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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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Collaboration is Hot … Very Hot: a report from Enterprise 2.0

Coming to you live from beautiful Boston at Enterprise 2.0 – the premier conference for enterprise social software – where the weather is gorgeous.  Take it from me – Mike’s Pastry is the best place in the world for homemade cannolis!

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Paving the Way for Pervasive Video

Pervasive video is a relatively new concept in the world of IT, but it’s one that organizations of all sizes will increasingly hear more about. Certainly at Cisco we use the term often. In fact, we have a pervasive video strategy. So what does that mean? Well, we have video endpoints and solutions that range from IP video phones for personal communication, to desktop PC video clients and enterprise TV for scalable employee communications, to immersive TelePresence for a life-size, face-to-face experience. But it’s not the number of endpoints and solutions themselves that constitute pervasive video. Rather it’s how we use video throughout the organization to promote collaboration and communication with anyone, anywhere, and ultimately drive business objectives. This end goal is the cornerstone of Cisco’s pervasive video strategy. Read More »

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