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Seeing is believing – Graphics Conference first day brings together industry players with Cisco

No longer just the domain of gamesters and young-at-heart, the graphics industry is now providing stunning performance to all sorts of industries such as manufacturing, finance, healthcare and design. Perhaps none more so though than the Oil and Gas Industry, as companies explore in harder-to-get-at places and dangers to workers are greater than ever. The GPU Technology  Conference in San Jose this week showed how far we’ve come in accelerating energy discoveries with less time spent travelling to far off dangerous environments.

So what’s it all about? Well, for starters four partners – Cisco, NetApp, NVIDIA and Citrix have got together to change the way users of high performance graphics applications can be used in remote and local environments. Normally geophysicists and geoscientists using, say, Schlumberger or Halliburton seismic analysis software use powerful (but expensive) workstations or have to work close to large central datacenters to get the kind of performance they need to get their applications running fast enough and their graphics visualizations looking smooth and not jittery.

That’s where the four partners come in. Putting it simply Cisco and NetApp provide a best-in-class virtualized data center with ‘Flexpod’, then NVIDIA provide high-performance  GPUs (Graphics Processor Units) that slot into the Flexpod (remember it’s based on Cisco UCS so have heaps of flexibility), and then remote users can access their graphics applications on inexpensive devices (even tablets!) using VDI (Virtual desktop infrastructure) software from Citrix. This is on show in various places in the Exhibit hall, including Cisco’s booth # 219.

What does it all mean? Well, for starters, really fast loading of the datasets – no waiting around in the break room for ages! Also – remote access to the analysis of the data – so the data never leaves the datacenter so better security. Add to that the possibility that scientists can now work together using Cisco and other collaboration tools, and productivity just got a shot-in-the-arm. The demo stowed the applications running remotely – performance was indistinguishable from running locally on expensive and cumbersome workstations or on local datacenters!

Folks at the booth were impressed. “Wow – that’s graphics visualization and analysis on steroids'” said one visitor. “We could really use that where I work” said another (yes, we’ll be following that one up!).

Other highlights today were Cisco presenting the benefits of UCS to a sizable audience, and Dassault Systems, an accomplished Cisco UCS user, talking about how they use NVIDIA GRID and CISCO UCS for Graphics Virtualization. Laurent Seror, Founder and CEO, Outscale, presents. Tomorrow we’ll hear from the Ford Motor Company with a presentation entitled ‘So you want to Deploy High Resolution Graphics Desktop Virtualization’. Chip Charnley, Technical Expert, Client Technologies, Ford Motor Company will review both the process of doing, and the results of the Proof of Concept for implementing XenApp and XenDesktop that was conducted jointly by Ford Motor Company, Citrix and Cisco. Read More »

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How Social Media Improves Collaboration – Automation World, November 2011

Check out the November Issue of Automation World Magazine and find out more about How Social Media Improves Collaboration.

If you want to know more about some of the things Cisco is doing in the way of Social Media for our Customers, check out the story in the print version of Automation World November 2011.

You can click the link here and you’ll see some great information about Baker Hughes and their use of Cisco’s Corporate Social Media Tools. Social Media isn’t just about YouTube, Twitter and blogs – though we all use them – you’re watching this on YouTube and maybe got here by reading my blog! But it’s more than that… Read More »

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Peter Granger in Automation World

Automation World

Recently, our very own Peter Granger was interviewed for an article in Automation World Magazine regarding the impact of social media on manufacturing collaboration.

Social media isn’t just for personal use any more. Businesses of all kinds, particularly manufacturers, are looking to leverage social media types of connections for easier access to needed expertise, business intelligence insights and new product ideas.

For manufacturers, the principal driver behind the move toward greater incorporation of social media for collaborative business processes is access to expertise.

Who knows what? Read More »

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Virtual Events on Facebook [Case Study]

Inspired by the launch of the 2011 Ford Explorer.

On the 26th of July, 2010, Ford ended a decades old tradition of unveiling new models at flashy expensive auto shows, and took a leap of faith with Facebook. If you didn’t see this event as it happened, take a look on Mashable. In a nutshell, Ford used a dedicated fan page to build hype before, during and after the unveiling of the 2011 Explorer.

This event was extremely successful, surpassing its pre-launch fan target of 30,000, and I wanted to experiment with this concept. One of the Facebook pages that I moderated was about to surpass 100,000 fans and we were about to launch a new app exclusively for this community. I initially wanted to have live videos via USTREAM, but with limited time and resources, we narrowed the scope to text Updates, and Photo shares.

Tip: Always narrow scope before pushing dates, otherwise dates will continue to slip and nothing ever gets done. Check out this great post by Matt Mullenweg, 1.0 Is the Loneliest Number. Read More »

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