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Most data centers are challenged with the same cost control problems of power, cooling, space, and people. Illustrating that one x86 server can cost more than US$400 a year in just energy consumption, a 2009 Gartner study concluded that IT managers can combat rising costs by reviewing their data center strategies and proactively looking to consolidation, use of energy saving solutions, and strategic deployment of IT labor.  Our online chronicle, Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas, provides an inside look at how Cisco IT is tackling these challenges with a strategy that is reflected in our new facility, Texas Data Center 2.

The chronicle begins with a presentation of our vision and strategy in the special feature, What If, which describes our roadmap to a cloud-based network and our move toward IT as a Service. It reviews critical decisions such as our Data Center Site Selection and plan to Build a Metro Virtual Pair of data centers to support consolidation, load balancing, and business resiliency.  It discusses how we’ll benefit from cost reductions in rack space and power consumption while our teams are busy Preparing for Virtualization and Migrating Apps into our cloud architecture. And it shares how we’re already saving over US $1 million by deploying technologies like Fibre Channel over Ethernet to dramatically reduce the size of our cable plant.

Using Gold LEED Certification as part of our strategy to help reduce Cisco’s carbon emissions, the chronicle also shows how we’ve tackled cost control through space and energy-saving solutions like Overhead Cabling Management, Flywheels for Power Backup, delivering Higher Voltage to the Racks, and Raising the Ambient Temperature so that we may benefit from Power Savings from Fresh Air Cooling.

All of this has been possible through innovations in service delivery and teamwork that have helped us reduce the cost of our IT staff’s time. By deploying infrastructure as a service, we’ll reduce time spent on routine tasks like provisioning new services, from hours to minutes. Through extensive Collaborative Building Design and Virtual Project Management between Cisco IT and its partners in Cisco WorkPlace Resources, we’ve improved efficiency during our project, and have saved on travel time, costs and impact on the environment.  Most importantly, we can now use this saved time to redeploy our expertise up the value chain to offer better service to our internal clients, and find better ways to meet the ongoing cost challenges of power, cooling, space and people.

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