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Cisco Puts More Power in Your Hands with StackPower

May 30, 2012
at 10:01 am PST

I recently attended a presentation by bestselling author and speaker Chip Conley. Conley is best known for successfully applying noted American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid to create a simplified business model with three themes:
- Survival
- Success
- Transformation.

Conley’s Transformation Pyramid can be applied in many areas. For example, when it comes to serving customers needs,  these three themes tell us that we need to focus on not only customers’ basic and tangible needs at the bottom of the pyramid, but also their higher needs to succeed with their business goals. Here I’ll take a look at how Cisco StackPower helps our customers to achieve their objectives at each of the three stages.

I begin with a very basic customer “survival” need: ensure network high availability. The Cisco Catalyst 3750-X switches help meet this requirement by creating a pool of electric power that is shared by all the switches in the power stack. If a switch suffers a power supply failure, it can still maintain its operations because each switch is supported by the power pool, not by an individual power supply. You can also add an eXpandable Power System (XPS 2200) to the power pool for increased resiliency and flexibility.

The second level of customer needs is to be successful in what they do. In terms of network high availability, this means doing so with less equipment and costs.  This is where Cisco StackPower shines with innovative technologies such as N+1 redundancy and zero-footprint redundant power supply (RPS).  N+1 here means that one extra power supply is used for backup support for multiple switches in the stack. Independent tests show that StackPower can cut both capital and operational costs:
- savings of four power supplies or $4,000 in a three-switch stack with N+1 redundancy
- internal redundancy with no requirement for extra rack space
- intelligent 3-tier, 27 -level power prioritization scheme to control load sharing and shedding behavior

The third and highest level of customer needs, transformation, may mean different things to different people. It could be industry leadership, innovative accomplishments or simply making a difference in the community. Cisco provides numerous technologies and solutions to help our customers achieve their goals, including
- StackPower to ensure high availability of the power control plane
- StackWise (for 3750 switches) and StackWise Plus (for 3750-X switches) to ensure high availability of the data control plane
- Power Over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) to deliver inline power to drive Web cameras, IP phones, 802.11n Wi-Fi access points, security surveillance cameras, and other devices for rapid rollouts and efficient operations.
With these technologies, customers can deploy mobility, E911 and many other mission critical services that help accelerate the move towards their business goals.

Up to this point, Cisco StackPower is supported only in the Cisco IOS “IP Base” feature set. Going forward, Cisco StackPower will become available on all 3750-X LAN Base switches (-L), starting in IOS version 15.0.(2)SE which is expected to be released in the third quarter of calendar year 2012. Existing Cisco 3750-X LAN Base customers will be able to upgrade their IOS to get StackPower with no extra costs, except the StackPower cables which require a separate purchase.

You’ll soon have more power in your hands with Cisco StackPower!

 

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