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!
Welcome back! We take things to the street in this episode of Engineers Unplugged. Ronald Beck (@tallnetninja) and Mark Gonsalves (Cisco) discuss real world two-way communications when there are radio interoperability challenges. Enter IPICS server and the policy engine. Because you really want comms in the field to work. This is a great episode full of real-world examples, let’s watch:
Street smart unicorns from Mark Gonsalves and Ronald Beck.
Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Lynn University is a 50-year old private, coeducational institution located in Boca Raton, Florida. So how was this fairly small and quiet school selected to host the final 2012 presidential debate? It’s booming with technological innovation.
The school has long held the belief that student collaboration and sharing of knowledge is vital to the learning process, but realized with time, they need to increase student support through technology. To move to a 1-to-1 program entailed giving each student an iPad and overhauling its network environment. In late 2011, as this transformation was underway, Lynn discovered that they would also soon be the youngest school to ever host a presidential debate.
This meant the school had less than a year to undergo a complete technical refresh, so Lynn turned to Cisco for help. University CIO Chris Boniforti summed up his decision to select Cisco by saying “All of our diverse technical requirements, for both the debate and the university, could be done under one umbrella, with one vendor, and that was Cisco.”
This umbrella of technology included Cisco wireless solutions, Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco security, voice and IP communications. Cisco joined forces with longtime partner Modcomp to deliver a solution the university could use well beyond the presidential debate. The result: A successful implementation that resulted in a “technically smooth” debate.
It’s important to note this project didn’t shut down once the debate was over. Today, the school is committed to providing a mobile platform for its entire faculty and students by the time the newest crop of freshmen arrive in fall later this year. The addition of the new business school will include lecture capture and resources-sharing tools, including video. Now embedded in the teaching environment, this benefit would not have been possible without Lynn’s new Cisco network.
I’m personally impressed with the university’s commitment to technology. They are a great example for other small schools looking for cost-effective innovation. What do you think? Is your school ready for this kind of transformation?
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI is getting a lot of attention these days. It allows companies to replace high-cost laptops with a lower-cost, secure device. It also allows employees to access a secure, cloud-based desktop from any device across the Internet.
Desktop virtualization has been popular among the Cisco salespeople who are ACE users because they can access the same centrally stored applications and content wherever they have an Internet connection and whether they are using a laptop or tablet. The faster startup time for the tablet client compared to booting-up a laptop may be one reason for this popularity, because it helps salespeople get information quickly, especially when they are talking with a customer.
There’s a lot of collaboration technology out there and deciding which technology to invest in can be daunting. How often have you heard of a company making a major investment in technology for it to become “shelfware” and never see deployment? How often have you heard of a company that’s deployed a technology, yet nobody in the company is willing to use it? How often have you heard of a company that has several products from different vendors that do exactly the same thing?
It doesn’t take much to realize that each of these situations has a negative impact and the cause of each situation stem from different reasons, but usually with the best intentions. Shelfware occurs because of undeployed licenses in ELA’s or quantity purchases for better per seat pricing. Unfortunately, the business doesn’t grow and the company is obligated to pay for unused licenses. Other times, a company deploys a product with great features that is too complex or doesn’t integrate well with workflows and remains unused. Lastly, individual departments may make purchase decisions based on their needs without consulting IT or other departments resulting in redundant solutions that compete internally with each other.
In considering collaboration strategy, it is key to consider Read More »