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March Madness & Cisco TelePresence Madness

I’m a big fan of March Madness.  I love watching the b-ball games, but the part I enjoy most is the emotion and passion it brings out in people.  As I’ve watched my friends favorite teams / alma maters get eliminated, I couldn’t help but laugh and wonder about their reactions and even if there were some tears shed.  And this has made me think (I do this on occasion)… As immersive Telepresence/Video experiences continue to become more pervasive in our professional and personal life, it’s not far-fetched to think I may get to see some tears shed via Telepresence during future March Madness tournaments. I can’t wait!

On to business. As the title states, we’re also experiencing a sort of Cisco TelePresence Madness.  The customer announcements are getting more frequent and the scope of rollouts are getting more extensive as organizations turn to the power of Cisco TelePresence to solve collaboration challenges and create new opportunities.  And today, Bank of America & Cisco announced an agreement to deploy the largest network of Cisco TelePresence systems in the world.  Huge win for Cisco.

Some interesting details on the Bank of America announcement:

  • Bank of America is deploying the largest network of Cisco TelePresence systems with an initial 200 units being installed across the bank’s global operations by year-end.
  • Cisco TelePresence will become the new standard for room-based video collaboration at Bank of America.

Press Release:

Check out the short video clip of Marc Gordon, CTO, Bank of America, discussing the significance of this deployment across the bank’s footprint and excitement around the use of this technology among associates worldwide. 


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Benchmark-apalooza: Cisco UCS Nabs Intel World Records For Virtualization, App Serving and HPC

In case you missed the news, Intel released a bunch of world record benchmarks for 2 socket x86 servers, and big ups to UCS for its three impressive world records—more than any other x86 vendor. Sure, benchmarks and statistics share damn lies together, and as a marketing communications professional, there is nothing that induces sleep faster than benchmark debate. Just the same, please allow me to expound on this particular set of world records because I do think there are some interesting comments to be made:

  • Cisco Unified Computing System B250 M2 Server set a new record(1) with results of 35.83 @ 26 tiles in the VMware VMmark benchmark. While Cisco blades with extended memory and virtualized NIC controller are expected to win in virtualized environments, the VMmark benchmark is a significant win because it measure both virtualized system density and performance, and the UCS score represents a 43% improvement over the previous winner.
  • Cisco Unified Computing System C250 M2 Server set a new record on the SPECjAppServer2004 benchmark, which measured application server performance, running a complete Oracle Enterprise Linux, Oracle 11g and Oracle WebLogic stack. While its no secret that UCS should do well in the app server category, the workload focus is still a nifty win for UCS—an opinion that Oracle clearly shares.
  • Cisco also achieved top results(2) in several key High Performance Computing benchmarks including SPECfp_rate_base2006, SPECompM2001, SPECompL2001, and Linpack, as well as the compute intensive integer performance benchmark, SPECint_rate_base2006.  Its nice to see UCS do well in computationally intensive areas.

Here, lifted from the Intel website, are all of the new world records:

