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Surviving 800,000 E-Mails an Hour Without Breaking a Sweat

March 8, 2011 at 12:05 am PST

I have to admit, I have always been fascinated by e-mail systems. Some of this is rooted in the fact that one of my first jobs was as an All-in-1 administrator—think Office365 running on a DEC VAX. Beyond that, e-mail typifies many of the challenges of the data center: supporting increasing scale, maintaining a consistent user experience, handling ever increasing storage requirements, supporting mobile users and delivering bulletproof availability.

Curious as to what we do at Cisco, I had a chat the other day with Ken Pauley from Cisco IT. Ken has been with Cisco for a little over 4 years, running the Design & Engineering Team for Messaging & Calendaring. He has a 25+ year IT career that has been primarily focused around Messaging & Calendaring technologies for medium to large scale enterprises so he has some useful perspective on things.

By way of background about our Microsoft Exchange environment--last quarter we collectively sent about 900 M messages and received about 870 M messages. Our current environment is deployed in six different locations. From a storage perspective we have 123TB of storage in Richardson, 123TB in two SJ locations, 82TB in Amsterdam, 82TB in Hong Kong and 41TB in Bangalore. Richardson and San Jose both have 3 PODS of servers each, Amsterdam has 2 PODs, the rest have 1 POD each. A POD contains between eight and 20 servers and supports up to 11,200 users. We have about 130 servers supporting e-mail across Cisco.

Omar Sultan: What is the most challenging thing about Cisco's e-mail environment?

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"A Day in the Clouds" - APIs for Cloud Infrastructure Automation

When we really try and boil down the appeal of Cloud Computing, the ability for a person or business to move from "great idea" to "implementing the concept" almost always moves to the top of the list. The true value of Cloud Computing is fundamentally about "now". You want resources now. At times you'll want to expand those resources now, as the business grows. You might also need to reduce those resources now, as projects end or priorities changes.

The concept of "now" was the focus of Cisco's participation in the Intel "Day in the Clouds" event last week at their campus in Oregon. The event allowed all of the Intel Cloud Builder partners to come together and collaborate around the technologies evolving the Cloud Computing market. This was a follow-up to the initial Reference Architecture that we had submitted to the program, which focused on a modular implementation of Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Centers.

ChipChat podcast with Intel's Allyson Klein and Brian Gracely - "Enabling the Unified Data Center with Cisco"

Cisco - Intel Day in the Clouds - March 2011

View more presentations from Cisco Data Center.
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Cloud Services are a Bright Option for the Enterprise

The Cloud Opportunity
With Cisco Partner Summit happening in New Orleans this week there has been a lot of important news with the announcement of the Cloud Partner Program that enables and encourages Cisco Partners to develop and deliver cloud services being at the top of the list. You can follow the action on the Cisco Channels Facebook page. This announcement might have you wondering what the size of the market for cloud services is and what Enterprise organizations are thinking as they consider the move to services from the cloud.

At Cisco we had these same questions as we were making investment decisions in the systems and solutions that enable organizations to build a cloud service delivery architecture. As a result the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) conducted research that included interviews with enterprise IT decisions makers and key subject matter experts. The study showed that enterprises across many sectors are seriously considering cloud computing. Based on direct feedback from enterprise decision makers, Cisco IBSG estimates that close to 12 percent of enterprise workloads will run in the cloud by the end of 2013 and that this will yield a market for public-cloud services of approximately US$43 billion. Organizations have a few things to consider as they make this migration to the cloud.

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Cisco DC Crazy Cabling Contest

March 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm PST

So, we know you have some crazy data center cabling going on in your data centers--now we want you to profit from it with out Cisco Crazy Cabling Contest.
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The 5 P's of Cloud Computing

This week is Cisco Partner Summit. A week in which we roll out new products, new technology, new vision and new strategies for the 1000s of Cisco partners that help us deliver great IT solutions to companies around the world. One of the areas that we're discussing this week is Cloud Computing and ways to help partners prepare to take their customers on the journey to transform their business.

While reading an excellent post this morning from Chuck Hollis at EMC, I started thinking about previous guidance that I've given to leaders, partners and customers about how to deal with the transitions within IT and how to align these to their new business needs. As Chuck also points out, while there is a technology component of this, often times the biggest areas of change come on the people side of the equation.

I call this framework "The 5 Ps of Cloud Computing" (from the non-technical perspective). It's not tied to any companies, products or industries, but rather it's a model that I've used in the past to help guide companies that are looking to solve some of their IT challenges with a Cloud Computing strategy. Read More »

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