Monday, October 20, 2008

First Casino in the World to Feature End to End Cisco Solution

New case study features revolutionary new casino as first in the world to feature Cisco Physical Security, Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco Ethernet Slot Network featuring VSS, Cisco Wireless, and Cisco Security all under one roof!!!!

See it here:

Data Systems Worldwide has branded itself as the leading Hospitality and Gaming technology architecture and integration firm in the United States. DSW integrates the newest in Gaming and Hospitality such as Cisco VSS for high-availability Cisco networks used in Slot networks and being capable of supporting Server Based Gaming infrastructures, integrated IP Communications platforms for hotels, and large scale Cisco surveillance platforms utilizing the very best cameras in the industry. Our Surveillance room designs incorporate space conscious detail and the systems we install are very user friendly. For more information on our Hospitality and Gaming capabilities, please contact your DSW representative.

DSW Executive Lunch Seminar

Click on Image to Enlarge

Monday, September 15, 2008

DSW Attends Tribal Net

DSW will be attending this year’s 9th annual TribalNet Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. TribalNet is an industry resource for technology professionals in the Native American industry. The annual TribalNet conference is developed exclusively for technology leaders at Native American tribes, casinos and enterprises.

TribalNet runs from 9/29 - 10/2
Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino


DSW will also be attending ITEC. The conferences are designed to bring you the latest in Second Circle Innovation™ - those cutting edge technologies that can and will help your company improve productivity and bottom line – through longer term vision in our keynote presentations, real-world answers and applications in our conference sessions, and productivity enhancing solutions available today on our exposition floor.

ITECH runs from 9/24 – 9/25
Los Angeles Convention Center

DSW: Lead Architect for EastSide Cannery Las Vegas

By Ryan Peterson, Regional Director for Data Systems Worldwide.

On August 28th, 2008, the Las Vegas Boulder Strip saw a historical event when a Hotel and Casino opened its doors. The first time in 14 years a Casino has opened since Boulder Station opened in 1994. Don’t let the Eastside Cannery’s industrial 60’s feel fool you though, some of the most advanced technology systems run the many different services that Eastside Cannery offers. With Cisco 6500 switches at the Core of the network using Cisco’s VSS technology, Eastside Cannery is offering the first Active-Active networking service where all switches work together in a much more efficient way. For all the high tech guys: Cannery is running 10GB backbone with 40 Gigs between MDF and IDFs, etherchannel between 2960s in the slot banks and each VSS node. With this topology, the chances of any part of the slot floor going down (more than 1 bank) are improbable. With the network as a platform for applications, the other technologies that followed were easy to implement and better yet have significant redundancy.

Data Systems Worldwide was the lead technical architect for this property. In addition, DSW implemented the Cisco Network (including a Slot machine network), the Cisco Voice platform (including the 307 room hotel), and a 600 camera Cisco Surveillance system (including 600 Pelco Cameras).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Data Systems Worldwide Announces B2N Maintain Superior Care Together with Cisco Services.

What is B2n Maintain Superior Care?

  • DSW and Cisco backed support contract that includes continuously updated picture of each device in your network plus tech support and Advanced Hardware Replacement
  • Cisco and DSW work together for you to proactively identify potential issues preventing network downtime
  • Enables the ability to make remote repairs such as correcting configuration errors and updating software to keep your network secure
  • Simplifies your contract management and maintenance requirements through a single service contract that covers all of your Cisco devices
  • Continuously updated status of your network available on a secure online dashboard
  • Provides optional periodic Network Security Assessment and Optimization
  • Tech support from the engineers most familiar with your unique environment

Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care, together with Cisco® Services, proactively verifies that the network is secure, reliable, and functioning optimally so that you can improve your employee productivity and customer responsiveness and get the most from your technology investments.

Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care
Modern businesses rely on network applications more than ever before – and are more vulnerable to the lost productivity and profitability that can result from a network outage. As the network becomes the platform for business success in companies of all sizes, the service and support needs of many organizations are changing. While device-by-device support services provide excellent protection for individual devices, they cannot provide insight into the overall health and security of the network – or help businesses identify potential problems before they arise.

Now, organizations have a cost-effective solution. Cisco and Data Systems Worldwide offer an innovative service that combines network-wide technical support with ongoing network monitoring and proactive maintenance to deliver a comprehensive approach to the care and continuous improvement of your network. With this collaborative service offering that combines the complementary strengths of Cisco and Data Systems Worldwide, you can increase your visibility into the health and security of your network, improve network reliability and performance, identify potential problems before they affect your business, and reduce the time and effort necessary to maintain your network.

Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care provides:

  • Peace of mind: Backed by powerful tools and in-depth training from Cisco, Data Systems Worldwide proactively verifies that your network is secure, reliable, and functioning optimally at all times, improving your employee productivity and helping you get the most from your technology investments.
  • Network visibility: Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care delivers visibility into the health and security of your network, giving you the information you need to improve performance and increase your operational efficiency. Through a secure online dashboard, you can view the status of your overall network health, security, and voice performance anywhere, anytime. Data Systems Worldwide maintains a clear, continuously updated picture of each device in your network to provide you with up-to-date status reports, identify potential problems, and make remote repairs such as correcting configuration errors and updating software.
  • Continuous improvement: Data Systems Worldwide can perform periodic assessments of your network health and availability to proactively identify potential issues and help ensure that all of your Cisco devices are configured optimally, according to Cisco best practices. Depending on the technologies in your network, assessments also can include in-depth reviews of your network security systems and the performance and availability of your Cisco Unified Communications IP voice solutions. Data Systems Worldwide can notify you if there is an issue with any Cisco device in your network and recommend how to address problems before they affect your employees and your business profitability. Data Systems Worldwide can even perform a comprehensive analysis of your network to assess its readiness to support advanced IP voice communications solutions.
  • A simple, complete solution: Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care provides technical support for your entire business network (including advanced security and IP voice solutions) with a single support contract. You receive expert technical support directly from Data Systems Worldwide, ongoing operating system and application software updates for all covered devices and applications, next-business day hardware replacement in the event of a failure, and a wealth of Cisco tools and resources through registered access to As a result, you can take a comprehensive approach to the care and continuous improvement of your network for a single price, with a single point of contact.
  • Customized support and maintenance: The Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care is customized by Data Systems Worldwide specifically for you, to give you just the right level of network service to support the size and complexity of your business. By combining Data Systems Worldwide’s personalized service and in-depth understanding of your business with industry-leading tools, training, and resources from Cisco, you gain a consistently excellent service experience that addresses all of your requirements throughout the lifecycle of your network.


Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care

  • Increases network visibility and provides you with the information you need to efficiently manage and continually improve your network
  • Improves the uptime, security, and performance of your network through ongoing monitoring and periodic assessments that allow you to address problems before they affect your business
  • Allows your IT staff to operate more efficiently by reducing the time and effort required to keep your network running optimally
  • Enhances your employee productivity and your responsiveness to customers through improved availability of your essential business applications
  • Optimizes your business profitability by helping you get the most from your technology investments
  • Combines the expertise and service advantages of both Cisco and Data Systems Worldwide into a single offering

An Intelligent Technology Evolution Path

Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care is delivered as part of the Cisco Smart Business Roadmap, a structured, prioritized evolution path for growing companies that combines customized technology solutions, world-class service, and flexible financing options to help you keep pace with change and make more informed technology decisions. The Cisco Smart Business Roadmap improves the long-term competitiveness of your business by helping you to address the business challenges of today while maximizing the future potential of your technology investments. With most technology providers, the relationship ends after the sale. When you invest in Cisco and Data Systems Worldwide, you can be confident that they are working continuously to expand the capabilities of your network and extend the value of your technology investment.

Comprehensive Support for Your Business

The satisfaction of your customers, the productivity of your employees, and the overall profitability of your business increasingly depend on your network. Now, you can take a comprehensive approach to the care and continuous improvement of your network that delivers greater network visibility, improves your ongoing network health and security, increases your operational efficiency, and extends the value of your Cisco investments. For more information about Data Systems Worldwide B2N Maintain Superior Care , contact Data Systems Worldwide.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Using Broadcast Data as an Attack Vector...

By Boni Bruno, Chief Technology & Security Officer, Data Systems Worldwide

It's amazing how much information you can gather from computers via the data they openly broadcast on the network. This article discusses how such information can be used as an attack vector to compromise data security and other informational assets.

First, let me begin with a true story that I was personally involved with. I was working on a new project as a network architect for a large organization that has 18B in assets and listed on the NYSE. This particular organization had a working area for consultants to use, and since I was on-site for several months, I was privy to the other projects and the other consulting companies also working for said organization. As you would expect, SOX compliance is a big deal for organizations that have their stocks traded on the NYSE, and yep, they had one of the big four accounting firms on-site with a audit team that grew to 12 auditors, 2 project managers, and 1 supervisor handling a SOX audit while I was there.

