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Time to Vote in the Crazy Cable Contest

March 22, 2011 at 8:33 am PST

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos for the Cisco Crazy Cabling Contest. We’ve received some great photos so far! The jumble of wires data center managers have to deal with every day highlights the headaches folks have to deal with when trying to maintain and manage their data centers!
Now you can help select the winners from the top 5 finalists. Go to www.facebook.com/ciscodc and look at the top photos along the “wall” of our data center Facebook page. To vote, please make sure you are first a fan of the Cisco’s Facebook data center page; you can do that by clicking “Like” at the top of the Facebook page.

From there you should be able to click on the photo of your favorite and then click on the “Like” button.

Voting will end on Sunday, March 27 at midnight 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The 3 photos with the most votes will be announced on Monday, March 28 on both Cisco’s data center Facebook page and on Cisco’s Data Center Networks blog.

The first place winner will receive a brand new Flip Mino HD 120 camera and an Amazon gift card worth $200.00 USD. Second and third place winners will also receive a Flip Mino and Amazon gift cards worth $100.00 and $50.00 USD.

For the complete official rules and information, please visit: Cisco’s ‘Crazy Cabling Contest’ Complete Official Rules.

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Extend flexibility in Your Data Center Architecture with the Data Center Fabric.

March 22, 2011 at 3:00 am PST

“Fabric computing is a fixture on the radar screen of many IT groups, driven by the increased penetration of virtualization and prospects for cloud computing.As virtualization penetration increases, IT organizations will deploy virtual machine (VM) mobility, which will demand more attention to a fabric-based infrastructure that better integrates server, storage and networking for greater agility and faster time to deploy.”  Based on this observation, Gartner George J Reiss and Andrew Butler organized recently a survey to evaluate which vendors are the most credible and ready to address the challenges of virtualization and cloud computing.

Cisco pioneered the vision of Ethernet-based “Unified Fabric” for the data center and has been shipping products to support that vision for over three years. Subsequently it introduced Unified Computing and Unified Network Services, all of which have formed the building blocks for Cisco’s Data Center Fabric.  Competitors have validated Cisco’s vision by scrambling to deliver their own versions of the Fabric.

On March 30th starting at 9:00 am PST, Cisco executives and experts , partners and customers  will supplement this Fabric vision and showcase its evolution, while bringing multiple proof points to bear. And in a pure Cisco spirit, to enrich a very open conversation, we invited the Senior Analyst Andre Kindnesss from Forrester Research who wrote recently about “The Dark Horse In The Datacenter Fabric Race?” and the Program VP Data Center Network Services Cindy Borovick from IDC to share their vision.

If you want to be among (or amongst) the first to know what’s cooking at Cisco, this is your chance ! This event will be live and we hope to hear from you.

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Optimize the Data Center

March 3, 2011 at 11:30 am PST

CiscoLive London was an incredible trip and gosh it was only 30 days ago – our first little project out of that voyage is TechWiseTV85 our latest episode on Data Center technologies.  Data Center Optimization: The Next Stage is now available for your viewing pleasure in our ‘still has that new website smell’ environment we affectionately call the CVC (Cisco Virtual Connection).

This show was another exercise in self-restraint as the DC team had brought out an amazing selection – if we were hoping that a global show would mean a smaller show…we were out of luck.

So how to narrow it down?

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Cisco’s Unified Fabric in the Data Center

Our industry certainly loves its buzzwords.  For a while, everything was about “virtualized this” and “virtualized that” in the data center.  Then there is a current love affair with “cloud”.  It seems the next hot buzzword might turn out to be fabric.

For Cisco, “fabric” in the data center has defined our data center strategy and vision for the last three years.  With the introduction of the Cisco Nexus family in January 2008, we also announced the concept of Unified Fabric as a fundamental building block for the data center.  We offered the simple vision of a single fabric to link all the network, compute and storage resources in a data center as a mechanism to not only reduce TCO but also improve agility and flexibility.  Since then, we have released a steady flow of products and technologies to deliver on the promise of Cisco Unified Fabric by simplifying the infrastructure with convergence, improving its ability to handle virtual and physical scale and increasing the intelligence of the fabric to increase agility and lower operating costs.

While initially hesitant, customers and industry experts are beginning to see the merits of Cisco’s vision, especially in the age of virtualization and cloud.  Meanwhile, other vendors in the marketplace are left to play catch-up.  In a November 4, 2010 independent report titled “Q&A: Networking Landscape, Q4 2010” Forrester Research, Inc. commented that:

“To Cisco’s credit, it saw the data center evolution way before any other networking vendor and started to build a set of products and solutions directed at a converged and virtual world.”- Forrester Research, Inc.

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Why Ethernet Wins, Reason #82: OpenFCoE

January 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm PST

Over the decades, Ethernet has maintained its role as king-of-the-networking-hill for two reasons:  1) a multitude of companies continue to expand the boundaries of Ethernet’s capabilities to keep it relevant, and 2) the the economics of Ethernet make it hard other protocols to grow beyond niche uses.

Today’s Intel announcement of Open FCoE is a prime example of this.  Over two decades, we have taken Ethernet from a “best effort” protocol to one that offers sufficient reliability to carry storage traffic.  However, it is the economic implications of this announcement that make this truly interesting.

With the X520 family of family of products, Intel now gives folks a simple, easy path to simplifying their data center by converging data and storage traffic onto common infrastructure. While the attendant cost benefits of a unified fabric in terms of both capex (less infrastructure) and opex (power, cooling, operations) and attractive,  possibly the more interesting aspect of this announcement is the risk mitigation and design flexibility this announcement offers.
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