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Data Center Domination

April 15, 2011 at 8:57 am PST
Chillin'

Chillin'

Strong title perhaps…but thats the kind of over the top messaging I have been practicing now that I am technically on a marketing team.  Today is the big day -- all the hard work of a great many people that spent the last several years dreaming, designing and then building what appears to me as the most advanced, eco-friendly data center as yet conceived…(there I go again).  Lots to promote here so bear with me -- first and foremost -- be sure and tune in today as they stream the grand opening event featuring our own Rebecca Jacoby and John Manville -- you can catch it live on the uStream channel: http://www.ustream.tv/ciscotv from 2:30 to 3:15 Central Time. (cause its in Texas!).  Jimmy Ray recently penned a nice run down of our own recent visit to this high impact low profile data center in his blog -- I thought I would share a couple of my favorite things.

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Data Center Constructed!

April 15, 2011 at 5:01 am PST

 

Overture, curtains, lights…

We’re formally opening a new Data Center today here at Cisco.  In light of that, let’s forgo Data Center Deconstructed’s usual video Q&A and spend some time kicking the site’s proverbial tires.

Located in Allen, Texas, the new Data Center is a tier 3 facility with a 38,000 sq. ft. (3,530 sq. m.) hosting area and powered by redundant 10 MW feeds providing 5.25 MW of capacity for IT.

An overhead view of Cisco's new tier 3 Data Center in Allen, Texas.

I participated in several of the design meetings for the Data Center and am enthusiastic about a lot of the features that have been incorporated into its design.  (No surprise, the facility uses all of the green strategies I discussed in Energy Efficiency Makes Two Kinds of Green and then some.)  A few of my favorite features:

  • The active-active configuration.  The Allen Data Center is linked to another tier 3 Data Center in Richardson, Texas, so each facility is a primary Data Center that also serves as a secondary facility for the other.  Cisco calls the pair a Metro Virtual Data Center – I call it really hard to knock offline.  (We like this model so much that we’re planning to build similar pairs in other theaters.)
  • The server cabinets.  As shown in the image below, the Data Center’s cabinets have exhaust chimneys that allow hot air generated by hardware to flow into a plenum space and avoid mixing with incoming chilled air.  This helps the cooling system operate more efficiently.  (We used a similar design in our Richardson Data Center, too.)
  • A rotary UPS.  If anything in a Data Center’s standby infrastructure is going to fail it’s the batteries, so I’m happy to dispense with a static UPS at this site.  The rotary UPS contains a large, spinning flywheel and in the event of a utility power failure that kinetic energy will supply several seconds of ride-through power, long enough to transfer the Data Center’s electrical load to standby generators.

Enclosed cabinets with vertical exhaust ducts (chimneys) help isolate hot and cold airflow.

These are some of my favorites, but they’re just part of what this Data Center has to offer.  For a deeper look, check out the interactive videos and detailed case study about the facility.  Happy viewing!

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Cisco UCS Leads the Industry in Server Performance and Productivity

On April 5th, 2011, Cisco participated in the Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 Product Family Announcement with NINE new world record performance benchmark results highlighting the Cisco Unified Computing System’s outstanding performance and IT productivity across key data center workloads. Cisco also announced the broadening of its server portfolio with the introduction of the Cisco UCS C260 enterprise server, an Intel Xeon processor E7 family based platform designed for most data demanding business critical IT challenges. The Cisco Unified Computing System’s outstanding performance benchmark results are highlighted in the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 Family-based Platform Performance Highlights (April 5, 2011) announcement.

Fundamentally, this record setting performance further reinforces the Cisco Unified Computing System’s ability to deliver next generation compute across bare-metal, high performance computing (HPC) and in the most complex virtualization and cloud computing environments in the data center. Check out the Performance Brief for additional information on the nine new Cisco UCS world record benchmarks. The detailed benchmark disclosure reports are available here.

So the momentum continues…In two short years, the Cisco UCS has captured over 40 world records for performance and IT productivity taking its place among the most trusted server vendors on the market. Check out the Cisco Unified Computing System™ Performance Leadership Presentation.  

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Channels Blog Trivia Time: UCS Discounts for Partners or Wearable TelePresence Units?

April 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm PST

It’s time for a little mid-week trivia. Guess which one of the following is true:

A. Cisco is trying to set a world record for the most number of people running a virtual sprint at one time.

B. Cisco just announced UCS discounts providing an easier, more streamlined way grow partners’ sales in unified computing and give them larger discounts.

C. Cisco invented a new gym that will power data centers using humans as batteries.

D. Wearable TelePresence units will be launched later this year.

OK, give up? Keep reading to see if you guessed the right answer.

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What’s going on in Allen, Texas April 15 ?

April 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm PST

So what do you think is happening this week on April 15 in Allen, Texas ?
As a reminder for people like me , who have a limited understanding in geography without a GPS, Allen is a city  in Collin County  Texas , United States and a northern suburb of Dallas. As of the 2010 census the city had a total population  of 84,246 (source Wikipedia)
So according to Marci Moon from the Dilly-O,  Jack Ingram will be in town on April15 !

Good news for the music  fans, but in fact what really matters here is that Cisco will open a new state-of-the-art data center.
And you will have the opportunity to participate  to the Live Internet Broadcast, featuring Rebecca Jacoby, Senior VP and John Manville VP IT  Network & Data Center Services

So what is this data center : Here is the official description
The state-of-the-art facility showcases Cisco’s data center products with a high-density footprint and the latest green technologies. Many Cisco data center technologies are used, including Unified Computing System, Nexus switches, MDS storage switches, Security, and more. Together, the Allen and Richardson, Texas, data centers enable Cisco to provide world-class business resiliency for critical business applications. These two facilities will run in active/active mode, meaning that even a catastrophic failure of either data center will not disrupt mission critical systems.

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