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Energy Efficiency Makes Two Kinds of Green

March 23, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Would you believe you can have yourself a pretty successful business upgrading office buildings with more energy-efficient light bulbs and timers to switch off heating and cooling systems after hours?

I worked as a newspaper reporter for much of the 1990s.  I wrote an article in 1993 about how the city of Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County had hired a firm to retrofit its field services office with new lighting, timers and other energy-efficient solutions.  The improvements were expected to save about $70,000 per year.

What always intrigued me about the story was that the company that performed the upgrades not only allowed Santa Clarita to incrementally pay for the improvements out of the savings from lowered utility bills but also guaranteed those savings would more than offset the price tag of the improvements in 5 years.  If the savings didn’t materialize, the company would pay the shortfall back to the city.

Everyone wins.  The company performing the upgrades gets paid for doing the upgrade work, the city saves money on its utility bills for years to come and the environment is better off due to reduced energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

Now, consider that modern Data Centers can have power densities 50 to 100 times those of conventional office buildings.  How much greater green -- both financial and environmental kind - can be had by saving energy in those environments?  With that in mind, here is an overview of several strategies being implemented in Data Centers to make them greener.

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Africa – Connected Continent – At Last

If you haven’t looked at opportunities in Africa in the last couple of years, it’s time to take another look. A massive amount of new internet connectivity is creating new possibilities for the continent, changing the face of Africa forever.  The economic and social development opportunities created by high speed, stable and affordable internet access were something that the people of Africa could only dream of until relatively recently – now that dream is fast becoming a reality. Read More »

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Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Update: Capacity, Diversity and Redundancy Limit Impact to Cisco’s Network

The recent earthquakes and tsunamis have brought wide-spread devastation to Japan, including to the domestic and international telecommunications infrastructure that companies doing business in Japan rely on. (See the article, “In Japan, Many Undersea Cables are Damaged”). This impact extends to Cisco where Japan is home to numerous field offices with Tokyo the site of Cisco’s North Asia network backbone hub. This hub provides an aggregation point for regional WAN and Internet connectivity in North Asia as well as direct connectivity to four other regional CAPNet hub locations in Asia and the US.


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Is It Me or Is It Getting Warmer In Here?

March 16, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

By reading this blog, you’re making someone’s Data Center a little warmer.

Playing the video below?  Warmer.

Navigating to another website?  Warmer.

Sending an e-mail?  Downloading an application?  Initiating a web search?  Warmer, warmer, warmer.

Everything you and I do online triggers computing activity in a Data Center somewhere that in turn consumes energy and creates heat.  Each action has a negligible impact on its own, but with more people conducting more tasks online every day – well, you see the concern.

Perhaps we could use some of that heat?  It’s a great idea, but specific conditions need to be in place for Data Center waste heat to be of use.

We’ll keep our eyes open for suitable opportunities to reuse waste heat in future Data Center builds.  Meanwhile, come back next week for a look at several green Data Center solutions that Cisco and others are using.

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Talk2Cisco: Work Life Redesign – What You Need to Know

On Tuesday, March 15, 10:00 AM PT, be sure to attend Talk2Cisco, a live, real-time, social, interactive, online video broadcast featuring Cisco leaders Carlos Dominguez, SVP, Office of the Chairman of the Board and CEO and Lance Perry, VP of Cisco IT Customer Strategy & Success talking about how they managed the Web 2.0 learning curve, adopted a new mindset, and redesigned the way they work—for the better.

Since this event will be broadcast live via Ustream.tv, Talk2Cisco will put you, the viewer, directly in touch with Carlos and Lance so they can answer questions submitted by you.

Be sure to attend this event on March 15, at 10:00 AM PT by going here.  I encourage you to comment on the Ustream.tv event via this blog post.

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