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Is The Recent IBM/Brocade Data Center Announcement Targeted at Cisco, or HP?

Many industry pundits have missed the proverbial forest for the trees this week. IBM’s recent announcement in which they detail the broadening of their joint Brocade/Foundry GTM strategy has been misinterpreted as an anti-Cisco strategy. In reality, it’s an anti-HP strategy. IBM sees HP turning their “aircraft carrier” to refocus on the Data Center as defined by Cisco’s UCS announcement (e.g. servers, storage and networking). Proof point: The hiring away of David Donatelli from EMC (storage experience with EMC, along with admittedly valuable Cisco-EMC DC “inside baseball” knowledge) to lead their newly defined Data Center business.

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News Flash: Now, Ducks Can Quack

imageThese days, there seems to be a steady parade of announcements from some of our competitors signing deals with some of our partners. Somewhere in the announcement there is inevitably a proclaimation something along the lines of “now, customers have a choice!” I find this a curious statement–didn’t customers always have a choice? I mean this is a free market and every vendor has equal access to customers. As far as I can tell, customers have always been free to choose and they tend to choose the vendor that best meets their needs.Similarly, these partners have built their reputations by being intensely focused on the needs of their customers and seeking out the best solutions for them, and I would be surprised to see a shift in that philosophy. So, it kinda makes you wonder what really changed…?

The Impact of Virtualization on Wide Area Networks — Part 1

While server virtualization continues to redefine how (and where) IT and data center teams deploy computing resources, a gap in organizational boundaries still exists in most enterprise and public sector IT organizations that results in “the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing”. In other words: server and storage infrastructure teams are saving capex and time through virtualization, but the network team probably hasn’t modeled the impact of those changes into their wide area network (WAN) budgets or projects. Analysts writing for Network World offered similar feedback in a recent article series. Read More »

Wishful Thinking: The Investment Protection Edition

It seems that is it suddenly popular to attack Cisco on the topic on investment protection–that we are the “rip and replace guys”. It’s Friday–I am in a good mood, so I’ll offer up a piece of friendly advice to the product marketers out there: this is not such a great idea, since the assertion does not even stand up to passing scrutiny. The ironic thing is that these assertions often come from the most egregious practitioners of rip and replace. Read More »

Zoning for Efficiency

I put together this teaser video showing our approach to modeling highly efficient, highly dense data center zones (aka pods, clusters). Simply defined, a data center zone is a physical construct that is built to support any number of logical dependencies or attributes. For example, you might tell us you want 99.999% availability, 80% electrical efficiency, cooling burden of 1.2, FCoE, 75% IT asset utilization using Unified Computing and so on. How we go about aligning these attributes/dependencies is critical to mitigate risk as well as ensuring high operative efficiency.In my new role as principal energy solutions architect in our Data Center Advanced Services team I am using Google SketchUp extensively as a means of modeling new physical designs. We do this not just for the IT infrastructure and racks but the full Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) designs that support IT. All this infrastructure can also be tied into Cisco EnergyWise to provide common monitoring of energy use (phase 1 – today), control of IT assets (phase 2) and facilities infrastructure (phase 3).I am hoping that our users will provide some feedback on… Read More »