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Cisco UCS helps NHL’s Minnesota Wild Skate to Where the Puck is Going


Speed is one thing that Cisco UCS and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise share in common. If you have ever been to a professional hockey game you recognized and probably came to appreciate the speed, skill, and nimbleness of the players out on the ice. For Cisco UCS, speed is an attribute inherent in what we do, too – our compute business is highly competitive and requires constant, skillful, and quick innovation to deliver the best and newest in technology to our customers.

The NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise rely on a Cisco UCS based I.T. infrastructure for their Microsoft Dynamics and CRM software portfolio. To better serve and interact with clients the Wild I.T. staff established three goals for their recent IT infrastructure transformation project:

  • Simplify infrastructure to boost staff productivity,
  • Improve resource management for controlled growth
  • Promote sustainability to conserve resources and provide environmentally conscious facilities for clients.

Looking at their long-term goals for cloud computing, the Wild staff decided to invest in a solution based on our Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) servers with Tegile based hybrid storage solutions. In doing so, the Wild established for them a highly agile data center environment that supports their current and future cloud initiatives with a virtual desktop infrastructure solution. The end results of the I.T. transformation project for the Wild were impressive as they:

  • Achieved 43 percent reduction in support costs
  • Reduced power by 63 percent and heat output by 68 percent
  • Reduced data from 42TB to 17TB

Once again we see the UCS architecture delivering improved performance at lower operating costs for a Microsoft oriented environment – Dynamics and CRM. In the case of the Minnesota Wild, a small I.T. organization when compared with larger enterprise I.T. organizations, they were able to deliver significant business value to their organization and position themselves for future technology shifts. Read more about the Minnesota Wild and their Cisco UCS experience here.

Learn more about Cisco’s Unified Data Center Microsoft solution capabilities at

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SDN and Network Programmability

In this video, Cisco Distinguished IT Engineer Jon Woolwine and I discuss Cisco IT’s approach to Network Programmability and SDN, describing some SDN-related use case solutions currently in development. Read More »

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Partner Voices: Removing Risk, Lowering Cost – The MCPc & Cisco Partnership

As part of our ongoing Partner Voices blog series, we had the opportunity to hear from MCPc. During the past 11 years, MCPc has bet long on Cisco, using networking, switching, telepresence, and digital media tools within its own business and in the outstanding help for the business of its clients.

For example, since the beginning of 2013, MCPc has used Cisco Telepresence internally for more than 4,320 hours of cumulative communication. That is more than 180 full days of time. Most MCPc associates have Jabber on their mobile devices, and their local media is paying attention to the ways in which MCPc has implemented Cisco throughout the company. But MCPc does more than just make its own travel schedule easier for employees – it has enabled clients to take advantage of Cisco’s full breadth of offerings. Read More »

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Big Data in Security – Part III: Graph Analytics

TRACFollowing part two of our Big Data in Security series on University of California, Berkeley’s AMPLab stack, I caught up with talented data scientists Michael Howe and Preetham Raghunanda to discuss their exciting graph analytics work.

Where did graph databases originate and what problems are they trying to solve?

Michael: Disparate data types have a lot of connections between them and not just the types of connections that have been well represented in relational databases. The actual graph database technology is fairly nascent, really becoming prominent in the last decade. It’s been driven by the cheaper costs of storage and computational capacity and especially the rise of Big Data.

There have been a number of players driving development in this market, specifically research communities and businesses like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. These organizations are looking at large volumes of data with lots of inter-related attributes from multiple sources. They need to be able to view their data in a much cleaner fashion so that the people analyzing it don’t need to have in-depth knowledge of the storage technology or every particular aspect of the data. There are a number of open source and proprietary graph database solutions to address these growing needs and the field continues to grow.

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A Room with a View (of Crucial Big Data Insights)

What’s the problem with Big Data? You guessed right — it’s BIG.

Big Data empowers organizations to discern patterns that were once invisible, leading to breakthrough ideas and transformed business performance. But there is simply so much of it, and from such myriad sources — customers, competitors, mobile, social, web, transactional, operational, internal, external, structured, and unstructured — that, for many organizations, Big Data is overwhelming. The torrents of data will only increase as the Internet of Everything spreads its ever-expanding wave of connectivity, from 10 billion connected things today to 50 billion in 2020.

So, how can organizations learn to use all of that data?

The key lies not in simply having access to enormous data streams. Information must be filtered for crucial, actionable insights, and presented to the right people in a visualized, comprehensible form. Only then will Big Data transform business strategies and decisions. In effect, Big Data must be made small.

However, as McKinsey & Co. reported, many organizations don’t have enough data scientists, much less ones who understand the business well enough to draw conclusions. The trick is to get the scientists together with the experts who understand the business levers driving the organization. Put them in a room with the right tools, and watch the synergy fly.

But what sort of a room?


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