for the IT folks to do more with less in branch offices."

The ISR Web Security with ScanSafe bundle will be available in July, listed at $2,495, and customers also need to buy a ScanSafe subscription. The Flex 7500 is available this month, starting at $47,995.