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Of Shredders and Servers

July 20, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

How long do you expect your electronic gadgets to work for you?  Not necessarily how long will devices last before simply breaking, but for what length of time will they usefully perform the functions that you obtained them for?

With technological advances coming faster and faster nowadays -- and older systems therefore becoming obsolete quicker and quicker - plus a growing number of devices that have to keep pace with other online systems in order to remain useful, the useful lifespan of our gadgets seems to be shrinking.

A glance around my home office provides a snapshot of how long much of my electronic paraphernalia has been in operation Read More »

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Collaboration is Hot…At Cisco Live!

I arrived in Las Vegas Monday for the 20th annual Cisco Live conference for networkers and felt the positive buzz and excitement throughout the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.  There was amazing energy, particularly at the keynote speeches – joining the audience of 15,000 in person (and 40,000 virtual attendees) was very exciting.  It was the most positive feeling I’ve ever experienced at this conference. Read More »

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Cisco IT’s Strategy for Cisco Unified Communications Manager Upgrades

Cisco IT maintains about 21 Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) clusters to support  150,000 hardware phones and 51,000 software phones used by our global employees, contractors and contact center agents.  In general, Cisco IT likes to stay up to date, and upgrades to most major releases of the Cisco UCM as soon as possible – frequently this occurs before the code is available to our external customers.  We do this to take advantage of new features and to help the product developers identify needed improvements before the release is made available to customers.

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Cloudy With a Chance of Data Center Savings

June 29, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Ah, weather – one of life’s multi-purpose tools.  Conversation filler (“Quite the weather we’re having.”), alleged indicator of world’s end and source of inspiration for comic book writers to empower heroes and villains alike.

Weather can also be a Data Center’s best friend.  Solar energy can be harvested to help generate power, for instance, such as is happening at Cisco’s Data Center in Allen, Texas.  (Look for the 100 kW solar array on the right side of the Data Center’s roof.)  Wind energy as well.  Rainwater can even be collected for cooling system usage or to irrigate landscaping.

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Virtual Desktops: To Brazil and Back

June 22, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

I must confess, the first time I heard about virtual desktop infrastructure it made me think of a scene from the 1985 movie Brazil.  (The movie is old enough that I trust I’m not spoiling anything here.  If it’s sitting in your Netflix queue and you don’t want anything revealed, though, skip the next paragraph.)

In the scene Sam Lowry, the movie’s main character, struggles to work at his too-small desk that adjoins a nearby wall.  The desk shifts, and begins to retract into said wall, causing Sam to yank mightily on it in hopes of recovering some usable desk space.  After a brief tug of war, he discovers the source of the problem.

Fortunately, that’s not how virtual desktop technology truly works.

This week’s Data Center Deconstructed question raises the issue of how to determine the ratio of physical servers to virtual desktop instances.  As my meandering thoughts of Brazil indicate, I’m not your go-to guy for such information.  Ashok Rajagopalan, a product manager in Cisco’s Server Access Virtualization Technology Group, steps in to addresses the topic.

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