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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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When Patch Cords Attack!

May 18, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

We had fun with last week’s post, I Saw What You Patched Last Summer, viewing the horrors that are the entries to Cisco’s recent Crazy Cabling Contest  Fun because, as humorist Will Rogers famously noted, everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else.

You obviously don’t want such cabling mayhem in your Data Center.   Tangled cables greatly increase the risk of accidental downtime.  They also inhibit airflow, forcing a Data Center’s cooling system to work harder to deliver chilled air to hardware and thereby increasing energy consumption and operational costs.

For those keeping score at home, here’s the winning submission as voted by visitors to Cisco’s Facebook page:

The top vote-getter from Cisco's Crazy Cabling Contest.

Messy cabling is also bad because it leads to more messy cabling.  Have you ever walked into a Data Center with just one sloppy server cabinet?  In my experience, server environments are either neat and tidy throughout or messy throughout.

So, what can be done to prevent tangled cabling in your Data Center?

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I Saw What You Patched Last Summer

May 11, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Cisco recently hosted a Crazy Cabling Contest, inviting people to share photos of the most disorganized, rats-have-obviously-nested-here cabling within their server environments.

See what turned up:

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You Can’t Stop Compute, You Can Only Hope to Contain It

May 4, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Don’t put away the party favors yet.

Cisco a few weeks ago opened a new Data Center in Allen, Texas to fanfare that included media coverage and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Texas Governor Rick Perry.

We’re now opening a Data Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  The facility features water-cooled cabinets, supports up to 25 kW per rack and has sophisticated monitoring and management tools for controlling power and cooling systems.  The Data Center can be configured with different levels of redundancy (up to tier 4), has a calculated PUE below 1.25 and is modular, allowing for rapid expansion.

Oh, and it’s tucked into a 40 ft. long box that can be delivered to your doorstep.  That’s right, Cisco’s newest server environment is a containerized Data Center.

The Cisco Containerized Data Center at Cisco's Research Triangle Park campus.

A formal grand-opening isn’t scheduled until August when an in-building Data Center opens its doors on the Research Triangle Park campus as well.  But you can watch the video below for a sneak peak at how it was installed as well as catch further discussion about Data Center container capabilities.

Additional information about the Cisco Containerized Data Center is available at www.cisco.com/go/cdc.

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Parting Clouds and Being Real About Virtualization

April 27, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years – and perhaps even then – you have undoubtedly heard someone touting the merits of virtualization and cloud computing.  Chief among the advantages are reduced costs and the capability to do more with fewer resources.

Although the terms are often used simultaneously, cloud and virtualization aren’t the same.  Click below for a brief discussion of each.

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