To make a long story short, the consulting area could not accommodate all the consultants so certain liberties were taken. This team of auditors had the audacity to set up their own wireless access point (open - no encryption) without telling the client. They used this AP to extend access to the team so everyone could access my client's network as well as share resources among themselves. I told upper management about this, but to my dismay, no immediate action was taken, apparently the team convinced them it was a necessity and the AP remained on the network - WOW!

Day in day out, the team would come in the morning, turn on their laptops, and proceed with their daily routines. I use various network tools to conduct my work, while using my tools I began to observe various broadcast data coming from the audit team laptops in the consulting area.

First, I saw ARP/DHCP broadcasts which exposed MAC addresses, previously used IP leases, routing information, etc. (There is a handy tool for you Unix/Linux enthusiasts called Passifist available at ) that clearly shows how much one can gather from broadcast traffic.

Anyway, in the mornings, when the audit team came in and booted their laptops, I was able to see the DHCP request of their previous IP addresses - interestingly enough, many of these addresses came from the DHCP servers located in their corporate office. I know this by the IP addresses and NETBIOS information. In this case, some of the team members were last connected to the network back in their corporate office and I was able to learn various IP specifications just by observing their broadcast traffic. Hence, not only did they expose my clients network by installing that damn wireless AP, but the broadcast data clearly exposed information about their corporate network as well. (Mental note here - Broadcast data can tell you about multiple environments you have been connected to.)

Furthermore, NETBIOS/SMB broadcasts disclosed the teams NETBIOS names, login IDs, and various server information they typically used back in there own office. Many people I know consider broadcast traffic as harmless bits and bytes that are just part of normal day to day network communications - you should now be aware that there is more to it than that!

You should also be aware that Startup Applications can also cause additional broadcast information to be sent out on the network. Some of the team members had IM accounts that were broadcasted. I saw VPN related broadcasts, iTunes broadcasts and even virus software broadcast data for signature updates. There is definitely more to broadcast data than many people understand, and this so called audit team was just clueless...
When I turned on my wireless sniffer, I was able to see even more information. I saw all the wireless access points that were cached in the audit teams laptops being broadcasted, including the one the team put up in the consulting area. I couldn't help but imagine computer hackers sitting in airports, hotels, internet cafes collecting this kind of broadcast data.

There are a slew of tools available on the net that can easily take advantage of such broadcast information to the point that traffic can be diverted to spying machines with little effort. If you get the chance, try playing with a little tool called DSNIFF available at This tool allows you to redirect traffic to your machine so you can easily inspect data.

Another interesting tool that specifically takes advantage of broadcast data is a tool called Karma available at With this tool you can impersonate a wireless AP, DHCP/DNS servers, email and chat servers, etc.

With tools like these available on the net, it should be very clear that broadcast data can be used as an attack vector for hackers, and with the slew of exploits available with Metasploit - see, you simply need to protect yourself and enforce good security practices!

Anyway, getting back to the story, my immediate concern was to shutdown the AP since any nearby resident could hop on the network and see what was going on. Running packet captures gave me visibility into a lot of the data that was being accessed by the audit team. I ran a wireless site survey showing the range of this rogue AP (yeah, it extended to the public streets) and hit management over the head with all of the information I obtained. They finally took down the AP, but only after I had install a new switch with more ports for these clowns in the consulting area! ;)

It still amazes me how many risks you have to manage on a day to day basis and how little senior managers know and understand information security. I hope you enjoyed this article and that your information security awareness has increased as a result of reading this and the associated web links provided.

Stay well and stay secure...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Seminar: The Nuts and Bolts of Smart Buildings

Registered with American Institutes of Architects

DSW, along with Cisco Systems and our partners will co-host a seminar on Smart Buildings on June 19th in Long Beach, California.

This program will provide simple, straight-forward information on smart buildings for commercial real estate property managers and technology industry leaders. Both new development and existing buildings will be addressed. The program covers the economics of the approach, and the basic design foundations, technology systems, and management systems associated with a smart building. Beyond the technical aspects of smart buildings, participants will learn about the financial metrics of smart and green buildings. A specific approach to existing buildings will also be presented that involves energy conservation, technology amenities and efficient facility management. Participants will be able to identify the systems, their interrelationships and the financial impact of smart buildings.

