Cisco IT is transforming itself to deliver IT As A Service (ITAAS), and this is changing the way we deliver all IT services internally, including our unified communications (UC) and video services. For the business, we offer transparent IT cost information and (over time) cost reduction, as well as the ability to re-use service components for faster delivery of new services. For our employees, we are making the processes for ordering and provisioning IT services fast, automated, simple, and consistent. This goal is particularly important for our UC and video services, which provide essential voice and video communications tools for our employees. Read More »
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI is getting a lot of attention these days. It allows companies to replace high-cost laptops with a lower-cost, secure device. It also allows employees to access a secure, cloud-based desktop from any device across the Internet.
Desktop virtualization has been popular among the Cisco salespeople who are ACE users because they can access the same centrally stored applications and content wherever they have an Internet connection and whether they are using a laptop or tablet. The faster startup time for the tablet client compared to booting-up a laptop may be one reason for this popularity, because it helps salespeople get information quickly, especially when they are talking with a customer.
One part of my job involves designing the virtualization model for our internal unified communications (UC) system deployments around the world. A critical task in this design is specifying which UC virtual machines (VMs) can share a Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) server chassis or blade and which ones can’t. When migrating UC servers to a shared virtual environment, we need to make sure we carefully balance each VM’s needs for CPU, storage, network and memory. Read More »
I use my desk phone only about once a day, but most callers still reach me on their first try. How is this possible? With Cisco Unified Mobility: Single Number Reach (SNR), a feature that allows me to control how incoming calls are sent to my desk, mobile, or soft phones.
Although this SNR feature has been supported on Cisco Unified Communications Manager for many years, recent versions that we’ve been testing on the Cisco ACE network extend it to all of the phones and video endpoints I use in my work.
Most ACE network users are salespeople, so SNR is a great tool for helping them stay in touch, especially when traveling, working away from the office or during the holidays. With this in mind, we conducted a study that showed that Cisco could potentially gain the value of more than US $130 million per year from improved productivity by adopting SNR — and that is only taking salespeople into account!
In an earlier post, my colleague Reid Bourdet described how we migrated our largest Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM) cluster to a virtual machine environment running on Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) servers. This was the 19-node (server) Cisco UCM cluster that serves the Cisco headquarters campus in San Jose, California; and we completed the migration over a weekend.
What makes that move even more interesting is that we’re nearly done consolidating 5 separate clusters into one virtual environment, and reducing the total number of servers by a factor of four. Virtualization on the Cisco UCS hardware allows us to consolidate multiple UCM nodes on a single blade. In this post, I’ll provide more details about the scope of this migration, the results we’ve gained, and how we’ll continue migrating other Cisco UCM clusters to Cisco UCS servers around the world.