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2012 Predictions: These I Like

January 23, 2012 at 9:13 am PST

It took me awhile to go through all the random Top 10 of 2011 lists for various topics, so now I’m ready to look ahead to 2012’s preponderance of pundit predictions. Or maybe I’m just fashionably late. I’ve tripped over a few reports here and there – some quite possibly developed by caffeinated squirrels on a treadmill.

Not me, but she looks like she's predicting something...

On the technology front, I found one more interesting than others. Instead of putting a small group of experts in a room and not letting them out until they agree on a list, Baseline Magazine annually surveys business and technology managers at companies with 100+ employees to ask about their organizations’ investments, plans, and strategies. Across several hundred respondents, patterns evolve.

Whoever these people are, coming from the desk I use, I like the way they (and their companies) think. Following – their predictions and my two cents (maybe three or four).

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Bypass Electrical Headaches with Power over Ethernet

Plug PoE devices into your network for easy, anywhere electrical power

Have you ever needed to plug in a new phone, but you were all out of electrical outlets? Or maybe you’ve tried to install a wireless access point close to the ceiling, but no outlets were nearby. When you first start building your small business network, powering up hardware is the least of your worries. But after you’ve laid some cables and maxed out even your power strips, you may find outlets a precious commodity. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the easy way to get around wiring when you need electricity for new devices. PoE provides a way to deliver power over your network to a variety of network-attached devices.

PoE allows electrical power to pass over standard Ethernet cables along with data traffic. Hardware equipped with PoE can be plugged directly into the network for a power source—no wall socket necessary. There’s a wide range of these network-attached devices that provide PoE support, including switches, wireless access points (WAPs), IP phones, video cameras, point-of-sale devices, and more.

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Recently Voted into MPI-3

January 23, 2012 at 7:03 am PST

In the January MPI Forum meeting, several proposals passed their 2nd votes, meaning that they are “in” MPI-3.  That being said, MPI-3 is not yet finalized (and won’t be for many more months), so changes can still happen.

  • Creating MPI_COMM_SPLIT_TYPE
  • Making the C++ bindings optional
  • Updating RMA (a.k.a., “one-sided”)
  • Creating a new “MPIT” tools interface

I’ll describe each of these briefly below.

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Modernizing the Electrical Grid with New Cisco Connected Grid Solutions, Products and Services

This week Cisco announced additional solutions and services to its Connected Grid portfolio that will help utilities modernize the electric grid with built-in flexibility, security and interoperability enabled by the power of the network. Cisco’s new technology architecture, solutions and related services address key utility concerns around cost, reliability and scalability in their communications infrastructures.

For Cisco’s press release on its latest offerings, please click here.

Cisco hosted a webcast on 1/17/12 about Cisco’s efforts to help optimize the connected grid with its new solutions, products and services. For a replay of this webcast, please click here.

For customer perspective on the current state of the smart grid transition and the new set of offerings in Cisco’s Connected Grid portfolio, please click here.

How to Give Your Customers a Space-Saving Network with Lower TCO and Increased Productivity

January 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm PST

Are your customers asking for a network with poor performance, inadequate security, lack of application visibility, and complex management? Probably not. More likely they ask for a network that’s efficient, easy to set up, and doesn’t take up too much space in the closet.

Just consider this hypothetical customer situation…

Your customer’s branch office has 150 employees, 45-Mbps WAN bandwidth, an IP voice system, and WAN acceleration to optimize the connection to the head office. The office also has custom applications it runs on a small server. Here’s your riddle: what vendor’s solution can you deploy that would support your customer’s needs and offer:

  • 50% fewer devices
  • 43% fewer capital expenditures
  • 57% fewer OpEx over 5 years
  • 49% less overall cost over 5 years

Find out the answer and read our white paper with all the details. Read More »

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