I have to admit, I have always been fascinated by e-mail systems. Some of this is rooted in the fact that one of my first jobs was as an All-in-1 administrator—think Office365 running on a DEC VAX. Beyond that, e-mail typifies many of the challenges of the data center: supporting increasing scale, maintaining a consistent user experience, handling ever increasing storage requirements, supporting mobile users and delivering bulletproof availability.
Curious as to what we do at Cisco, I had a chat the other day with Ken Pauley from Cisco IT. Ken has been with Cisco for a little over 4 years, running the Design & Engineering Team for Messaging & Calendaring. He has a 25+ year IT career that has been primarily focused around Messaging & Calendaring technologies for medium to large scale enterprises so he has some useful perspective on things.
By way of background about our Microsoft Exchange environment--last quarter we collectively sent about 900 M messages and received about 870 M messages. Our current environment is deployed in six different locations. From a storage perspective we have 123TB of storage in Richardson, 123TB in two SJ locations, 82TB in Amsterdam, 82TB in Hong Kong and 41TB in Bangalore. Richardson and San Jose both have 3 PODS of servers each, Amsterdam has 2 PODs, the rest have 1 POD each. A POD contains between eight and 20 servers and supports up to 11,200 users. We have about 130 servers supporting e-mail across Cisco.
Omar Sultan: What is the most challenging thing about Cisco’s e-mail environment?
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Tags: Cisco IT, Data Center Business Advantage, Exchange, Microsoft, UCS
A Message from Toby Larsen
As the former CIO of Tandberg, I know firsthand the tangible benefits that video can bring to a business. Tandberg was really a company built around the use of video. Our network architecture, communication infrastructure and dial plans were designed for mass deployment of video, and the efficiencies that came along with it. Our use of video vastly exceeded that of traditional voice services and textual communication.
Video is also transforming the way business is conducted at Cisco. I see it every day through a variety of solutions including WebEx conferencing, TelePresence, digital media signage, and Tandberg products. Ultimately, visual communication is about scaling human talent – doing more with less. By combining our borderless networks with cloud computing and services, as well as visual and unified communications, we are truly enabling collaboration with anyone, anywhere. In doing so, we are actually virtualizing our organization and processes, moving our business from place to space.
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Tags: Cisco IT, cisco live, cisco on cisco, coc-collaboration
So, regardless of how demanding or finicky your CEO might be, I can guarantee three things he or she wants to find under the metaphorical tree this season: faster growth, higher margins and lower risk. Now, many IT are going to respond to this list by saying a) that someone else’s job and/or b) I can’t effect that stuff anyway. To response “A” I would argue that its everyone’s job. As far as response “B”, I would argue that you most definitely in a position to impact growth, margin and risk, but its a matter of connecting the dots.
One of the driving forces behind Data Center Business Advantage was to help the CIO and his/her organization link their IT investment to business impact. From my own personal experiences, I find that IT folks tend have a great handle on technical benefits (32% brighter and shinier) and operational metrics (five-nines uptime) but often fail to establish how they have made life better for the company: what is the difference between four-nines and five-nines in terms of revenue impact, customer sat, or regulatory policy exposure--and is the return worth the investment. Case in point: a couple of years ago, I come home with a new AppleTV. Now I am a geek at heart and my wife puts up with me showing up with a lot of new gear, so I have a pretty good idea of how this will play out with her:
- Question: “How much did THAT cost?”
- Muttering about growing up and finding better things to spend the money on like new curtains or cat beds
However this time, things looked a little different… Read More »
Tags: Cisco IT, Data Center Business Advantage
[Part I of our blog series on Cisco Data Center Business Advantage. Part II, III, IV, V, VI]
The IT department plays an interesting role for most companies. They deliver the digital face of the company via the corporate website. They process orders, collect revenues and manage corporate assets via the ERP, CRM, SCM and other 3-letter acronym systems. They enable collaboration within the company via Phone Systems, IM, Video Conferencing and Wikis. And they enable users to watch clips on YouTube on the iPad brought in from home because HR told them they needed to create a more Gen-Y friendly environment to aid in recruiting.
As we read the lists of the most admired companies, it’s easy to see that almost all of them use technology at the core of their business to drive innovation or differentiation themselves from their competition. These businesses realize, in the 21st century, technology is no longer a supporting function. Technology is a strategic competency that can drive change faster than any element of the business.
But when we put these two things together, why are so many people frustrated with their IT department? And why is the IT department so frustrated with their own ability to deliver the capabilities that create headlines and move companies to the top of admired lists? Read More »
Tags: Cisco IT, data center, Data Center Business Advantage