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IT “Patients”

When you think of cloud technology and data center virtualization, you likely think of big corporations managing their data centers and IT infrastructure to drive business forward. But that’s not the only sector benefiting from the cloud. The healthcare industry is confirming that virtualization is an important factor in the well-being of people -- technology being used to help save lives, not just increase revenue.

Updating an IT infrastructure with cloud enablement is impacting the medical world in imperative ways. Through the cloud, clinicians are able to access medical records and information from a multitude of devices, and from anywhere. Never being out-of-range in an emergency situation is a huge step for healthcare. It means less physical hardware, easier access, shared information, and better service for the patient.

Consider St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, a leading healthcare provider. After experiencing difficulties in accessing information and maxing out resources, St. George’s made the move to Unified Communications. Doctors and nurses are now able to retrieve information from the device of their choice, enabling quicker response to patients’ needs, all while meeting new government regulations and controlling their budget.

Other examples include Sparrow Health, who strived to be a national leader in quality and patient experience. With virtualization and cloud-based applications, Sparrow achieved a medical-grade network that solved the problems of their former, unreliable IT system. And Seattle Children’s Hospital severely cut back on wasted time in accessing information and managing their systems by bringing nearly 400 servers and 5500 workstations under central management using virtualization. Likewise, Cook County Health and Concentra are all healthcare providers who reaped the benefits of a virtualized, unified network.

For these profiles and more information on utilizing the cloud to increase ROI and improve TCO, visit UnleashingIT.com.

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The Latest in IT Innovation

Just keeping the lights on is no longer good enough

We know how important it is that your data center is performing at its best. So outdated platforms have no place there -- consuming more energy than necessary, taking more space than needed, and not keeping up with the pace of business.

With the never-ceasing progression of technology, cloud, desktop virtualization and big data have become hot topics among IT and business professionals. And benefits such as improved manageability, efficient and flexible IT service, and lower maintenance costs give good reason for this. So just keeping the lights of IT on is not good enough.

Whatever IT strategies you are considering, consider that Unleashing IT brings you the latest in IT, so you can make informed decisions. Thought provoking content is available in both print and online. It includes company profiles as well as an abundance of resources that can be viewed and downloaded.

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Unified Data Center IQ Challenge : The Learning Experience

October 19, 2012 at 10:42 am PST

As a quick reminder , to participate to this 6 weeks challenge and have a chance to win every week a new iPAD , you want to visit our Facebook page. The questions are submitted on Sunday midnight PST, and answers have to be provided not later than Friday 12:00PM  PST.  Participation is easy and fun and allow you to collect points to compete for the highest IQ score. This best Unified Data Center “brain” will be the winner of the Grand Prize (valued US $2000).  Every week-end (Friday noon to Sunday) you can answer bonus  questions, which give you additional points to catch up for the Grand Prize.

The winner of week 2 (questions about Cisco Open Networking Environment) was Mohamed Fawzy Saleh from Egypt  who won a new iPAD. Mohamed is a student, very passionate by network technologies . Congratulations Mohamed!
From my point of view , one of the best quality of the high tech population is the thirst to keep learning in a fast changing and demanding environment . One of the intention of this challenge (game?) is to suggest every week questions to stimulate your curiosity.

My ask this week for you as we are moving to the next bonus questions for this weekend  (Security -- See below) and week 4 (Virtualization) of the challenge is to tell us what you think about the set of questions. Did you learn? Did you find the questions interesting ? Just as a reminder, and for the new participants, here are the topics we covered so far.  

Contest

Topic

Solution

Blogger

Week 1
Oct 1-  Oct 4

Low Latency Switch

Algo Boost Technology – Nexus 3548

Berna Devrim
Gabriel Dixon 

Bonus
Oct 5- Oct 7

Mission Critical Application

SAP Oracle Microsoft on UCS

Rick Speyer
Chip Lawson
Rex Backman

Week 2
Oct 8- Oct 11

SDN

ONE (Open Newtorking Environment)

Omar Sultan 
Gary Kinghorn

Bonus
Oct12- Oct 14

Desktop Virtualization

VDI/VXI with Citrix and VMware

Tony Paikeday –
Jonathan Gilad

Week 3
Oct 15 – Oct 18

Unified Management

Intelligent automation for Cloud – SAP IT Process Automation – Cloud Management

Rodrigo Flores –
Wayne Greene –
Carolina Fernandez

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A Shameless Plug: The Art of the Data Center

October 19, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

One of the first things many companies do at the start of a Data Center project is look around to see what other companies have done.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a book that showcases innovative Data Centers and has insights from the people who designed and operate them?

I thought so, too.

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How Much is This Gonna Cost? Price Models for IT Infrastructure

October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am PST

Steve Watkins, Guest Blogger

Steve Watkins is a Consulting Systems Engineer for Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud.  He came to Cisco as part of the newScale acquisition in 2011.  He has been helping customers manage the migration to IT as a Service (ITaaS) since 2004.

 

Showback and Chargeback have become increasingly hot topics for IT, especially infrastructure teams.  This is fuelled at least in part by the general acceptance of cloud computing, including private clouds and SaaS applications.   Chargeback (and even Showback) are great ways of affecting behavior of the consumers of IT.   It keeps consumers from demanding an unreasonable amount of services, and encourages them to use of what has already been invested in.  There is also a growing mandate from Finance to make IT accountable for its spend, or at the very least to justify any requests for further investment. So infrastructure teams find themselves in the unexpected position of defining prices for the services traditionally offered.   Most have no idea where to start.

Several vendors have produced offerings to help manage the showback/chargeback business case.  This post will not discuss any vendor in detail.  Instead, I want to talk about philosophy.

Broadly speaking, there are two major approaches to creating a price model for IT.  There is the Utility-based model, in which pricing derived from actual consumption of CPU cycles, RAM, bandwidth, storage, etc.  In this model, if you stood up a virtual machine for one week you would only pay for the actual amount CPU cycles and storage you consumed.

Alternately, there is Service-based pricing, which advocates a fixed price based on either the service itself or some other unit of measure such as hours, etc.  In this model, if you stood up a virtual machine for one week you would pay for how many hours the VM was active, whether you used it or not.

I always council my customers to adopt service-based pricing.  I think utility-based pricing is the wrong approach for IT departments, especially infrastructure teams.  Here are my reasons:

1.INFLEXIBLE – Utility pricing is asset based, and therefore assumes that the assets will remain more-or-less the same.  The model breaks down when you introduce changes, like renting infrastructure from public providers or changing service levels.  What about if I offer VDI next year?  That may mean two different types of pricing models, which gets even more complex.  A service-based pricing scheme works with all services.

2.POOR CAPACITY MANAGEMENT – by only charging for the CPU cycles you actually consume, it encourages users to stand up systems and leave them in place.. which is exactly what we don’t want.  Think of renting a car: you rent a car for 4 days but only drive it for a total of 3 hours, you still have to pay for all for days.  If I just paid when I actually drove it, I would keep it all the time.  We want to encourage users to return unused assets. Which leads to..

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