The presentation is registered with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and participants will be provided a certificate for Continuing Education for AIA or other cooperating organizations.

Connected Real Estate comprises solutions that focus on the convergence of IT and building systems onto a common IP infrastructure, reducing operating costs and improving productivity. Key topics at the seminar include both business and technology ranging from understanding the value of connected buildings, energy efficiency, green facilities, building – IT convergence, current architectures, existing and upcoming technologies to name a few.

DSW and Cisco will demonstrate how IP technology can:

Reduce the capital expenditure on constructing a new building

Reduce the costs of building operation

Increase security and staff productivity

Offer owners and tenants flexible and adaptable working environments

Generate new revenue streams

Green buildings and synergies related to real estate and technology in carbon reduction

Attendees will learn how the IP network is emerging as the 4th utility, delivering more services and increasing productivity while also reducing costs.


Real estate and technology industry leaders


Parker’s Lighthouse – 5:30pm start followed by dinner and harbor cruise on a private yacht

Address: Parker's Lighthouse at 435 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, CA. 90802


James Sinopoli, Managing Principal, RCDD, PE

For over 25 years, Mr. Sinopoli has worked extensively on projects involving the configuration and optimization of technology systems and networks. Mr. Sinopoli has facilitated the design, engineering and implementation of several hundred building technology systems. His expertise includes assessment, programming, detailed design, procurement and project management. Mr. Sinopoli has spoken on numerous occasions at conferences and seminars focusing on high technology issues and has received the “Harry J. Pfister” award from the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI).

Mr. Sinopoli has experience in the healthcare, corporate, education, manufacturing, finance and government industry sectors. His clients have included Fortune 100 corporations, the US Postal Service, the US Air Force, major K-12 school districts throughout the county, statewide university systems, airports and ports, the Internal Revenue System, large private and public hospitals, technology companies, and nationwide developers. His international experience includes projects in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa.

Mr. Sinopoli's educational credits include a B.S. in Engineering from Purdue University and a M.A. in Applied Science and Management from Governor's State University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, a Registered Communications Distribution Designer, and a registered Continuing Education Provider for architects, School Board Members and others, and a published author in numerous industry publications. He currently is engaged with the Building Industry Consulting Services International association in authoring part of their new manual titled “Electronic Safety and Security Systems”. In 2006 he published a book titled “Smart Buildings”.

Robert E. Gary, Jr., Principal, Smart Buildings

Mr. Gary has over 20 years experience in different sales and strategic planning roles across several different industries. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies and start-up organizations. For the past year he has worked exclusively in the Smart Building arena working with a variety of clients including Mixed-Use Developers, Office Buildings, Hospitals, and Educational. Prior to joining Smart Buildings, Mr. Gary was responsible for placing a company on the Inc. 500, fastest growing privately help companies in the US.

Mr. Gary’s educational background includes a B.A. from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.

Mike Mogavero, Executive Vice President, Data Systems Worldwide

The head of DSW’s Sales and Marketing operations, Mike is responsible for managing the DSW sales support organization that maintains client relationships to deliver DSW solutions that are based on our four strategic practice areas: Intelligent Facilities, Intelligent Networks, Intelligent Security and Intelligent Data Centers. Previously, Mike has led DSW’s Consulting Services organization, managed development services, technical support, and the information consulting group’s delivery of services to improve and maintain client satisfaction. The brain behind DSW’s iSpeed consulting methodology, Mike is currently a member of the Cisco Connected Real Estate program and has served on several of the industry’s elite advisory boards, including Sun Microsystems Java Council, Sun Microsystems Pacific Coast Advisory Council, Oracle Advisory Council, and CMP Media Member Council. Prior to joining DSW, Mike worked the City of Portland, Oregon for the Bureau of Housing and Community Development.

Mike holds a Masters Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon.

Jonathan Cowen, Partner Technologist, Panduit Corporation

Jonathan has worked for Panduit for the past 5 years as both a Datacom Specialist and a Channel Manager. His past work experience includes with working in distribution and system integration. In his current position he works to develop strategies for system integrators and customer by showing them how to achieve increased operational excellence in building automation.

