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The Road to Unified Communications – Flexibility, Mobility, Simplicity

When a particularly transformational technology comes along, Cisco IT sets out to be Cisco’s first and best customer. We use it, adopt it, and prove it adds value to the business. By doing this, we’re not only able to show customers the value of our product, but we’re also able to find new-technology issues before a customer might, and give Cisco time to build a better platform. Read More »

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Cisco IT – Why So Many CUCM Clusters?

Last week, we looked at the question “How close to the phones does the CUCM cluster have to be?” There was no easy or set answer to this question, but we acknowledged right at the start that minimizing the number of clusters is probably a good idea. So why, then, does Cisco IT have so many clusters?

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How Close To Your Phones Does a CUCM Cluster Have To Be?

The first things involved in designing a Unified Communications network are deciding where to put the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) clusters, and how many clusters to have. And some of the major factors to consider are “Where are the phones? How many are there, and how close to the phones does a cluster have to be?” Read More »

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UC and Video – Phones of the Future

What will phones in the future look like?  If our experience at Cisco is any guide, there will be more and more phones, and they will look like almost anything. They will all have two things in common:  they will all bring people together – and they will do it with voice and video.  Always video.

The video may be on a small screen that fits in your pocket, or expands to your pad or laptop, a bigger screen that fits on the desk, or screens that cover the wall bringing people, lifesized, to your meetings from around the world.

At Cisco, we’re using all of these “phones” (although only one or two looks at all like a phone), and they all work together to bring people together, face to face.  Some share more than voice and video, adding presence information and contacts and instant click to call or click to chat or click to share desktops

Here’s Rich Gore from Cisco IT, to give a quick look at these different “phones” in use at Cisco today.

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UC on UCS – The Invisible Servers

Cisco IT completely changed our voice and video infrastructure in the data center – and nobody noticed!

We changed the systems that Cisco IT uses to run ALL our voice and video supporting:

  • 200,000 voice endpoints in 540 buildings around the world,
  • 87,000 voicemail boxes
  • 1600 TelePresence units
  • 8.6 Million Webex meetings per year
  • Our customer contact centers handling 22M calls / year

It was a big job, migrating all these services off of 574 Cisco MCS servers, and onto new Virtual Machines running on 191 Cisco UCS servers in 12 different data centers.  It took a while, but it was truly worth it, despite the fact that nobody noticed.

We reduced the amount of data center resources significantly – less space, less power, fewer cables. Even better, we now have all our voice and video running on virtual machines, making operations jobs and updates and growth a good deal easier, and faster. Best of all, though, we moved all our voice and video to a completely new server platform  — and nobody noticed!

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