Video featuring Cisco employees sharing their experiences transitioning out of the military into the civilian workforce
Veterans Corporate Technology Day (VCTD) at Cisco Systems will take place this year on Thursday, November 7, 2013. The day brings U.S. military personnel, spouses and caregivers to Cisco campuses and exposes them to available resources as they potentially transition to the civilian workforce. Events will be hosted at the following locations:
Cisco San Antonio, Texas and Brook Army Medical Center (20 Vets)
Cisco Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Ft Bragg (100 Vets)
Cisco Englewood, Colorado and Ft Carson and local Air Force entities (25 Vets)
Cisco San Jose, California (50 Vets)
Cisco Herndon, Virginia (100 Vets)
The multi-site event introduces mentorship programs and educational resources. To register, Read More »
As our team has prepared for Educause 2013 this week, we have been talking a lot about technology in higher education and how it’s impacting colleges, universities, students and staff. Of course, robot soccer was not the first thing that came to mind, but it’s a great example of how different technologies are changing education forever.
Bowdoin College, which you may remember from last year’s #1 Most Connected College, is one of my favorite case studies because it points out that people have to TRUST technology for it to really be effective. Trust is a big word, really – I know I’m not the only person who is a little gun shy when I think about updating my phone to a new software version. So, when a professor has a class full of students and says “let’s all stream this video right now”, it’s important that it actually works – or professors risk losing student attention, losing time and facing maximum frustration levels.
It’s October again and that means a few things: the weather is starting to cool down; it’s almost time to carve pumpkins and it’s SMB Week/Month (depending on who you ask)! We’re kicking off SMB Week/Month with part one of a four-part blog series focusing on preparing small business owners for their next technology upgrade.
For part one, I thought we would start at the beginning of any business purchase, financing.
It’s quite common to see a small business’ big technology idea be restricted because of budget. Finding the right financing plan for your information technology (IT) project is critical because often, simple upgrades can provide the framework your business needs to reach its goals.
A good financing plan will allow you to align your IT assets with your business initiatives. It can help you adopt new technology that will increase profits in the long run and your immediate cash flow can be invested back into your company. Here are five tips on how to find the right financing plan for your small business:
Make a plan
Before looking at financing options, you must decide what technology you need to achieve your business objectives. While setting these goals, ensure you are being realistic in regards to your financial realities. If your budget is slim, allocate your resources to what you predict will be the most important and rewarding project. Once you have a plan you can browse your financing options while being educated and targeted, not wasting any of your – or your business’ – time.
Start with a flexible contract
In today’s fast-paced world it is important to ensure you are signing a contract that will allow you to stay current with technology innovations. By starting with a flexible contract you are able to control your IT investments when new business or technology is introduced. When starting a business, cash flow can be volatile so having a flexible payment plan in place can deter additional fees or unforeseen costs. In order to achieve this stability, choose a company that offers captive financing rates. And here’s another tip: some types of institutions are supported by their parent company, and not impacted by banks’ fluctuating rates.
Look for the ability to upgrade
The issue with purchasing IT hardware is that technology can become obsolete before you teach all of your employees how to use it. Having a contract that requires you pay off old hardware before purchasing new can severely affect a small business’ cash flow, so when evaluating financing plans look for companies that offer the ability to refresh the technology you have by replacing old hardware and software with newer versions. Some plans offer to purchase back your existing equipment before leasing you a new asset. It is also beneficial to investigate which plans include environmentally-friendly disposal of your old technology. These features are more commonly found in financing plans that come from the technology provider itself.
Request an adjustable lifecycle
Most technology has a suggested lifecycle, based on the optimal time to refresh your system and services. While these suggestions are usually accurate and timed to when new products are set to be released, it is still important to have the ability to refresh when you feel it is necessary. Your IT and business needs may not change on the same timeline as your technology. Unpredictable events can happen, so look for a product suite that will offer an adjustable lifecycle to fit the needs of your small business.
