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Decommissioning Ghost Servers

Uptime Institute recently celebrated the winners of their third annual Server Roundup contest. The contest was launched to spotlight the amount of resources that can be recovered and the amount of waste reduced by decommissioning outdated and underutilized servers. While the results are impressive, the process for identifying these servers was difficult and labor intensive.

2013 Winners:

  • Barclay’s decommissioned 9,124 servers, resulting in savings of 2.5 MWh of energy ($4.5M in power costs), roughly 5,000 Tons of carbon emissions, and $1.3M in legacy hardware maintenance costs, and reclamation of 588 server racks.
  • Sun Life Financial decommissioned 441 servers, resulting in savings of 115 kWh of energy ($100,000 in power costs), roughly 330 Tons of carbon emissions, and reclamation of valuable space in the data center.

All of the 2013 winners finalists shared that they decommissioned between 10% and 40% of their initial servers, and expressed the same sentiments: The cheapest data center is the one you never build. Decommissioning obsolete servers is “free Money”. Make the best use of your space by getting rid of stuff that isn’t being used.

When the 2013 winners were asked what software they used to identify the decommissioned servers, responses varied from tracking via excel spreadsheets and SMDB databases, to polling servers’ back end data with DCIM, to hiring college students to conduct a 3 to 4 month manual Book to Floor audit, then another several months to manually map the applications to the servers using them.

The pain of these outdated and expensive manual processes is what Cisco EnergyWise Suite alleviates for our customers. To anyone who has experienced Cisco EnergyWise Manager, it’s difficult to fathom going back to a system that takes months to implement and execute, and with such a high cost in man hours associated with it.

I applaud all of the hard work and great results these companies have achieved, but imagine how much more efficient they could be if they were leveraging Cisco EnergyWise Suite’s ability to deploy in a matter of hours and:

  • Automatically discover every device that it attached to the network in real time
  • Gain visibility into the energy consumption and utilization of 100% of the devices in the data center
  • Identify energy-inefficient devices
  • Monitor, measure, and manage the energy used by their network-connected devices, regardless of device type or manufacturer
  • Optimize virtualized and cloud computing environments
  • Create policies that automatically and remotely manage power for network-connected devices to cut energy costs

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#EngineersUnplugged S5|Ep14 OpenShift on OpenStack

June 11, 2014 at 10:03 am PST

Welcome to the season finale of Engineers Unplugged! We are taking a break to prepare for Season 7 next week.

In this week’s episode, Daneyon Hansen (@daneyonhansen) and Diane Mueller (@pythondj) deep-dive on OpenShift on Openstack, including Heat and GearD.

Watch for the technology, stay for the interpretive dance.

OpenShift on Openstack with Daneyon Hansen and Dianne Mueller

OpenShift on Openstack with Daneyon Hansen and Dianne Mueller

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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How Virtualization Is Changing Software Licensing for the Data Center

Erich Latchford

In the days before data centers were virtualized, the licensing model for operating systems and application software was simple: 1 server = 1 license. But this model doesn’t work in an environment where a single physical server can host multiple virtual servers.

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It’s all about you: thanks for making Cisco’s Unified Computing System #1

When we talk about Cisco UCS success, we could boast about how, in just five short years, Cisco has earned the #1 position for x86 blade server sales in the Americas. Or, brag on how we achieved 39% revenue growth in a period where the other top five vendors saw flat or declining numbers, according to IDC. We could mention how some in the industry questioned our strategy to enter this market in the first place, in the middle of a worldwide economic slowdown no less. Also, we might remind everyone that others predicted that we wouldn’t last a year.

