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Integrated Collaboration Highlights and Updates from InfoComm 2013

What a great reception at InfoComm 2013! We had the opportunity to share with customers the innovations we are driving around conferencing to deliver better scale, quality and interoperability.  They are excited about what we are doing to make conferencing more affordable, while at the same time maintaining the high quality experience that they expect from Cisco.

It was fantastic to see such a high level of interest in our new pervasive conferencing announcements.  Here are a few highlights of what we demonstrated at the show:

  • Further increases in scale, enabling greater efficiencies and affordability – we now support up to 96 video systems in a single meeting and virtually unlimited participants through WebEx enabled TelePresence.
  • Simplified solution choice with a broader range of deployment options – now included is  virtualized software, and the new compact Multiparty 310 and Multiparty 320 appliance platforms.
  • Entry level packages for new customers – customers can now deploy a compact appliance solution, and start from one screen license.
  • Increased interoperability – we now provide support for interworking with H.264 SVC clients. Read More »

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When Is “Good Enough” Video…Well, Good Enough?

There’s no doubt that video is becoming more pervasive in business.  It’s no wonder: humans are visually oriented. We’ve been reading people’s faces since we were newborns, so it’s natural for us to use visual cues as we build stronger relationships and better organizations.

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As video makes deeper inroads in enterprises large and small, I keep hearing the concept of “good enough” video. So what does “good enough” really mean? Is there a specific number of pixels, or frame rates, or a certain standard that makes video “good enough”? How can you define “good enough” for your organization?

If you focus on the results your organization wants to achieve, your video collaboration strategy will fall into place.

Here are the most important things to help you define a video collaboration strategy that is “good enough” for your organization’s goals.

Read More »

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Hardware vs. software: user questions (part 2)

June 29, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

In my prior blog entry, I answered the first of Durga C.’s questions to me.  Here’s all three of his questions:

  1. What is the role of the hardware in an RDMA transaction?  In other words, why does one need special hardware (e.g., InfiniBand, iWARP, RoCE, etc.) hardware to do RDMA as opposed to a “normal” Ethernet NIC? (see prior blog entry)
  2. Further, can you explain why pure software solutions (e.g., Open-MX) are better than nothing when you don’t have hardware support?
  3. Also, what is the difference between “RDMA” and “RMA”?

Let’s explore the last two of those questions. Read More »

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Hardware vs. software: user questions

June 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm PST

Durga C., long-time listener, first-time caller, sent me a few interesting questions that I thought I’d share with everyone.  Here’s his first question:

  1. What is the role of the hardware in an RDMA transaction?  In other words, why does one need special hardware (e.g., InfiniBand, iWARP, RoCE, etc.) hardware to do RDMA as opposed to a “normal” Ethernet NIC?

This one question is surprisingly complex.  Let’s dive in…

Read More »

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Playing Tetris in the Data Center

May 23, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

If I become hiring manager for a Data Center team, I’m asking candidates whether they have Tetris skills.  Anyone who can neatly fill a space with odd-shaped blocks falling at ever-increasing speed can oversee the rack-and-stack activities in my Data Centers.

I talked in my last two posts – on preparing for and then executing a Data Center move – about planning where you want to place your Data Center hardware.  That’s a good idea even if you’re not moving your server environment, because how you deploy your equipment affects how efficiently rack space is used, airflow patterns and more. Read More »

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