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Oh Canada! On What’s Great in the Great North. (Eh!)

The transformation of video and its accoutrements, all in IP, is a reality that’s alive and well in the Great North. And before Spring begins its spectacle, we wanted to give a nod to our Canadian colleagues about the hotbed of IP video activity that’s going on in that important territory.

First, on February 7, TELUS announced plans to add a mobile component to its successful Optik TV service, calling it “Optik on the Go.” That way, consumers in Alberta and British Columbia get a simple, straightforward way to view Optik TV content, across a range of devices.

It’s a continuation of a 10 year strategy for our friends to the north, who decided way back in 2000 to transition to an “all IP” configuration, from end to end. Read More »

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Server Form-Factor Freedom

Today, Cisco introduced the Third-Generation of Fabric computing. The power of unification can be seen in all aspects of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). It unifies physical and virtual compute environments. It integrates the server and network access.  It also unifies and simplifies the management of rack and blade servers.  The choice between using blade and physical server is not obvious and usually sparks a heated debate. The Cisco UCS Manager with B-Series blades and C-Series Rack-mount servers makes this argument moot.

Without passing judgment on whether rack or blade servers are better, lets begin by listing the benefits of the two form factors.  Blade server use is growing and there are many reasons for this:

  1. Data center space / Power / Cooling constraints -- Data center space can get expensive depending on the location.  In this CBS 60 minutes segment, proximity to the stock exchange is extolled. This fascinating video shows the collocation of data centers in urban nerve centers. I am sure data center space in these locations commands a premium. Energy efficiencies also become important in the overall cost structure.   Power constraints may also favor the use of blades that consume less power than equally powerful rack mount servers.
  2. Read More »

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NEW! Cisco Announces Highly Scalable Third Generation UCS Networking Fabric

Today Cisco announced an expanded portfolio of third generation UCS Networking products that improve Datacenter scalability, performance and agility with industry leading capabilities. The announcement includes the following new products:

1. A new Fabric Interconnect (Cisco UCS 6296UP) that doubles the switching capacity of the data center fabric to improve workload density (from 960Gbps to 1.92 Tbps), reduces end-to-end latency by 40 percent to improve application performance  and provides flexible unified ports to improve infrastructure agility and transition to a fully converged fabric

2. A new Chassis I/O Module (Cisco UCS 2204XP) that offers enhanced resiliency and utilization with Port Channeling, and an option for 80 Gbps, in addition to 160 Gbps, down to each chassis (from 80Gb to 320Gb to the blade) to handle workload bursts

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Managed Services Mean Big Benefits for Small Businesses

March 8, 2012 at 10:13 am PST

Outsourcing IT support lets you reduce IT costs and focus your efforts on what your company does best

Small companies are proliferating in every industry, from health care to hospitality and financial services to technology. But regardless of their industry, all small companies face similar challenges when it comes to their IT networks. Despite a lack of in-house IT resources, small businesses must keep their networks running reliably at top speeds. At the same time, they need to watch their budgets by reining in IT operational costs and limiting IT investments. For an increasing number of small businesses, the answer to these problems is relatively simple: managed services.

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With High-Frequency Trading, Financial Firms Face New Challenges

In recent years, the financial industry has witnessed a revolution. To discuss, debate, and seek a bit of consensus on the crucial issues impacting the industry, I met earlier this year in New York with a team of experts at the Electronic Trading Innovation Council. For the event, Cisco partnered with the founders of the council, Julio Gomez and Clay Booma. I was joined by my Cisco colleagues Aron Dutta, co-managing director for financial markets, Cisco IBSG; Chris O’Connell, Cisco’s head of strategy for alternative investment markets; and Dave Malik, Cisco’s technology & architecture lead. The other participants represented a wide range of financial and tech-based firms, including BNY Mellon, Citi, Credit Suisse, Lazard Freres, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, State Street, UBS, Equinix, Savvis, and Tervela.

It was a great team, and the roundtable meetings benefited from a vast body of knowledge and a high level of participation. Read More »

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