Cisco Systems Speaker, TBD

To Register to Attend (Attendance is by invitation only):

To express your interest in attending, please call Dan Lake at (818)226-1739 or email

DSW Practice: Connected Real Estate


DSW is working closely with the Cisco Connected Real Estate (CRE) team at Cisco along with building developers and controls manufacturers to bring converged facilities applications to markets. CRE comprises solutions that focus on the convergence of IT and building systems onto a common IP infrastructure, reducing operating costs and improving productivity. Cisco Connected Real Estate creates a framework designed to create value for building and campus occupants. An 'intelligent' connected building uses an integral network to reduce capital and operating expenditures for key stakeholders over the building's lifecycle and creates more productive and flexible workplaces through scalable collaboration, mobility and remote connectivity tools.

Connected Real Estate is the embodiment of that revolution. It harnesses the power of Internet Protocol (IP) to turn traditional building construction and management paradigms on their heads. In so doing CCRE will bring huge financial and operational advantages not only to the construction, real estate and property services industries.

Until recently, the network was acknowledged as merely pervasive but now, with the advent of Internet Protocol (IP), it has become ubiquitous. Today, global business and the public sector cannot operate without it. Real estate – from terraced houses and towering office blocks to shopping malls and sprawling airports – is all interconnected. In fact alongside water, gas and electricity the network has acquired its own utility status.

Cisco Connected Real Estate (CCRE) takes that network utility into the very foundation of modern buildings, driven by two rapidly coalescing market forces:

The emergence of Ethernet-based multi-function building automation systems – bringing together separate applications such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), physical security and access, energy, lighting, and fire and safety.

The convergence of multimedia voice, video and data services onto unitary IP-based infrastructures –bringing together separate technology-specific and proprietary networks.

The problem that CRE addresses is that currently most buildings and campuses today are constructed with multiple proprietary networks to run systems such as HVAC, security and access, energy, lighting, and fire and safety as well as separate voice and data telecommunications networks. As a result we see buildings that are complex to operate, with high installation, integration and ongoing maintenance costs, and limited automation functionality. The CRE framework promotes the convergence of these numerous networks onto the open standard of IP to streamline processes by providing a single connection for all building and IT systems.

CRE leverages the Cisco Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) architecture. More than ever, IT organizations are under pressure to improve profitability with technology implementations linked to business objectives. Cisco believes that as the backbone for IT communications, the network element of enterprise architecture is increasingly critical.

As the backbone for IT communications, the network element SONA is Cisco's architectural approach for designing advanced network capabilities into your infrastructure. SONA provides guidance, best practices, and blueprints for connecting network services to applications to enable business solutions.

A primary benefit of Cisco SONA is in standardizing and consolidating IT infrastructure, a proven way to reduce TCO for enterprises. Industry research by Gartner and others has shown that operational costs constitute 80 percent or more of the TCO over the lifecycle of the asset. Standardization is known to save operational costs: a study of large enterprises by the Hackett Group showed that companies that have implemented standards for vendors, technologies, networks, applications, and data have operations costs 23 percent lower than other companies. These savings are due to improvements in IT efficiency—more IT services delivered per unit of IT resource.

Cisco: Ruggedized Router Extends Network Edge to New Frontier

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) has announced the Cisco 3200 Series Mobile Access Router See edge router and remote access router., a new solution optimized for mobile vehicular applications that pioneers a shift in the way organizations communicate and share information across wireless networks. The Cisco 3200 Series Mobile Access Router facilitates mobility of networks in motion--entire networks of communication devices in moving vehicles such as airplanes, ships, tanks and trains--and is designed for "always-on" connectivity.

The Cisco 3200 Series is a compact, high-performance access router that is designed to provide industry-leading security in data, voice and video communications, and seamless mobility and interoperability. Enabled by standards-based Mobile IP An IP enhancement that provides forwarding of traffic to moving users. It uses agents in the user's home network and in all foreign networks. When logging on to a remote network, users register their presence with the foreign agent, and the home agent forwards the packets to the remote network., the Cisco 3200 Series extends the edge of the IP network, delivering new, mission-critical applications for the defense, public safety and commercial transportation markets. Mobile Networks, a feature in Cisco IOS Software, further extends the value of Mobile IP by allowing an entire network, not just a single client, to stay connected while in motion.

The Cisco Mobile Access Router addresses the key communications challenges faced by users who require access to information, regardless of movement or location. These challenges include the requirements for seamless mobility while roaming among wireless networks; unique power, size and weight specifications to fit equipment in vehicles; maintaining network security policies; and interoperability between the networks and applications of different organizations or agencies. The Cisco 3200 Series addresses these needs with features that are designed to maximize "always-on"--or uninterrupted and secure connectivity--for personnel and organizations that require real-time access to mission-critical information while in motion.

