Collaborative Infrastructure Modeling (CIM)
We recently launched a new service capability out of our Customer Advocacy teams that provides a collaborative medium between facilities and IT operations. For anyone who has tried to manage the design aspects of establishing a new data center infrastructure architecture, you know that some of the most painful moments come from “translating” between facilities and IT designs. We’ve chosen to develop proposed infrastructure architectures using Google SketchUp which is freeware and incredibly easy to use.
Traditionally the physical design has been built using applications like Visio, AutoCad and BIM. These applications are ideal if you need a very detailed blueprint to build against. However, they tend to have large file sizes and are only accessible to specially trained individuals. With SketchUp and the 3D Warehouse that Google maintains (thank you Google!) we are able to provide a 3D wiki of sorts that allows facilities and IT to work towards a reconciled design intent. Once design intent is understood, the design specification process is quicker and far more simple. This level of modeling also allows you to centralize the many data points that influence the ultimate operative efficiency of a data center environment. Like Ben Franklin once said “an ounce of preservation is worth a pound of cure”…this applies to designing a Greener operation, model it first.
You can see some examples of models we’ve built…
On YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/greencisco
If you would like to download SketchUp and kick the tires, simple go to http://sketchup.google.com
To save some time getting started you can download some models we’ve built as examples at our Cisco Data Center 3D Collection.
Thanks for reading and happy modeling!