Decide what to finance
Lastly, it is important for you to dictate what you want to finance and what you are prepared to pay for upfront. Implementation, servicing and maintenance costs can all be incorporated into your financing plans, lowering the cost of ownership while giving you time to establish your business and optimize the return on investment (ROI) of your solution. Find a plan that allows you to bundle operating, maintenance, service solutions, technology migration, sales and leaseback services, depending on your needs.
To learn more about what Cisco offers SMB’s, visitour website.
Mileage (miles per gallon) is one of the important criteria while buying any automobile and once bought, it is highly desirable to hit the maximum advertised mileage withoutsignificantly changing the driving habits or the routes (highway vs city mpg). Well, I have not been able to achieve that yet, so being a geek, I focused my attention on a different form of mileage (throughput per switch-port) that interests me at work. So in this blog, I would explore a way to get more SAN mileage from the Cisco UCSFI (Fabric Interconnect)without significantly affecting the SAN admin’s day-to-day operations.
Just a bit of background before we delve into the details -- The I/O fabric between the UCS FI and the UCS Blade Server Chassis is a converged fabric, running FCoE. The usage of FCoE within the UCS fabric is completely transparent to the host operating system, and any Fibre Channel block storage traffic traverses this fabric as the FCoE traffic. So, a large number of over 20,000+ UCS customers, using Block Storage, are already using FCoE at the access layer of the network.
Now, the key question is what technology, FC or FCoE, to use northbound on the FI uplink ports to connect to an upstream Core switch for the SAN connectivity. So, what are the uplink options? Well, the FI has Unified ports and the choice is using the same uplink port as either 8G FC -or- 10G FCoE. [Note that when using the FCoE uplink, it is not a requirement to use a converged link and one can still use a dedicated FCoE link for carrying pure SAN traffic].
1) Bandwidth for Core Links: This is a very important aspect for the core part of the network. It is interesting to note that 10G FCoE provides almost50% more throughput than the 8G FC. This is because FC has a different bit encoding and clock-rate than Ethernet, and so 8G FC yields 6.8G throughput while 10G FCoE yields close to 10G throughput (post 1-2% Ethernet frame overhead)
2) Consistent Management Model: FCoE is FC technology with same management and security model, so it will be a seamless transition for a SAN admin to move from FC to FCoE with very minimal change in the day-to-day operations. Moreover, if the UCS FI is running in the NPV mode, then technically the FCoE link between the UCS FI and the upstream SAN switch does not constitute a Multi-Hop FCoE design, as the UCS FI is not consuming a Domain-ID, and the bulk of SAN configurations like zoning etc. need to happen on only the Core SAN switch, thus maintaining the same consistent SAN operational model as with just the FC.
3) Investment Protection with Multi-protocol flexibility: By choosing FCoE uplink from the converged access layer, one can still continue to use the upstream core SAN Director switch as-is, providing the connectivity to existing FC Storage arrays. Note that Cisco MDS 9000 SAN Director offers Multi-protocol flexibility so that one can Interconnect FCoE SANs on the Server-side with the FC SANs on the Storage-side.
We are now witnessing children’s health care expanding across the nation with advancements in video-based networking and collaborative technologies. A virtual visit by a renowned pediatric specialist at your local clinic is now becoming a reality in a growing number of communities.
As one in five children in the U.S. seek specialist medical care this year, ready availability of pediatric sub-specialists is critical for our children’s health and healthy communities. These specialists are in short supply, however, and tend to be clustered in the major metropolitan cities. Wait times for initial appointments can range from three to nine months. According to Time Magazine, 15 million children live in rural enclaves where the ratio of pediatricians and family physicians is 22 for every 100,000 kids. That’s a patient load of more than 4,500 children per doctor. Outside the U.S., those numbers drastically increase.
Today, telehealth pilot programs with a video interface from a medical specialty facility to a local clinic are vastly improving access to pediatric specialty care. With no travel to the big city to see a specialist and no associated travel costs, families reduce time lost at work and school to receive care for their children.
In Jordan, Cisco “care-at-a-distance” technologies connect patients at two rural hospitals to specialists in Amman, the capital. Traveling to Amman is expensive or prohibitive for many people, but now they can get the specialty care they need through remote consultations.