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VMworld 2011 Watchlist: Tweets, Videos, Feeds, and News

Today VMware kicks off VMworld in Las Vegas and we’re already seeing interesting news announcements, cool innovations, and informative technical sessions.

If you’re not there in person to be close to the conference action, we’ve gathered together a list of important conference info. Thanks to live feeds, Twitter, and video, you can participate in much of the event from the comfort of your home or office.

Let’s start with some of the fun activities we’re seeing at VMWorld.

Check mate! Just another day at the giant chess board as conference attendees play a rousing game. Check the VMworld You Tube channel to see what else is happening.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI5a_uo_gpI

Make yourself at home…attendees sit in what looks like a video game set, complete with grass cubes for seating.

Keep reading for links to conference materials, live streams, notable tweets, and social media happenings. Read More »

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TechWiseTV Workshop SAP and the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)

Visit Cisco Live Virtual on Wednesday, September 7th at 10am Pacific to view the live TechWiseTV Workshop “SAP and the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)”. The Cisco Unified Computing System serves as an ideal server platform for SAP since it provides a unique Intel Xeon processor-based industry-standard infrastructure for enterprise-critical applications such as SAP. The Cisco UCS platform offers stateless computing capabilities with dynamic server provisioning, unified fabric, and comprehensive management across both physical and virtual environments for reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). When you combine the UCS platform with Tidal Intelligent Automation software for SAP, you now have a safe, secure, platform that is protected from within the platform itself. As a result the Cisco UCS platform is quickly becoming the server platform of choice for mission-critical solutions from SAP. Experts will be available for live Q&A.

Access is free. Attendees to Cisco Live Virtual can access over 1,600 keynotes, super sessions and technical sessions, as well as network with peers, visit our World of Solutions, and play games.

Speaker: Jimmy Ray Purser
Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m. PT / 17:00 GMT
Location: www.ciscolivevirtual.com

For more information on TechWiseTV and to access on-demand video content, visit: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/learning_center/techwisetv

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@ciscoDC – Social Media all over VMworld 2011

I’m excited to be part of the group of dedicated bloggers, vloggers, and tweeters from the Cisco Data Center marketing team at my first VMworld ever. I think events like this are the best way to get a real sense of the industry across the breadth of operators, engineers, decision makers, vendors, and analysts. There are more people I’d like to meet and catch up with than I think is even possible in just four days. Our social media guru, Amy Lewis, asked me to make a video about it. [I meant VMworld 2011 when I said VMworld 21, really.]

Our team will have “roving reporters” speaking to people of all stripes about what they’re interested in, what they’re learning, what sessions they’ve found useful, what kinds of problems they’re solving, and the technology on display. We’ll also be covering some of the tweetups and events that our team is running during the show:

Read More »

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Network Service Providers Can Compete and Win in the Cloud

If you’ve been following the research from Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, you may have already seen the survey on Service Providers and their viability in the Cloud at the end of last year. Yesterday I was preparing for a customer briefing when this report came to mind and I thought it may be useful to summarize the high points if you haven’t read it yet.

The custom research found that Network Service Providers have an advantage when offering Cloud services if they use their unique assets to differentiate their services. Over-the-Top (OTT) players may have seen success in offering plain vanilla Infrastructure as a Service at large scale and low prices but the opportunity for supplying the high-end and high-value spectrum of Cloud services is still underway. You will probably agree with me that security is critical for any service these days. It is a challenge that requires proper design and planning and proper vigilance and quick responses are what differentiate the winners from the losers. Cloud is a large market in the midst of a transition and it will be fun to watch how everything plays out, I’m placing bets on the Service Providers to scoop up a valuable share of the ~$43 billion XaaS market by 2013. Read More »

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Lessons for the Data Center Novice

Early in my days as a Data Center manager I attended a series of talks focused on Data Center energy efficiency.  The sessions covered everything from hardware chip design to application performance to physical infrastructure.

Even for a beginner, two things were immediately obvious.  First, Data Centers consume more energy than other buildings – much more.  Second, with so many different components drawing power there are a lot of opportunities to make a server environment more energy efficient.

One presenter, from a manufacturer of Data Center standby electrical systems, mentioned during his talk that electrical components operate more efficiently at higher loads.  The closer they are to maximum capacity, the better they perform.

I thought about this for a while and at the conclusion of the session, asked:  “If electrical systems operate more efficiently at higher loads, why do operators of Data Centers with redundant electrical infrastructure split the load evenly between the A and B sides?  Why not put the entire load on side A and nothing on side B?  Wouldn’t that be more energy efficient?”

To my surprise, the question stumped the presenter.  Eventually, one of his co-workers in the audience stood up and said they had conducted experiments with that configuration and found that although it was more energy efficient, when a failure occurred on the A side and the full power load (in his words) “came crashing onto the B side,” the components sometimes failed.  The redundant electrical infrastructure could reliably handle a sudden jump from 40 percent loaded to 80 percent, but not from zero to 80 percent.

Oh.  Enter my third Data Center lesson for the day:  energy efficiency is important, but ensuring availability is much more important.

Speaking of availability and Data Center power, this week’s question explores the use of rotary UPS systems that employ flywheel technology versus traditional battery UPS systems.  See below for discussion of the pros and cons of each.

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