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Here Comes the Sun

November 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm PST

When I was a kid, one of my neighbors had a solar radiometer.  It’s a glass bulb about the size of a baseball, with diamond-shaped panels connected to a spindle.   The panels, black on one side and silver on the other, would turn on the spindle when exposed to light.

I enjoyed experimenting with the gizmo, edging it in and out of the sunbeam that shone through a window and onto their kitchen table.  How close to the light did the radiometer need to be for the panels to move? What if I shaded it with a piece of cardboard?  How fast would the spindle turn if I put the radiometer fully in the light? Read More »

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A Charitable Alternative to Black Friday

November 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm PST

Black Friday. This shopping day has become as synonymous with Thanksgiving as turkey, pumpkin pie, and football. In 2011, U.S. consumers spent $52 billion while shopping during Thanksgiving weekend.

But not everyone in the United States can enjoy the trappings of Thanksgiving, much less Black Friday.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011 48.5 million Americans were living below the poverty level — about 16 percent of the population. Many of these people rely on charitable organizations to feed their families — not just at Thanksgiving, but year-round.

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Cisco Pilot Proves the Value of CDN Federations

By Marc Latouche, Manager, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Service Provider

As more and more video traffic streams across service provider (SP) networks, many SPs are deploying content delivery networks (CDNs). In addition to supporting their own operations, these CDNs provide a viable commercial alternative — or complement — to pure-play CDNs (such as Level 3 and Limelight), and enable SPs to earn extra income from the content flowing over their network.

The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes that CDN federations will provide an even farther-reaching solution. Cisco began to develop the concept of CDN federations in 2011, envisioning them as multi-footprint, open CDN capabilities built and shared by autonomous members. With CDN federations, SPs can interconnect — and leverage — one another’s CDN resources, ultimately benefiting all players in the value chain. Consumers gain in quality of service, SPs benefit through increased revenue potential, and content providers benefit in the assurance that their product will be distributed with guaranteed service and to a wider, potentially global audience.

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SAP TechEd Madrid Wrap-Up

SAP announces support for Virtualized SAP HANA for non-productive platforms at SAP Sapphire/TechEd Madrid

On the final day of TechEd in Madrid, SAP announced that they will be supporting virtualization for Non-Productive SAP HANA systems. No other details were given surrounding this announcement, but this is a significant departure from their previous position as it related to SAP HANA. This should be good news for Cisco given that the Cisco UCS server platform was built from the ground up to host applications in a virtualized manner. As we work with VCE, EMC, and NetApp this will only enhance our position in the SAP HANA space

Cisco had an excellent presence at the event. There were almost 700 visitors to our booth as we had on display, FlexPod from NetApp, VBlock from VCE and IT Process Automation. In addition we had as many visitors to the SAP HANA Test Drive area where Cisco had the C460 SAP HANA certified platform.

One area that got quite a bit of attention was the SAP Precision Retail mobility application on the Cisco platform. I attended two sessions that were well attended by attendees at the conference. There were at least 40 to 50 attendees at each session. In addition, the application was on display in the SAP Mobility area. Cisco is the only hardware vendor that SAP has worked with on this particular application and will be actively selling this application as part of their portfolio.

Michael Missbach, who manages Cisco’s SAP competency center in Walldorf Germany, was the leader in two Microforums on Tuesday and third speaking session on Wednesday. The first was SAP on the Cloud and the second was a Microforum with TUI Travel’s (HotelBeds) CIO Mr. Garcia. Mr. Garcia was able to discuss his installation of SAP on Cisco UCS as well as his use of SAP HANA on the Certified Cisco UCS server platform and how this architecture design has saved him approximately 150,000 Euros a year.

Using SAP HANA on UCS- TUI Case study from Cisco Data Center

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Digital Malls: The Next Generation of Self-Service Shopping

All the players in the U.S. retail ecosystem today—mall developers, retailers, vending operators, and consumer product manufacturers—are facing key demographic, economic, and technological changes. The “new normal” world of retailing is challenging retail players to reverse vacancy rates and sales declines, create enhanced customer experiences, reduce labor and construction costs, deepen brand differentiation, optimize small urban formats, and justify investment in innovation.

In the midst of these challenges, three emerging, technology-enabled, self-service retail trends offer the glimmer of a new opportunity.

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