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Maintain or Replace – be Energy Efficient or not – continuing the debate

So the other day my wife told me the water in the shower didn’t seem as hot as it normally does. “Maybe something wrong with the water heater?” she said. I did all the normal checks: no water on the basement floor, pilot is lit, check, check. All seems ok.

We happened to go to Home Depot to buy some other stuff, but we ran into the water heater guy.  His diagnosis: water heater going bad. (Full admission, it is 11 years old)

I kind of buy his story, it makes sense. Here is an appliance that is 11 years old that I never maintained. Expected life is 10 years, so I am already plus one, right? And maybe a new one would be more efficient, right?

But isn’t that the sort of internal argument manufacturers go through every day? Sunk cost (what they already paid for) vs. Maintenance vs. Replacement? How efficient are the machines you bought 10 or 15 years ago? How do you know? How much does it cost you for a shutdown for two to three days while you secure a replacement machine and install it? Wouldn’t that information be valuable to you if it was visible? How do you know?

Energy management/awareness is certainly a big part of this sustainability issue. Check out this video from Chet:

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Cisco Unified Computing System Achieves a Major Milestone

Infographic: Cisco UCS Market ShareIt’s been an exciting two years since we introduced the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) solution to the world. UCS provides virtualized compute and networking with simple management. I want to congratulate our service provider customers on their successes in delivering differentiated services, with UCS as the foundation, in their markets. I would also like to extend our thanks to our business partners, both channel partners and those with complementary product offerings, for their expertise and ability to help accelerate this truly innovative idea across the data center and cloud industry.

In two short years, Cisco has risen to the #3 player in the fastest growing segment of the x86 server market.

Released yesterday, the IDC press release on Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker Q1 2011 highlights the UCS uptake by our customers and partners and shows a great start to our vision for UCS in every SP, enterprise, and public sector organization looking for a world-class scalable, flexible, and powerful converged server platform. The rapid growth from launch to #3 in the industry for x86 blade servers in such a short time indicates two points:  First, that the data center industry was crying out for real technology innovation and, second, that innovative customers are willing to embrace a new paradigm when the business benefits delivered are compelling.

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Getting Inventive in the Data Center

May 25, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

What’s the coolest technology you wish someone would invent for a Data Center?

As the more entrepreneurial among us are likely already aware, it’s National Inventors Month in the United States.  In light of that – and the video below discussing how Data Centers themselves foster innovation – I thought it would be interesting to make a Data Center wish list.  Just in case a fledgling Thomas Edison out there is looking for something to work on.

The Data Center technologies I want:

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Cisco UCS – What’s Not To Love?

I make no bones about it I love the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).   Yes, you’re reading a Cisco Blog…so you’d expect nothing less, but understand I came to love the system long before I was ever a Cisco employee.  In fact it’s the reason I’m here – well that and the paycheck.  :-)  You can read a bit about my “conversion” here:  Something to Believe In.  Or if you’d prefer to watch me talk about the UCS as a GE employee take a peek here

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UNS Spotlight on VM-ready Security Solutions with VSG

May 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm PST

The Unified Network Services (UNS) portfolio of Layer 4-7 services (such as ACE and WAAS) also includes Cisco’s data center security solutions. A critical part of that security portfolio is our virtualization-aware firewall solution, Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). In a series of upcoming blog posts, I’ll be sharing a few use case scenarios that our customers are implementing with VSG.

For those of you new to VSG, I’ll point out that VSG’s role is to act as a virtual firewall between zones of virtual machines. Isolating traffic between VM zones has been very challenging prior to VSG because: 1) security policies have to be enforced between VMs running on the same server or same virtual switch (where there’s no place to put a firewall), 2) VMs move all around the network and the security policies (as enforced in the firewall) must follow the VM, and 3) the need to maintain segregation of duties for compliance purposes between the security and application server teams, where security is potentially enforced inside the virtual server.

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