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Cisco’s Green Crystal Ball

June 6, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

On a day when oil hit $139/barrel and I just paid $4.72/gal to fill my gas tank, this interview with Paul Marcoux by Chris Morrison offered some interesting perspectives on energy efficiency in the data center and where Cisco is going. As some of you may know, Paul, a founding member of The Green Grid, recently joined the Cisco Development Organization as the VP of Green Engineering, so he would know better than most. One of the things Paul points out is that you need good data to make good decisions. It is one of the things I have talked about in previous posts and you will continue to see efforts from Cisco on providing good data; however, as Paul points out, there is much oppty in this area on all fronts. Check out the interview--Paul has some interesting perspectives.

Catalyst 4900M: Good thing in a small package

June 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

I was making a valiant attempt to work through my ever-deepening backlog of email yesterday and I ran across something that reminded me that even though the Nexus 7000 got the lion’s share of the attention in our January DC 3.0 Switching launch, there were also a couple of other hidden gems that should not be overlooked. One of these is the Cisco Catalyst 4900M rack switch. I finally go to an article by Cameron Sturdevant in eWeek that took the switch through its paces and came to the the conclusion that “Cisco’s new switch deserves a spot near the top of your data center equipment evaluation list.”

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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.