Have you ever tried to fit 10 lbs. of flour into an 8 lb. bag?
If you have a legacy Data Center and a growing business, that answer is probably yes. Maybe you’re figuring to force more hardware onto your already-full floor space. Maybe you’re wanting to wring every last watt from the circuits supporting your racks. Perhaps you’re seeking to slip in just a few more servers without overtaxing your cooling system.
Whatever flour you have, the obvious fix is to buy a bigger bag: add cooling infrastructure, add power systems, knock down a wall and add floor space. Unfortunately, those are expensive solutions – even a relatively small server environment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars when you include both Facilities and IT costs.
Perhaps there’s another way, though – a way that 8 lbs. of flour can meet your 10 lbs. of need and you don’t need more flour or a bigger bag after all.
The newspaper writer and cartoonist once defined a good neighbor as “a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence but doesn’t climb over it.”
If your Data Centers are like most, they have many neighbors – er, tenants – in them. Some want open access, so they can quickly update applications and hardware. Others want a highly-restricted environment, where changes are few and far between. Still others want operational policies somewhere in between.
How, then, to construct a Data Center so everyone remains good neighbors? That is, meeting everyone’s particular operational needs while ensuring that no tenant activities – or restrictions – ever impact those around them?
Below, I suggest some design considerations when building a multi-tenant Data Center.
What else do you think someone should consider when hosting very different clients in their Data Center?
If you had a team of Data Center experts at your beck and call, what would you ask them?
How to lower your Data Center costs? How to get more performance out of a legacy server environment? Who thought an emergency-power-off button was a good idea for a facility filled with business-critical hardware?
I’m launching this blog series to be a forum to share useful information about Data Centers. Rather than me telling you what I think is important, though, you’re in charge. Submit a question and I’ll locate a Data Center expert to provide the answer you’re looking for. I’ll post the resulting question-and-answer here, for everyone to watch and learn from.
Click below for a brief introduction and instructions on how to submit a question.
A new video will be added each week, so come back regularly for the latest questions and answers.
In November 2010, Cisco introduced its own software-based enterprise collaboration platform: Cisco Quad. Underlying this platform at Cisco is the development of a transformed way of working that Cisco calls the Integrated Workforce Experience, or IWE. IWE powered by Cisco Quad extends the power of collaboration to employees by combining a foundation of video and unified communications with personalization and relevancy features, applications, and services on the network and integrating them with business and content management systems.
Integral to the IWE environment are collaborative communities created around job and organizational functions, roles, and topics of interest. Members of a community collaborate to achieve their goals, organize and access informational assets and transactional tools, and promote their interests.
Early adopters of IWE span multiple organizations across Cisco including Cisco’s Central Development Organization, Customer Value Chain Organization, and Finance teams to name a few. All these organizations who span multiple geographies and time zones, are already benefiting from an IWE environment that enhances their virtual collaboration and improves productivity; provide quick, convenient access to technical experts and knowledge sharing companywide; and inspires new ways of conducting the product development process.
The following case studies describe the business benefits that internal Cisco functions are reaping from their early implementations of IWE.
Like many IT organizations, Cisco IT provides help-desk support only for Microsoft Windows-based PCs. Yet many Cisco employees choose to use a Mac, even if it means they are on their own for resolving problems, obtaining repairs, installing software upgrades, and similar support tasks. By the end of fiscal year 2009, Cisco had over 8,000 Mac users, and by fiscal 2010, over 12,000.