We could do that, but we won’t. Because we know without a doubt, that the success of Cisco UCS is not all about us. It is about our customers, who continue to choose innovation. Like our customers, we are acutely aware that the data center, including the role of IT, is changing rapidly. Cost pressures, technology changes, and game-changers like cloud computing require a new approach. With our unified data center architecture, products, solutions, and services, we are helping you achieve the business outcomes you need for your organization to grow. We are working with you, over 33,000 strong and growing, to help evolve your data centers using the Cisco Unified Data Center platform and redefine the economics of your IT operations. So you can spend more of your resources on delivering innovation to your business, all while increasing business agility, reducing CapEx and OpEx, and simplifying your operations.

thankyouIt’s also about Cisco data center partners, because we know that it takes an ecosystem to be successful. Driving 80% of all Cisco UCS sales, channel partners are fueling this rapid growth and capturing emerging opportunities including cloud, big data, enterprise applications, and desktop virtualization. Early on, our partners recognized the value of UCS and embraced it. Their training, infrastructure, and other investments have been a huge contributor to UCS traction in the marketplace. The results are an expanded data center practice and value delivered to customers. Cisco data center partners, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Not long ago, Paul Perez predicted this day would come. His bold “sooner than you think” statement has come to pass, well, sooner than we thought. Frankly, we’re not too surprised. But we are pleased, and humbled, and determined to keep pushing forward with data center innovation such as Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure.

But most of all, we thank you.

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Customers choose innovation : Cisco UCS is the # 1 blade server in the Americas

 Cisco’s First Trifecta

This week IDC released the calendar 1Q14 server market share tracker report, which is starting to generate press given the news that Cisco UCS has achieved the #1 x86 blade server revenue market share position in the US, in North America and in the Americas  - a “triple crown” right before the Belmont Stakes :-) Globe

We are understandably very proud of this achievement, and we’re taking time to celebrate. It was fun calling John Chambers to share the news, and to remind him that the team delivered on our commitment – to become #1 in blades in the US in 2014, and use that as the launchpad for our #1 world-wide campaign.

At the same time, it’s a humbling experience. We can argue about the meaning of market share numbers. They can be viewed as an indicator of momentum, they can be viewed as ephemeral, so what really is the meaning of being #1?

My interpretation is simple: Customers have a vote, and the market share numbers are an indication of the huge trust customers are placing on Cisco, not just on UCS. In 5 short years we’ve accumulated over 33,000 customers world-wide, including over 75% of Fortune 500 companies.  Contrary to competitors’ predictons, UCS is not a flash in the pan. It’s a reflection of Cisco’s ability to innovate in a way that drives tangible business outcomes for our customers. We struck a resonant cord when you consider innovations such as:

  • Architectural: Cisco delivered the first new innovation in x86 servers in over 10 years by inventing a new category, Fabric Computing, that proved ideal for server virtualization and private clouds.
  • Business Model: In addition to significant organic R&D investments, Cisco leveraged industry R&D much better than any of our peers. Whether they be infrastructure, operating system, applications, middleware or selling partners, we created an ecosystem that is fair, flexible and scalable. We created a business platform, not a technology platform.
  • Customer experience: Beyond UCS technology advantages, customers choose Cisco because of our commitment to customer relationships: our sales team’s demonstrated capability to understand our customers’ business and proactively propose transformational opportunites, and our support teams’ utter commitment to protecting business operations when issues inevitably occur.

As we set our sights on being #1 WW, I’d like to surprise readers by actually congratulating HP on being #1 WW; they’ve had the longest run at this coveted spot in the industry. We aim to capture this spot, and to hold it for longer, which we believe is eminently achievable given  we’ve achieved #2 WW by focusing on a subset of all available use cases and market segments. We have many opportunities, all of them well-funded and in execution, to drive expansion – new products, new business capabilities, more market coveraged, enhanced manufacturing, delivery and support.

So in essence, rather than admiring our recent #1 win in the Americas, we choose to view this as a call to arms, a rallying cry to accelerate our drive to #1 WW. Velociraptors unbound!

Lastly, a big THANK YOU to our customers, our partners and our entire value chain teams to demonstrate Cisco is serious about setting the state of the art in   computing. And I say this deliberately, because we are not in the server business. We are in the computing business, which is the business of optimizing application environments for performance and total cost of ownership – what our customers want.

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