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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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Getting More From a Legacy Data Center

March 9, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

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.

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Data Center Design for Good Neighbors

March 2, 2011 at 10:05 am PST

Bugs Baer was right.

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?

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