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Why TCO is the Only True Way to Measure Network Costs

Cost always plays a big part in purchase decisions. It’s certainly a factor as I consider buying  a new car. As you’re well aware, purchasing a new car isn’t just about the initial cost. In my case, I’m considering reliability, speed (not that I need to go that fast carpooling my kids to school), mileage, and looks to a certain extent. (I just can’t bring myself to drive a minivan.) But what does buying a car have to do with your customers, or IT spending for that matter?

To put it simply, customers often cite initial cost as a big factor in their network decision-making, too. But if they are looking only at CapEx when purchasing new equipment, it’s the same thing as only looking at the initial cost of a car: They’re not seeing the entire picture.

Total cost of ownership, or TCO, is a better metric to assess network cost, because it considers the full impact on IT spend, including CapEx, services, labor, bandwidth, and energy consumption. And TCO is not just a measure of the initial expense, but of how much equipment will cost over its lifetime.

In June 2011, Cisco commissioned a third-party business consulting firm to analyze the true TCO of the network, comparing the quantitative costs of acquisition, support, labor, bandwidth, energy, and product longevity. The firm also assessed qualitative business benefits like network uptime, user productivity, and security.

The quantitative results alone show that a network built on Cisco’s architectural approach can yield up to a 13% better TCO, building a powerful business case for you to take to your customers about why the choice of networking gear matters.

Here are some facts drawn from the findings, which support Cisco’s firm belief that a strategic next-generation Cisco network architecture delivers superior value and lower TCO: Read More »

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Cisco UCS Servers and Blade Server Evolution, part 1

Arguably the place to begin a Cisco UCS blade server journey would be with “Why Blade Servers”.  ‘Blades’ are cool.  There was “Blade Runner” (a cult classic) and the Wesley Snipes “Blade” movies, several TV series with ‘blade’ in the name, on and on; but for data centers and servers?  Why blades?  Where is the Blade Server TCO & ROI benefit that drives business decisions and therefore innovation and how do blade servers / chassis get there?

Before:

Blade servers have been around since about year 2000 and arguably came about as a way to make data center footprints smaller and reduce power consumption (reduced TCO).  Nothing new here for blade enthusiasts.  Rack servers were taking up more and more space and power in data centers.  The concept of blades was brilliant, insightful and simple. Take as many common rack delivered functionalities (services) as possible, and package them together for delivery to a fixed group of servers.  The easy targets for this were server power, cooling, and I/O (well, some I/O functions).  To look at it another way, a blade chassis takes a data center rack with servers, I/O cables and switches, then shrinks them into a ‘building block unit’.  Once you have the ‘unit’, put a single sheet metal wrapper around everything and voila, a blade chassis.  Overly simplistic I know, but a close enough visual.  If you want a step-by-step evolution, Sean McGee (a colleague of mine here at Cisco) did a darn good overview The “Mini-Rack” Approach To Blade Server Design.

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Partner Update Newscast Delivers a Fresh Batch of Top Cisco Stories

Summer’s coming to a close and Cisco partners have been doing much more than just hanging by the pool. They’ve been busy working on some very cool projects!

In this episode of Partner Update, we find out why Cisco partner Force 3 has been spending time with competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut and learn about a new blog series from Logicalis called Hype or Ripe.

But there’s a lot more in this action-packed newscast, so watch this week’s Partner Update to get a math lesson from Cisco Channels Chief Edison Peres, find out how architecture-based solutions can maximize ROI for customers and help ensure partner profitability, learn how Westcon Group is removing obstacles to global distribution, get the latest details from Forrester Consulting on ways that customers can benefit from Borderless Networks solutions, out with HP and in with Xerox print solutions, our VMworld update, and much more that you don’t want to miss.

Watch it all right here:

Keep reading for a list of links and a written transcript of our newscast. Read More »

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Partner Update Uncovers the Top Cisco News and Gets a Tattoo

Happy summer, everyone! The sun’s shining, it’s a new fiscal year, and, Andrew’s back from his honeymoon in Hawaii. Now we’re gearing back up to bring you all the partner news and info you may have missed over the last couple of weeks.

In this episode of Partner Update, we cover amazing incentives and profitability programs for partners, discuss an upcoming broadcast to help you learn more about how to deliver architecture-based solutions and maximize ROI for your customers, a new way to calculate customers’ Borderless Networks ROI, Amazon Consulting’s recommendations for solution providers, and two new Social Media Spotlight posts to help you learn the ins and outs of video editing and promotion. We also get to check out Andrew’s new Hawaiian-inspired tattoo.

Sit back, tune in, and watch the latest episode of Partner Update for all of your Cisco news (in less than five minutes.)

Keep reading for links and additional details on the news we covered this time and time stamps so you know where to find each item.
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Help Customers Embrace Change with New Borderless Networks ROI Benefits Calculator

Your customers want all the benefits that borderless networks have to offer; things like working from home, VPN access anywhere, and secure network access via any device. But how do you best walk customers through the costs, benefits, IT staff requirements, ROI, and the dizzying array of considerations around a sizable IT upgrade?

With a series of questions, scenarios, and analysis, the new Borderless Networks ROI Benefits Calculator is a free tool that helps partners analyze customers’ IT costs and needs—whether it’s a future network deployment or a post-deployment ROI analysis.

By plugging data into the calculator, you receive a tangible list of benefits that a customer would see from upgrading their infrastructure (like reductions in help desk costs, increases in end user productivity, or energy savings).

Cisco tapped independent technology and market research company Forrester Research to create the calculator. Forrester gathered data from its research on Cisco Borderless Networks and the market in general, interviewed Cisco marketing and sales personnel, spoke with organizations offering solutions, and conducted a survey of 121 IT network execs.

How do I get access to the calculator?

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