As we got past the Mayan Apocalyse day and as 2012 comes to an end, a question to reflect upon is if this has been the year of the Converged Infrastructure Solutions. Incidentally, use of these solutions by data centers was a topic of discussion on a panel moderated by Jim McHugh last month.
Just so we are on the same page, Converged Infrastructure Solutions are those which have integrated servers (CPU & Memory), server virtualization (hypervisor) and storage with the necessary network access into a single entity or logical unit. Examples are the VCE Vblock, NetApp FlexPod, Hitachi Data Systems UCP, IBM PureFlex System and HP CloudSystem (all names are trademarks of the respective companies). Even Dell has started marketing converged systems. The term pre-integrated has to be dissected carefully. In some cases the precise choices on server, storage array and the hypervisor have already been made by the vendor. In others, there is a choice on these infrastructure components and the solution is a reference design with tested scenarios. For instance, the Vblock is a fully integrated and tested solution with Cisco UCS for servers and network access, Cisco MDS 9148 storage switches, EMC VNX series storage and VMware virtualization. The misunderstanding on converged solutions is deep enough that an IBM PureFlex video goes on to compare the UCS Manager (manages only the UCS components) to the PureFlex management software, when in reality it should be compared with the Vblock management software. Read More »
Since ” ’tis the season” for giving in many parts of the world, and as end of the calendar year approaches, I’ve decided to finish my working year reflecting upon the biggest “Giving Back” initiative I was personally part of in September of this year (2012) -- my two stages of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, or RAB as we called it in Cisco UK & Ireland -- an event we aligned to Cisco’s overall involvement in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. Time has flown since I initially blogged about my nerves pre-ride. I reflected on our “Virtual RAB” -- designed to give everyone at Cisco an easier chance of participating -- also as part of our overall fundraising, and told you about the “Network on Wheels” or Cisco NOW Van that supported us with remote (very remote!) internet access as we cycled through all weathers from the bottom to the very top of the UK. The Cisco team raised around £20,000 (over $32,000 USD) -- while the event as a whole, with over 700 riders, raised over £1 Million in total -- all for paralympic athletes.
It was indeed an experience! While the second of my two days was a beautiful day for cycling -- as the video clip from Cisco UK & Ireland Senior VP Phil Smith (quite a cyclist btw!) shows -- the first day was a 12 hour test in truely horrendous stormy conditions! Let me tell you more about that day and show you some of the sights on the way.
Cisco employees are always ready for some friendly competition for a good cause. During our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, our desire to give back brings out the competitive spirit in all of us.
The Cisco team in Richardson, Texas, held the official campus-wide kickoff for the Global Hunger Relief Campaign on November 15 with its annual Bowling for Hunger. The team with the highest score won a free bowling package, and the team that raised the most money received a huge trophy. This year, the Bowling for Hunger event raised nearly US$8,000 for the Campaign.
Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose, California launched the 2012 Campaign with an executive food sort at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. More than 45 executives and volunteers divided into three teams, led by Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, Executive Vice President Randy Pond, and Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge. The teams competed to see who could sort 30,000 pounds of food to be distributed to families in need the fastest.
Cisco Executive Vice President Randy Pond (right) and other Cisco employees volunteer at the Second Harvest Food Bank.
While internal competition is fun, Cisco employees really crank it into high gear when we’re up against other companies in giving back. The Cisco team in San Jose also participated in the 48-Hour Virtual Race to End Hunger from November 13 to 15.
The Virtual Race is an online challenge that rallies employees at Silicon Valley companies to support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, which provides food to a quarter of a million of their neighbors in need each month. The Cisco team earned first place, raising almost $160,000 in 48 hours. Our prize – the Cisco logo will be featured on a Second Harvest Food Bank truck.
No matter how the money is raised, Cisco employees come through every year to fight hunger around the world with their time, energy, and creativity. Finding fun, competitive ways to raise the money just makes it that much more interesting.
Join Cisco to take action against hunger: Leave a comment on the Cisco How Do You Give Facebook tab about how you give back. For every comment made on the page through December 31, Cisco will donate $1 to the World Food Programme – enough to provide 4 meals.
These retailers understand they are competing against “showrooming” with E-commerce only retailers and consumer uncertainties over the economy. Many have developed unique shopping experiences to attract customers and here are some that stood out for me this holiday season before I head over to New York for the NRF 2013 Convention in January.
Uniqlo is a Japanese based international fashion retailer which opened its San Francisco store this October with great fanfare, including enlisting Japanese YouTube feline star Maru to promote their San Francisco store opening.
Some of the things that stood out for me at the store are:
Takeaway: The Cisco Enterprise Wireless group helps networking and IT professionals stay informed and get the most out of Cisco’s products and solutions, while displaying thought leadership on major technological trends. For 2012, there were 10 posts that stood out from the rest.
Cisco Enterprise Wireless products and solutions continue to grow in the enterprise space, providing best-in-class wireless infrastructure for many businesses and organizations. Out of our blogs this year, including detailed case studies of how enterprises utilize Cisco products and solutions, best practices from successful deployments, overviews of thought leadership webinars, and more, ten posts stood out from the rest.