The Cisco Mobile Access Router supports Cisco's vision for network-centric mobility by enabling the evolution of standards-based IP communications with uninterrupted access to information for networks in motion. With this communications transformation, public safety personnel, for example, can now make real-time, and often life-saving decisions with information at their fingertips. This real-time access empowers personnel to make faster, better, more informed decisions, ultimately increasing their productivity and effectiveness in the field.

Today, rich applications such as IP video surveillance, mug shot and fingerprint scanners, law enforcement data systems, and government agency databases can now be accessed in real-time by agency, field, and headquarters personnel.

"We all know the world of emergency response has changed," said Sergeant Dean Zanone of the Seal Beach, California, Police Department, a Cisco 3200 Series customer. "Responding appropriately requires the best available communication technologies. Ubiquitous, IP-based wireless communications, incorporating Cisco's mobile access router, provides us the real-time information that we need to properly deploy our considerable resources and meet any challenge."

The Cisco 3200 Series Mobile Access Router is a complete mobile networking solution designed for incorporation into customized communications systems that are installed by system integrators for mobile vehicular environments, such as land, air and sea. Cisco has teamed with Data Systems Worldwide to deliver the Cisco 3200 Series to defense, public safety and transportation customers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Connected Real Estate Summit

DSW, along with Cisco Systems, and our partners will co-host a Connected Real Estate seminar at in Glendale, CA. Connected Real Estate comprises solutions that focus on the convergence of IT and building systems onto a common IP infrastructure, reducing operating costs and improving productivity. Key topics at the seminar include both business and technology ranging from understanding the value of connected buildings, energy efficiency, green facilities, building – IT convergence, current architectures, existing and upcoming technologies to name a few.

Cisco Connected Real Estate (CCRE) is a framework designed to create value and opportunity for building developers, owners and occupiers within the construction, real estate and property services sector. An 'intelligent' connected building uses an integral network to reduce capital and operating expenditures for key stakeholders over the building's lifecycle and creates more productive and flexible workplaces through scalable collaboration, mobility and remote connectivity tools.

DSW and Cisco will demonstrate how IP technology can:

• Reduce the capital expenditure on constructing a new building

• Reduce the costs of building operation

• Increase security and staff productivity

• Offer owners and tenants flexible and adaptable working environments

• Generate new revenue streams

• Green buildings

Aimed at business decision makers, the day will consist of key speakers from DSW and Cisco, along with demonstrations of technology. Customers will learn how the IP network is emerging as the 4th utility, delivering more services and increasing productivity while also reducing costs.

In addition, important updates on Cisco Unified Communications, Video Surveillance and Digital Signage will be provided, as well as Ethernet and Wireless networking technologies.

For more information about dates and times, please contact your DSW representative.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cisco sets last sale date for PIX firewall

ASA 5500 UTMs to replace the old gear

Cisco is sweeping aside its long-standing PIX firewall appliances in favor of its newer ASA 5500 appliances that perform the same functions as the discontinued devices plus more.

The last day to buy the devices is July 28, and support for them ends July 27, 2013, according to end-of-life notices posted this week by Cisco. The models involved are the PIX 501, 506E, 515E, 525 and 535.

PIX appliances were fated for termination when the company introduced its ASA 5500s in 2005. These devices support firewall and VPN just like the PIX but with better performance, SSL VPN support, VoIP security. It has modules for antivirus, antispam, antiphishing and URL filtering.

Last February, Cisco stopped selling its other competing firewall/VPN devices, the VPN 3000 series concentrators.

CheckPoint, Juniper, TippingPoint/3Com, Nokia, and Sonicwall also offer devices that combine multiple security functions such as VPN, firewall and intrusion-detection/prevention systems.

DSW offers special financing for those who need to replace their equipment. Contact your DSW rep for more information.

By Tim Greene , Network World , 02/01/2008 <>

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Discover How Cisco Video Surveillance Can Benefit Your Business

Make the most of video system investments and gain new security capabilities with Cisco Video Surveillance solutions. Scalable Web-based software and broadcast-quality hardware integrate with existing analog and network-centric systems to enable faster incident response and resolution.

