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Why Invest In Unified Computing Now? Some Thoughts from Intel

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.

Unified Computing from a Facilities Perspective

image With this latest installment, Doug Alger discusses how the Cisco Unified Computing System will impact strategies for cabling, power and cooling. The conversation then moves onto a broader discussion of addressing power and cooling requirements in a age of dynamic infrastructure.

Unified Fabric: Getting From Here to There

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.

Data Center Product Efficiency Calculator

Part of building the business case for getting Greener across your infrastructure is the un-sexy task of calculating electrical and thermal efficiency. Well we’ve tried to make it a bit easier for you with a new calculator. You can find it in the planning tools section of the Efficiency Assurance Program. We put this together to help estimate a baseline for where your network(a) electrical efficiency is today. You notice we are saying electrical efficiency, not Green, not even energy efficiency. This tool provides you with the actual operative electrical efficiency of Cisco products. It also shows you the annual cost based on your kWh rate.We’ve gone with exposing electrical efficiency of our products because it is a metric that is not in dispute. It’s basic physics. You will notice for each product, power supply efficiency curves are exposed. These efficiency curves are related to how efficiently our products use electricity. No fancy, padded variables here, just the facts. Measuring the electrical efficiency of Switched-mode Power Supplies (SMPS) is one place you can start today if you want to compare products. I would invite you to encourage vendors to expose these curves publicly as it will drive the industry to be more energy efficient.We’ve tried to make it clear that we believe the largest energy efficiency gains happen at the systems level. However, for those tthat… Read More »

Storage Networking At Cisco

image I thought I would switch gears a bit and touch on one of the other pillars of the data center. Our storage environment continues to be a great story to tell and continues to be a source of interest with customers I brief. If you look at the numbers, they are pretty cool:

  • 125 MDS switches deployed globally
  • 12,000 ports in production globally, 10 petabytes
  • TCO driven from $0.12/MB down to $0.01/MB
  • Average amount of storage managed by an employee increased from 25 terabyte to 600 terabytes
  • Since 2001, storage utilization has increased from 20% to 68%

The Cisco IT storage story really highlights the benefits of Data Center 3.0 and the consolidate > virtualize > automate path. In this installment of the TechMinute, Sidney talks about how we manage this environment. For further interesting reading, here is a case study on how Cisco IT uses our SAN to automate the legal discovery process, and another case study on supporting our ERP environment.