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Cloudy With a Chance of Data Center Savings

June 29, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Ah, weather – one of life’s multi-purpose tools.  Conversation filler (“Quite the weather we’re having.”), alleged indicator of world’s end and source of inspiration for comic book writers to empower heroes and villains alike.

Weather can also be a Data Center’s best friend.  Solar energy can be harvested to help generate power, for instance, such as is happening at Cisco’s Data Center in Allen, Texas.  (Look for the 100 kW solar array on the right side of the Data Center’s roof.)  Wind energy as well.  Rainwater can even be collected for cooling system usage or to irrigate landscaping.

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Virtual Desktops: To Brazil and Back

June 22, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

I must confess, the first time I heard about virtual desktop infrastructure it made me think of a scene from the 1985 movie Brazil.  (The movie is old enough that I trust I’m not spoiling anything here.  If it’s sitting in your Netflix queue and you don’t want anything revealed, though, skip the next paragraph.)

In the scene Sam Lowry, the movie’s main character, struggles to work at his too-small desk that adjoins a nearby wall.  The desk shifts, and begins to retract into said wall, causing Sam to yank mightily on it in hopes of recovering some usable desk space.  After a brief tug of war, he discovers the source of the problem.

Fortunately, that’s not how virtual desktop technology truly works.

This week’s Data Center Deconstructed question raises the issue of how to determine the ratio of physical servers to virtual desktop instances.  As my meandering thoughts of Brazil indicate, I’m not your go-to guy for such information.  Ashok Rajagopalan, a product manager in Cisco’s Server Access Virtualization Technology Group, steps in to addresses the topic.

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IDC Commentary on Service Provider Cloud Service Opportunity

Summers tend to be a bit cool in San Francisco, but acceptance of Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution by Service Providers searching for the best path to cloud is heating up. We’re excited at the progress so far -- including recent records set by the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) which just placed 3rd globally in the x86 blades category in a recent IDC report. A little over two years ago people questioned Cisco’s entry into the compute segment of the data center. The large number of Cisco customers have proven that innovation that brings new levels of efficiency to the data center wins out every time. We’re proud of our customers and the services they’re bringing to market more quickly using the Cisco USD solution and its key foundation technologies like Cisco UCS.

Industry analysts are also seeing a need for an end-to-end solution like Cisco USD and noting the importance of resource optimization, management consolidation, service improvements, and cost reduction as fundamental tenets of efficient cloud service delivery.

Below is a short video commentary by IDC analyst, Courtney Munroe, VP, Worldwide Telecommunications. Courtney talks about the market challenges SPs face and how they can benefit from a transition to Cloud-delivered services. Pay special attention to the core things he believes SPs must address for Cloud: virtualized fabric for the computing platform in the data center, how the data center and the network work together and security across the entire delivery chain.


Cloud Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Service Providers

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Are We Approaching 1.2 Jigawatts in the Data Center?

June 15, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

What are typical power and cooling densities in a Data Center these days?  What do you think they’ll be in the future?

I routinely host Data Center tours at Cisco’s headquarters.  During those walkthroughs I often discuss how the densities in our server environments have increased over time.  Facilities with 50 to 60 watts per square foot gave way to those of 100 to 120 watts per square foot, which in turn gave way to those of 175 to 200 watts per square foot.

“I’m your density.  I mean… your destiny.”

- George McFly, Back to the Future

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News@Cisco Week in Review and Look Ahead: June 6-10

Happy Friday! Read more about the top news stories of the week that includes a feature on World IPv6 Day, an announcement on the Cisco ASR 9000, a demo of Cisco’s new data center and a couple news announcements about WebEx!

1.) World IPv6 Day Will Test the Readiness for Change

On June 8th or World IPv6 Day, Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) went live for a day on the public Internet. How did IPv6 testing go? Get an update here from InfoSecurity!

2.) Cisco Announces Major Advancements to the Cisco ASR 9000 Series

The Cisco ASR 9000 series just got better with age! On Tuesay, Cisco announced major advancements that will set new industry benchmarks and dramatically increase capabilities at the edge of the next-generation Internet and transform the broadband communication and entertainment industries! Read more here!

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