Cisco Video Surveillance software and hardware enables the capture, transmission, viewing, recording, archiving and management of analog and IP video sources. Engineered with network and video expertise, Cisco video surveillance standards-based products:

- Deliver easy, secure access to live and recorded video

- Provide excellent scalability, reliability, and availability

- Simplify deployment and control of new security applications

- Lower operational costs

- Protect existing physical security systems investments

- Support multi-vendor device and applications interoperability

- Enable a smooth migration from analog to digital to full IPAs a result, Cisco provides solutions that can be deployed in a wide-range of scenarios, including:

Large Scale

- Hundreds to thousands of cameras

- Full motion video, high resolution images

- 24x7 video storage

- Analog and network-based systems

- Typical applications include airports, casinos, city centers, and universities

Low Camera Density

- On-site and remote video monitoring

- Motion-triggered recording

- Local and remote storage

- Integration with other security and business systems

- Typical applications include schools, retail stores, and hospitals

Remote Locations

- Remote web-access to live and recorded video

- Bandwidth-sensitive applications

- Mobile and wireless deployments

- Typical applications include border controls, pipelines, remote facilities, and roadways

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

When 720 GB of backbone just isn’t enough… start looking at the Ferrari of switching! Introducing the NEXUS 7000

The Nexus 7000 was unveiled recently by Cisco touting undoubtedly the fastest switch ever made. The 7000 has been designed to give 15 Terabytes per second backbone speed with redundancy previously only seen in large-scale military programs. It’s new revolutionary OS called NX-OS will replace the current Cisco IOS as the most robust OS yet.

The 7000 was created for the increasing requirements and bandwidth consumption of Video over IP. Conferencing, IP Surveillance, and YouTube have caused an inordinate amount of bandwidth to start crossing the wire, and the datacenter isn’t prepared for 30 frames, 4SIF video to flow to multiple streams. The 6500 series of switches currently supports 720 GBs of backbone. Take an HD stream of 45 MB/s and multiply that out. You can support about 16,000 total connections through your core before the stream starts to degrade. However, with the Nexus 7000, that number increases to over 333,000 Unicast streams.

Now I know what most of you are saying, this switch is overkill. But for a few of you out there, you have no choice but to look at the 7000 to increase your capabilities. Look for service providers to start rolling these out towards the end of this year and when the world starts to adopt a fully-fledged Video over IP system, this will be the backbone it’s carried on. When true GB just isn’t enough, and 10 GB is starting to look a little slow, then 40 GB and 100 GB networks are the requirement and the 7000 series will be the first to scale to that degree.

All of the characteristics of the 7000 can be seen on the Cisco website at:

Save 32 minutes of your life today!

A study completed by Sage Research shows that on average, employees lose 32 minutes per day trying to track down another employee in their very own company. On an employee who works for 10 years, that equates to 2 months of time spent tracking down coworkers. For a $50,000 a year employee, that’s a little over $800 per year and with 100 employees that’s $80,000 annually spent by their employer for this remedial task. Not to include the productivity and opportunity losses based on competitors beating you to the punch. In a time of connectivity such as this, why are we spending a couple months to find someone?

So what can you do to save the time, and what’s it going to cost? Cisco has a solution.

Presence Server is being utilized as an integrated platform for Voice, Video, Conferencing, Instant Messaging, and Availability signaling. By using a small applet on your PC, you can instantly see the status of other employees in the organization and more importantly instantly collaborate with them. Across the isle, or cross the globe, you can now find a person and get the information you need faster.

“Presence and mobility applications, including Cisco Unified Presence, provide presence and state information for features such as Cisco IP Phone Messenger and clients such as Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, Cisco Unified CallConnector for Microsoft Office for Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express users, and the Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator, and let users know which co-workers are available to them and by which device-wired or wireless-at any given time. In addition, Cisco Unified Mobility for Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unified CallConnector Mobility for Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express help enable "single-number reach" capability. The Sage Research study revealed that device-aware presence capabilities save an average of 32 minutes daily. Moreover, 50 percent of users claimed to save 15 to 30 minutes per day, and 47 percent reported that they save 30 to 60 minutes per day.”

Another Cisco tool is their new Single-Number-Reach approach to telephony. Imagine having one single telephone number on your business cards. This number is your office DID (Direct number) and it is connected to your home office phone, cell phone, car phone, soft phone, or any other phone where you want it to ring to. The best part is that all the phones ring at one time and if you don’t answer, the Voicemail at your office is the only Voicemail that will ever have to be checked. And of course with Unified messaging, you can pick those up on your phone, email, or even a webpage.

