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Curse You, UCS

I’m shaking my fist at the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).  It’s making me let go of a Data Center solution that worked well in the past.

I worked for years on Cisco’s team that designed and managed our Data Centers.  In the early 2000s, hardware compaction strongly influenced our physical design.  Every few weeks it seemed a different manufacturer debuted a new server smaller and more powerful than its predecessor.  We could fit more gear into our cabinets and so found we had a lot more cabling to manage.  This was especially challenging in legacy Data Centers with cables routed below the under-floor plenum.  More cabling meant less airflow.  

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Getting Inventive in the Data Center

What’s the coolest technology you wish someone would invent for a Data Center?

As the more entrepreneurial among us are likely already aware, it’s National Inventors Month in the United States.  In light of that – and the video below discussing how Data Centers themselves foster innovation – I thought it would be interesting to make a Data Center wish list.  Just in case a fledgling Thomas Edison out there is looking for something to work on.

The Data Center technologies I want:

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Collaboration is Hot…Very Hot: a report from Canada

Coming to you live from beautiful Toronto, Canada, overlooking Lake Ontario….

Not only is the view spectacular from Cisco’s downtown offices but the Cisco Networkers conference has been an exceptional experience.  During my two days here, I had the opportunity to share our collaboration journey with customers in academia, financial services, healthcare and retail (the largest retailer in Canada).  Read More »

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When Patch Cords Attack!

We had fun with last week’s post, I Saw What You Patched Last Summer, viewing the horrors that are the entries to Cisco’s recent Crazy Cabling Contest  Fun because, as humorist Will Rogers famously noted, everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else.

You obviously don’t want such cabling mayhem in your Data Center.   Tangled cables greatly increase the risk of accidental downtime.  They also inhibit airflow, forcing a Data Center’s cooling system to work harder to deliver chilled air to hardware and thereby increasing energy consumption and operational costs.

For those keeping score at home, here’s the winning submission as voted by visitors to Cisco’s Facebook page:

The top vote-getter from Cisco's Crazy Cabling Contest.

Messy cabling is also bad because it leads to more messy cabling.  Have you ever walked into a Data Center with just one sloppy server cabinet?  In my experience, server environments are either neat and tidy throughout or messy throughout.

So, what can be done to prevent tangled cabling in your Data Center?

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I Saw What You Patched Last Summer

Cisco recently hosted a Crazy Cabling Contest, inviting people to share photos of the most disorganized, rats-have-obviously-nested-here cabling within their server environments.

See what turned up:

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