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Measuring the Green Data Center

June 2, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

The old management adage you cannot manage what you don’t measure was never truer than it currently is for hundreds if not thousands of IT professionals dotting the landscape trying and are currently scratching their heads trying to figure out how to make their data centers”greener.” For most of the customers I have talked to the challenge comes from the measuring side: figuring out what to measure and then putting some context around those numbers. Read More »

The Dreaded V Word

It has happened, Virtualization has passed SOA on the hype cycle and I now believe it truly is the most over-used and sometimes misunderstood word in IT today.I was in a few meetings recently where I was asked questions about virtualization, like, “Why does virtualization matter?” “What will it do for me?” “Isn’t that for my server team?” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The good news is these were not the most progressive or integrated IT shops I was meeting with, but some with a few more silos than others. The gist of the conversation went as follows though after the above questions were voiced- Virtualization as a technology rooted in the data center requiring network, storage and server to work together and thus drives IT collaboration. It allows the business to extend the lifecycle of capital assets they’ve already invested in and then reduce the operational expenses for remedial tasks (e.g. administrative change control, server batch moves, etc.) which allows them to free up more resources to focus on business critical applications and strategic new market entrances and such. The most important thing to me is that virtualization drives collaboration -- and as many folks have read in the press lately we are, as a company, getting VERY serious about collaboration. Virtualization drives IT Collaboration, IT Collaboration enables organizational effectiveness, organizational effectiveness drives productivity and profitability. We’re still learning, it’s not the easiest road, but technologies help, the right attitude helps more, and making it a corporate imperative from the top down helps the most.Virtualizaiton also helps the ‘green’ issue. I don’t want to be the greenwasher who touts his vaunted energy efficiency calculator pointing toward one vendor in a feeble attempt to claim relevance and attempt to influence purchases of infrastructure components -- that’s a narrow minded view generally shared only by laggards and those without a vision for the market. Instead we are taking a broader and more holistic view of energy efficiency, virtualization, the role of networks in bringing these disparate resources together and driving efficient productivity. I like the view up here better :) Next month at CiscoLive we will be announcing a few fun things in the data center space focused on holistic approaches to energy efficiency and continuing to build on our Data Center 3.0 vision for the virtualized data center -- (yes, dear competitors- we aren’t done yet… I said it would be a fun year…) dg

Wishful Thinking

May 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

So I have recently heard of a couple of instances where competitors have told our customers that, with the introduction of the Cisco Nexus, the Cisco Catalyst is dead and the customer should look at their next-gen switch instead. My initial reaction reaction to this was this was kind of cool: folks are not even trying to position against the Nexus and are instead going after the switching platform we released almost 10 years ago.That being said, let me be clear: the Cisco Catalyst 6500 has a long and productive life ahead of it. There are no plans to EoL the platform--quite the contrary, we will continue to invest and innovate on this platform. The Cisco Catalyst 6500 has been the poster child for investment protection and it will continue to offer our customers a cost-effective, granular migration path to leverage their existing investment while still integrating new technologies and features.Much like the introduction of the Cisco Nexus did not herald the end of the Cisco MDS, the same is true of the Cisco Catalyst. We have the resources and ability to continue to invest and innovate on all three platforms and we will continue to do so as long as our customers tell us its important to them.

Web 2.0, Cisco WAAS & the Customer

It’s clear the growing power of Web 2.0 and online communities have in bringing transparency and feedback to what was once a fairly closed IT community, or at least one that required conferences (and late night beverages) for honest information sharing.Enter blogging, and other Web 2.0 mediums. For Cisco and its WAN optimization solutions (brand name WAAS), the result today from Network World’s community blog site was clear — customers are happy with Cisco’s WAAS solution, and the results are clear and representable.You can read them here: http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/28002 More so, I think this speaks to the current — and still growing — power of Web 2.0 communities, and the power to “tell it like it is”. I personally look forward to seeing where these communities will take all of us in the broad world of IT going forward.

Cloud Dining

May 20, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

I was chatting with a customer the other day who was struggling with some of the implications of “cloud computing”. The analogy that finally made sense to them is what I will call”cloud dining”. I am the cook in the house and I am tasked with feeding the family. If my 10-year old is lobbying for Italian, I am cook at home or order out. The decision may also vary from day to day. For instance, I might not have all the ingredients and have to order out, or, like this weekend, it may be 103 outside and cooking at home is not all that appealing.Now, the same can be said for supporting a given application in a cloud computing environment. Read More »