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On The Price of Innovation

May 16, 2011 at 1:35 am PST

So, I heard last week that some folks want to be known as innovators, which is certainly a laudable goal.  The thing is, innovation is the domain of engineers, not accountants and, sadly, not even marketing folks.  Face it, when accountants get innovative, we end up with things like Enron—not so good. Delivering meaningful innovation to the market starts as an organizational imperative that has to then be nurtured with an ongoing commitment of time and resources. You simply cannot fake it.

For example, let’s look at R&D spend last year some of the industry’s movers and shakers (all data is based on their respective FY10 annual reports):

As I noted in a previous post, I am pleased to note that Cisco remains near the top of the pile both in terms of R&D investment as a percent of revenue and in terms of absolute dollars.  For other folks, the numbers and the historical trends speak for themselves. Talk (and slides) are cheap. These are meaningful numbers because they represent both the commitment and the ability of a company to innovate and lead versus being forced to follow.

If you are a Cisco customer, this should please you because you know we are investing in your future, but, beyond that, why should you care?

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ACE of Cisco, SharePoint 2010 and the Alternate Access Mapping

 

 

If you are talking Microsoft SharePoint 2010, then chances are you have discussed load balancing at some point. Well, let’s just start with the basics. If we have more than one WFE (Web Front End) server, we are going to need a way to balance requests.

In its most simplistic form, load balancing is a methodology to distribute workload across multiple compute, network or storage resources. We recently published a SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware Cisco Validated Design which includes a hardware load balancer, the Application Control Engine ACE 30.

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See you at Microsoft TechEd – Atlanta next week

I am happy to share that Cisco is a key sponsor for the Microsoft Tech Ed North America 2011 event in Atlanta next week.  At TechEd, we will be showcasing our data center business advantage solutions and showing how you can maximize your investments in leading Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server.

With Cisco UCS, we are not just making servers, we are making server history.

It is well known that Cisco UCS adoption has been fantastic with over 5400 customers, with a large number of customers efficiently and fearlessly running their mission critical Microsoft applications on UCS. These customer deployments are backed by series of CVDs (Cisco Validated Designs) that serve as key enablers to successful deployments.

Any Announcements?

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blah blah cloud

I just returned from a great week of EMC World in Vegas.  The fine folks at EMC make crazyEMC World good technology and they can throw one heck of a party…I mean conference.  The week was full of interesting people, big ideas, big data and of course the cloud.

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Virtual Desktops are Special….

I, just like my colleague Tony Paikeday, am somewhat preoccupied these days with the fast changing world of the desktop and its impact on data center infrastructures. I wanted to pick up on Tony’s desktop virtualization “just another workload” blog back in November because it is a subject of growing discussion, especially with “cloud” being all the buzz. While desktops are an increasingly popular workload to get started with private cloud initiatives, does that mean that data center architects are mixing desktops with more traditional data center workloads?

Talking to our system engineers who are helping plan and design desktop virtualization deployments day in day out…..the more I learn there are very good reasons for treating this workload as special and separate.

The first thing I hear about is sizing of the desktop workload. A “desktop” is not a “desktop”. You can’t just characterize a generic Win 7 desktop for compute, memory, I/O and storage IOPS. You need to be able to customize the infrastructure profile to the specific user type being deployed. Therein lays the danger of mixing these virtual desktops with production workloads, where desktops could end up capturing valuable resources of mission critical services.  For example consolidating a company procurement application on the same compute pool as your desktop workloads could result in a lot of unproductive – or even worse –unhappy employees.

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