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Parting Clouds and Being Real About Virtualization

April 27, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years – and perhaps even then – you have undoubtedly heard someone touting the merits of virtualization and cloud computing.  Chief among the advantages are reduced costs and the capability to do more with fewer resources.

Although the terms are often used simultaneously, cloud and virtualization aren’t the same.  Click below for a brief discussion of each.

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Using Mobility to free you from the desktop – What we’ve learned about deploying Cisco Unified Mobility

Last week, I described what Cisco Unified Mobility is and what it does for me and the other thousands of employees at Cisco.  Today, let me tell you about the deployment process and what we learned.

Cisco IT Implementation

Cisco Unified Mobility requires our Cisco Unified Communications Managers to be on version 7.1 or above, and we started deploying the service soon after we’d upgraded to 7.1.  We deployed Cisco Unified Mobility in each of our 13 Cisco Unified Communications Manager clusters, rolling out the service on a site-by-site basis. This gradual transition process helped to smooth the impact of supporting users and the potential for spikes in outbound calls as employees began working with the SNR feature.  At first, we worried that a large number of calls going out to mobile phones from Cisco sites might overwhelm smaller outbound trunks, but so far we haven’t seen any problems there.  Also, our gradual site-based rollout made it easy to avoid countries that do not allow outbound calling from our private VoIP network to the PSTN (primarily in the Middle East, and in India).

One implementation decision may be a surprise:

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Collaboration is Hot … Very Hot (How Collaboration at Cisco Has Enhanced Selling to Small Business – A Case Study)

Today I’d like to share with you another great example of how Cisco’s collaboration solution – our Integrated Workforce Experience or IWE – is showing tangible business value.  Last week, I noted how one of my colleagues reduced email traffic substantially.  Now a different perspective – from our Worldwide Sales organization and how one of its groups is using collaboration to sell to the small business community.

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The Business Value of Video

Video is a cool technology. It’s a fun way to communicate. It looks neat. But what’s the real business value around video? What does video give us that other forms of communication don’t? How can a particular video solution help your company achieve x or solve y? These are questions that all companies rolling out a video strategy should consider.

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Rocket Science in the Data Center

April 20, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

I have been involved in a lot of Data Center projects over the years and during the design discussions someone almost invariably observes:  “it’s not rocket science.  We’re just building a Data Center.”

It turns out there is rocket science in some Data Centers after all.

A handful of server environments now incorporate hydrogen fuel cells, the same technology that helped U.S. spacecraft reach the moon as part of the Gemini and Apollo space missions in the 1960s and are still used in space shuttles today.  Data Center industry publications have in recent years reported fuel cells helping power server environments belonging to the First National Bank of Omaha, Fujitsu and Verizon.

Hydrogen fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity and produce heat and water as byproducts.  They typically run on natural gas, which although not a renewable energy does emits less carbon, sulfur and nitrogen than other sources.  Probably the best known fuel cell on the market is Bloom Energy’s “Bloom Box” that was profiled by 60 Minutes in 2010.

So, are we at Cisco using fuel cells in Data Centers?  Watch below to see why or why not.

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