So what does it cost? A heck of lot less than $80,000…

So what is you time worth. What would you do with an hour a week, or a week a year? Spend it with your kids, add more sales, or just take an extra hour nap? You decide!


Friday, January 4, 2008

Business Continuity Planning

Natural disasters like Katrina and the recent fires in Southern California have underscored the need for business continuity planning. According to U.S. government agencies, up to 40% of businesses fail to reopen following a disaster.

Management has a responsibility to recover from such incidents in the minimum amount of time and the least amount of disruption to the business as possible.

Business continuity plans (BCP) are required to ensure that key business functions continue operating in the event of an emergency - not just IT systems. It is the responsibility of each division manager (HR, Customer Service, Manufacturing, etc.) to own and maintain the BCP as it applies to personnel, processes, and business operations within their areas of responsibility.

Business continuity planning has 5 major elements:

Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment
Recovery Solution Planning
BCP Testing
Maintaining the plan

An essential element of BCP is the business impact analysis and risk assessment. If this first step is not completed properly the rest of the plan is likely flawed. Business impact analysis and risk assessment involves the process of identifying the critical functions necessary for the organization to continue business operations, assessing potential risks to the organization, defining and measuring controls in place to reduce exposure, and evaluating the cost of such controls.

Recovery solution planning takes into account attributes including the number of locations, distribution of personnel, nature of business, interdependency of processes, disaster scenarios planned for, and requirements for alternative sites. Minimally, your recovery plan should cover personnel, payroll, Accounts Payable and Receivable, and shipping.

Step three is implementation. It includes training the response team, preparing the documentation, collecting and storing supplies, creating emergency authorization procedures, and preparing the alternate work site. Basically, you’ll be doing everything in preparation for executing the next step - testing the plan.

Testing the BCP is often viewed as too much of a disruption to business to be valuable. If you think testing is too much of a disruption to your business, imagine the chaos, impact on customers, shareholder and public opinion, and impact on revenue when you encounter an event that you aren’t prepared for. Testing your plan ensures that your solution assumptions are correct, that the plan doesn’t have operational gaps, and that you have practice at managing through an event.

Businesses aren’t static and neither should be your plan. As your business evolves through mergers and acquisitions, new products, and new suppliers, your BCP should also evolve. Maintenance of your BCP is critical to how well your organization is prepared to handle the inevitable.

Additional resources:

About the author
Rocky Vienna, CISA, is President and Founder of the Vienna Technology Group, LLC. Vienna Technology Group is an IT management and business consulting firm focused on IT Governance, Strategic Planning, IT Compliance, IT Outsourcing, and Business Continuity Planning.

Calling all IT managers, one new thing to add to your list of responsibilities... Surveillance!

Written by: Ryan Peterson, Director of Intelligent Facility, DSW

If you were like me, your world revolved around networks, servers, and the security of those systems. But then the world decided to start converging all of those systems to one cable wire, so we added a new responsibility called VoIP. That ship has sailed and if you haven't been on it, you are missing out on application convergence...very cool stuff...

But now, post 9/11 mentality has brought out major concerns about corporate security which was once a problem only regarded by federal government and defense.

So what now, new names enter the market that you and I have to begin thinking about and talking to. Names like Pelco, Bosch, NVT, Sony, Panasonic, and milestone to name a few with products like IP cameras, Megapixel cameras, matrix switches, baluns, and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs).

If you’re not used to questions like; A). What lens will give me the right clarity for this distance? B). What is the difference between identification placement vs. overview placement, or C). What the process is to get text to overlay on the video, or next to it? Then this new game might stump you... Or at least add a new area to study up on. Either way, expect to start working with your company's security department a lot more.

This might be a good time to announce what DSW is doing to join this conquest. DSW has added an Intelligent Facility practice to our list of offerings. Over many months of planning, hiring the right team, training with the right vendors and doing all of the heavy lifting of research about all of these products, we are now 1 of very few companies certified to sell Cisco's Physical Security products, and coupled with the correct cameras, we can bring to life the best in high quality or low-cost depending on your needs.

It's time to start thinking about how surveillance is going to impact your network, because it will. Quality of Service (QoS) is a main concern as is bandwidth and DVR placement. To learn more, contact your DSW representative today and we will schedule a no cost consultation.