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VDI “The Missing Questions” #7: How memory bus speed affects scale

March 13, 2013 at 11:59 am PST

This was the test I most eagerly anticipated because of the lack of information on the web regarding running a Xeon-based system at a reduced memory speed. Here I am at Cisco, the company that produces one of the only blades in the industry capable of supporting both the top bin E5-2690 processor and 24 DIMMs (HP and Dell can’t say the same), yet I didn’t know the performance impact for using all 24 DIMM slots. Sure, technically I could tell you that the E5-26xx memory bus runs at 1600MHz at two DIMMs per channel (16 DIMMs) and a slower speed at three DIMMs per channel (24 DIMMs), but how does a change in MHz on a memory bus affect the entire system? Keep reading to find out.

Speaking of memory, don’t forget that this blog is just one in a series of blogs covering VDI:

The situation. As you can see in the 2-socket block diagram below, the E5-2600 family of processors has four memory channels and supports three DIMMs per channel. For a 2-socket blade, that’s 24 DIMMs. That’s a lot of DIMMs. If you populate either 8 or 16 DIMMs (1 or 2 DIMMs per channel), the memory bus runs at the full 1600MHz (when using the appropriately rated DIMMs). But when you add a third DIMM to each channel (for 24 DIMMs), the bus slows down. When we performed this testing, going from 16 to 24 DIMMs slowed the entire memory bus to 1066MHz, so that’s what you’ll see in the results. Cisco has since qualified running the memory bus at 1333MHz in UCSM maintenance releases 2.0(5a) and 2.1(1b), so running updated UCSM firmware should yield even better results than we saw in our testing.

 

As we’ve done in all of our tests, we looked at two different blades with two very different processors. Let’s start with the results for the E5-2665 processor. The following graph summarizes the results from four different test runs. Let’s focus on the blue lines. We tested 1vCPU virtual desktops with the memory bus running at 1600MHz (the solid blue line) and 1066MHz (the dotted blue line). The test at 1600MHz achieved greater density, but only 4% greater density. That is effectively negligible considering that the load is random in these tests. LoginVSI is designed to randomize the load.

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Secure Solutions Delivered Through the Cloud

Lockheed Martin has a vision for the cloud that delivers reliable and secure functionality, yet is developed to fit customer-specific business models. To do so seamlessly and as efficiently as possible, the IT provider turned to Cisco, Intel, NetApp, and VMware to integrate technologies to enable this vision.

Lockheed Martin’s solutions-as-a-service cloud approach is called SolaS™, and it is more than just a general service. Lockheed Martin takes the time to identify the objectives of the client’s mission and determine what the best innovation and solutions are that fit those objectives. With the FlexPod™ architecture, developed by the aforementioned technology partners, a solution can be rapidly deployed and then adjusted according to customer needs.

A four-step process to implementing SolaS ensures that each cloud model is developed according to differentiated customer purposes. You can read more about Lockheed Martin’s SolaS approach and how the service is delivered on the Unleashing IT website.

Coming up: Thought leaders from Cisco, Intel, NetApp, and Microsoft are coming together to explain how your business can gain a competitive advantage using FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud. They’ll share stories of others’ success by choosing the right technology and infrastructure to make the most of their private cloud environment. Join Cisco for this executive roundtable discussion on April 17, 2013.

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Video Collaboration: Better Than Being There

March 13, 2013 at 8:32 am PST

This blog is first in a series of blogs glimpsing into the future of video collaboration.  The second blog in the series is “Video Collaboration: On Every Pane of Glass“. We encourage you to follow the series and let us know your thoughts.

To say that video is changing the way we communicate and collaborate would be the understatement of the decade. In their current form, today’s video communication and collaboration tools not only improve interaction and help to foster better relationships between participants, but they provide non-verbal communication cues that already add significant value  to those interactions. They help to better gauge the level of interest, engagement and overall sentiment of those participating, and that is useful and cool.

But video collaboration can deliver more than that. We think that with the explosion of video-enabled mobile devices, the availability of cloud platforms and applications, and the intelligence of the network we can add context, content, scale and make video even easier to use. In short, we believe that video collaboration can be made available on every pane of glass, that video can be as easy or easier than voice is today, and — most importantly — for many use cases, video collaboration can actually be better than being there. Some of these capabilities are available now and others in the near future.  Let me share a glimpse of what video can do for you.  Let’s start by exploring how video collaboration can be better than being there.   Read More »

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Collaboration is Good Dog Food – Crowdsourcing

March 13, 2013 at 8:29 am PST

In my last blog I talked about the importance of building your personal brand using your WebEx Social Profile and Expertise Tags.  Today I’m going to explain how your Profile and Expertise Tags can play a greater role in crowd sourcing.

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Making Lives Easier, One Drop at a Time

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

We often think of technology in terms of flashy gadgets and slick new applications. But the technology with the biggest impact is often more prosaic. It’s about using straightforward tools to solve basic problems that make people’s lives better.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of this recently is NextDrop, out of Hubli in the state of Karnataka, India. NextDrop is attacking a problem that affects millions of people in India and in much of the developing world: unpredictable and unreliable water supply.

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