David M. Smith of Gartner spent some time with me a few weeks ago exploring Cisco’s cloud computing vision. I walked him through a variety of concepts, such as private clouds, virtual private clouds and open clouds. We also spoke of the vision of an “Inter-Cloud”, a vision shared by most cloud enthusiasts here at Cisco, including our CTO, Padmasree Warrior. David had some excellent feedback, and I enjoyed the conversation very much.
Unfortunately, I think David came away from the conversation with a slight mis-interpretation of how we use the term Inter-Cloud. As he states in a post on his blog, “Life on the Inter-cloud”: Read More »
A quick overview on some of the progress being made in San Jose on EnergyWise. As you will hear we are taking a staged approach as there is a lot of ground to cover. It’s too early for us to offer exact milestones but this interview will give you a sense of the scope we are considering in our development. As Matt Laherty often says, we are laser focused on “smart loads” at scale in the near term. This is close to our space and the technology we develop for smart loads will be directly extensible to “smart grids”. Keep in mind that from an energy monitoring standpoint, data centers are similar to any other room in the building. Energy control of course is a whole different ballgame and one we will be implementing into Cisco IT very carefully.This video was taken by Rich Miller who writes for Data Center Knowledge and has a great YouTube site that has a ton of content related to data centers and energy. The Green train keeps on rolling with energy and carbon being the first resource management areas. This was the hot topic for the show Rich and I attended in San Francisco in March where the video was taken. The GigaOm GreenNet show was well attended and… Read More »
In the last post I talked about the importance of designing a platform vs. a box and the benefits associated to that choice. Now I’d like to spend some time going into more of the architectural details that make the MDS box a platform. I’m going to try to keep the discussion as high level as possible, but at the end we are still a technology company, so I hope at least some of you will appreciate this “engineering” discussion.The architecture of an MDS Director can be simplified by listing the main three components involved in the packet switching operations: -- the port module (or linecard): the element delivering the forwarding functionalities for each packet received in an ingress port and transmitted to an egress port -- the crossbar (either on the supervisor or on the fabric module): the ‘N x N’ matrix providing connectivity between each port in each module -- the arbiter (on the supervisor module): the scheduler deciding which port should be using the crossbar to transmit trafficBased on these building blocks, the MDS Director switches deliver a centrally arbitrated, crossbar architecture, with frame forwarding logic distributed in each port module. A packet arrives in an ingress port, a forwarding decision is made by the port module, the arbiter schedules the packet transmission based on congestion, the crossbar switches the packet to the egress port. Read More »
One of the aspects of the Cisco Unified Computing launch that I enjoyed was the opportunity to meet and work with a whole new group of really smart people. Out of that, I had the opportunity to record some podcasts related to the Cisco and Intel’s collaboration during the development of the UCS. Here is the first podcast, with more to follow.
I recently had the chance to chat with Ed Groden, Product Marketing Manager for the Intel Xeon 5500. The topic of discussion was simple: in this economy, why would you want to invest in a new platform? Ed’s snappy comeback was how about 9:1 consolidation over older single core systems and a payback as short as 8 months. Listen to the full conversation to get more details about how we get there. Also, be sure to check out The Server Room community on Intel’s website.
When discussing unified fabric with customers these days, the conversation is increasingly shifting from “why?” to “how?” Here are some of the slides I will use to brief customers on the “how”. The important thing to note is that the steps I highlight are simply waypoints on the journey to a unified fabric. The rate at which a customer moves is really dictated by their specific circumstances--I see customers chasing this goal aggressively and I also see others moving at a more sedate pace. For a little more detail, you can also pull down the related solution overview.