Highlights on Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series-based server (March 16, 2010)
Segment -- Benchmark Platform/Partner Software Details Result (gain over
Intel® Xeon® processor X5570)
General Purpose
Computing -- SPECint*_
Dell PowerEdge R710* Intel® C++ Compiler 11.1 -- SLES 11 355 (+40%) Number one x86 two socket server result
Scientific Computing
-- SPECfp*_rate_
Dell PowerEdge R710* Intel C++ Compiler 11.1 -- SLES 11 248 (+25%) Number one x86 two socket server result
Virtualization --
Cisco UCS B250M2* VMware ESX 4.0 U1* 35.83@26 tiles (+42%) Number one two socket result
Energy Efficiency -- SPECpower*_
ssj2008 (Single Node Server)
IBM x3650 M3* IBM* J9 JVM 2,927 overall ssj_ops/watt (+42%) (gain over Intel® Xeon® processor L5530) Number one two socket single node server result
Energy Efficiency -- SPECpower*_ssj2008 (Multi-Node Server) IBM dx360 M3* IBM* J9 JVM 3,038 ssj_ops/watt (+31%) Number one two socket Multi-node server result
eCommerce -- SPECjbb*2005 Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX300 S6* IBM* J9 VM* -- Microsoft Windows Server 2008* 928,393 BOPS (+46%) Number one x86 two socket server result
Application Server --
Cisco UCS C250 M2* Oracle WebLogic Server* SE Rel. 10.3 -- Oracle 11g Database*, Oracle Enterprise Linux* 5,185 JOPS(+30%) World record for the most JOPS (Java Operations Per Second) per Chip
Web Server -- SPECWeb*2005 Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX300 S6* Rock Web Server* v1.4.7 -- Red Hat* Enterprise Linux* 5.3 104,422(+25%) Highest SPECWeb2005 result ever
Enterprise Resource
Planning -- SAP-SD*
Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX300 S6 SAP ERP 6.0* (Unicode) 4,860 Number of Benchmark Users Number one two socket result
HPC -- SPEComp*Mbase
Cisco UCS B200 M2* RHEL 5.4*, Intel C++ Compiler 11.1 52,314(+20%) Number one two socket result
Intel Result server cluster Suse Linux Enterprise Server* Excellent cluster scaling Number one two socket cluster result
Integer Single Task
-- SPECint*_
Fujitsu PRIMERGY* RX300 S6 Intel C++ Compiler 11.1, SLES 11 38.9 (+10%) Number one x86 two socket server result
using SPECint*_rate
Fujitsu PRIMERGY* RX300 S6 Intel C++ Compiler 11.1, SLES 11 Intel® Xeon® processor L5640 uses 30% lower power than Intel® Xeon® processor X5570 at SPECint*_rate_base2006 score of 250 Same performance as Intel® Xeon® X5570 with 30% lower power results for

results for

HPC -- Black-Scholes*
(Financial Services)
Supermicro* Black-Scholes 11.5 seconds (+60%) Exceptional gain over previous generation

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Cisco Announces First Eos Customer in Europe – Dogwoof

Yes, you read the headline correctly - Dogwoof.  I have to say, I think it’s a great company name -- brings a smile to my face every time I write it. 

On to the point.  Today, Cisco announced Dogwoof as its first Eos customer in Europe. Dogwoof is a leading independent film distributor in the United Kingdom specializing in social issue films and documentaries.  Dogwoof, which recently distributed films such as Age of Stupid, and the Academy Award- nominated documentaries Food, Inc. and Burma VJ, is deploying the Eos platform to expand and empower its increasing online community, enabling conversations around the social issues raised by the films beyond the initial viewing.  Additionally, individual Eos-powered sites will be developed for each film that Dogwoof distributes and the social issue it addresses.  Each of the film sites will tie back to a centralized Dogwoof site called “Good with Film” that will help audience members interact not only with social films and their content, but also with other people interested in the same topics.

For more information, check out the video below from Scott Brown.


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Happy Birthday UCS!

I’m a “dessert first” kind of person, and there is no better time than when celebrating a birthday!  It has already been one year since the launch of Cisco’s Unified Computing System….and what an exciting year it’s been.

The UCS team has made tremendous progress in a short period of time. During our last earning statement in January, John Chambers publicly announced more than 400 UCS customers—and growing every day. Over the course of the previous year, we expanded the family from the B-Series blade server--which adapts to specific business application demands, intelligently scales energy use, and offers best-in-class virtualization thanks to its NIC card--to the C-Series rack-mount servers, which extends the benefits of the Unified Computing System to another industry standard form factor.

A year ago, we introduced Unified Computing as a both an evolutionary and  revolutionary new approach to achieving the business agility and return on investment made possible by a virtualized data center. The journey to Unified Computing can be taken in an incremental “building block” approach, which allows customers to see tangible benefits as they progress through the stage of virtualization.

Unified Computing is not an “all or nothing” proposition — Cisco understands that modern data centers are heterogeneous environments with complex interdependencies. Unified Computing components can be deployed as customers’ needs and operational readiness dictate and integrated easily into existing architectures — bringing incremental advantages and investment protection to any computing infrastructure. Potential customers can embark upon this journey in several stages:

  1. Start by introducing systems that are optimized for virtualization into an existing infrastructure.
  2. Unify fabrics across servers and storage.
  3. Unify management.

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Cisco to Keynote at VoiceCon

Tony Bates, Cisco SVP, to deliver keynote at VoiceCon on Cisco’s Vision for the Future of Collaboration.  

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