There are a lot of new services being developed for Unified Communications – integration with applications like Webex and MeetingPlace, internet B2B video calling with Cisco IME, HD video with new phones, and a lot more. But the one feature that has changed more lives at Cisco – and saved more money for Cisco – is an old classic: Extension Mobility.
A significant portion of Cisco’s internal network traffic is video, generated from over 700 telepresence rooms and numerous desktop video technologies such as WebEx and Cisco Unified Video Advantage. Another leader in the video space is Tandberg, where network architecture, dial plans, and all other related technologies are designed for efficient use of video. In fact, there are almost no audio-only phones at Tandberg offices.
Since 2006 Cisco IT has been using Cisco Services (both Advanced and Technical Services) to design, implement, operate, and optimize the network. Now Cisco IT has also begun using Cisco Services to manage IT applications.
Cisco supports more than 60 percent of its global employee population in the United States, and Cisco network traffic is growing on the North American backbone WAN at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world. Cisco’s North American backbone connects the company’s San Jose, California, headquarters with other large Cisco locations, including Richardson, Texas (our new primary production data center), and Raleigh, North Carolina (a key development location and our primary data center disaster recovery site). In addition, there are seven other locations on the North American backbone that serve as WAN aggregation hubs for more than 120 regional WAN sites, as well as interconnects to backbone locations in Europe, Asia, and South America.
The WAN backbone in North America has grown from three hub locations connected via DS3 (45 Mbps) in 1999 to 10 locations connected via OC-48 (2.488 Gbps) in 2007. In 2009, The Cisco OC-48 backbone was stressed by both ongoing data center migrations (thousands of applications and petabytes of data) and rapidly increasing voice and video traffic. Utilization on several individual backbone circuits routinely reached 80 percent or higher. High utilization created periodic performance issues and put the business at risk of significant impact should a backbone circuit fail during peak traffic hours.
A big part of what we do in the IT Customer Strategy and Success organization is talk to customers. They’re drawn to the Cisco on Cisco message, specifically what they can learn from our own experience deploying Cisco products and solutions. I’d say about 80 percent of the customers we talk to are struggling with how to leverage a Web 2.0 platform in the enterprise and how they can use it to conduct business more efficiently.