eBook: Get wise with your network energy management [Cisco]

In the United States more than 70 percent of electricity consumed is used in offices. Lighting, heating and cooling systems, telephones, printers and desktop computers all consume energy even when they aren’t being used. The IT industry alone generates 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and of that 2 percent a quarter is from office buildings.

Considering the effect office buildings have on our environment it’s clear that something needs to be done differently when managing office space. [Read more…]

The network as necessity – not commodity. [Cisco]

Why your business needs a next-generation enterprise network now.

Once upon a time, the enterprise network’s sole role was connecting users to IT. So there was a strong argument for viewing it as a commodity – as a low-cost capital expense that just had to be good enough, nothing more.

But the enterprise-computing environment is in the midst of profound changes – from the consumerization of IT and mobility to virtualization and cloud computing. All these and other advances are increasing demand and risk, and organizations are discovering (sometimes the hard way) that a cheap “good enough” network can’t keep up.

The alternative is to invest in a next-generation network built to stay a few steps ahead of requirements that are quickly becoming the price staying competitive. These include:

  1.  Video. With the massive increase in video traffic for surveillance, conferencing and digital signage, IT needs to ensure its networking investment provides the needed intelligence to preplan, auto-configure and troubleshoot video endpoints and video flows.
  2. Mobility and device consumerization. Smartphones, tablet PCs and other mobile devices – often selected by employees themselves – increase productivity and keep businesses operating around the clock. IT must find ways to architect a network that accommodates multiple device types and OS securely, wherever their mobile workforce happens to be.
  3. Energy management. With office buildings accounting for 70% of business energy consumption and significant fines for carbon emissions become an increasingly expensive proposition (especially in Europe), there’s pressure on networks to ably monitor and manage energy usage.
  4. Security. There was a 46% increase in the spread of malware on mobile devices in 2010. That and other risks can’t be mitigated with point solutions in isolation but rather by providing pervasive visibility and control using the network to enforce consistent security policies.

 What’s needed, in other words, is a next-generation network that’s not only optimized to address these capabilities and challenges but also one that’s architected to [Read more…]

A mass of data center cables is soooo last season. [Cisco]

Meet the unified infrastructure behind the new virtual reality.

While virtualization may sound like the uber-buzzword du jour, the fact is there are real reasons for all the buzz – enterprises are relying on the proven benefits of virtualization to make the implementation of on demand desktops, applications and a whole host of cloud-based technologies work securely, quickly, flexibly, all without breaking the bank.

The challenge – an perhaps irony – is that making a cloud-based virtual world work still depends more than anything on the nuts and bolts of an efficient and very real data center environment.

Right now, though, IT administrators spend too much time manually accomplishing basic integration tasks related to their data center’s individual components and rigid, inflexible platforms rather than focusing on the more strategic, proactive initiatives they ought to.

That’s where the Cisco Unified Computing System™ comes in. UCS is a next-generation data center platform that unites compute, network, storage access and (yes) virtualization into a flexible, integrated cohesive system designed to reduce total cost of ownership and increase IT efficiency and business agility.

What does that mean?

Managed as a single system – whether it has one server or hundreds with thousands of virtual machines – UCS decouples scale from complexity, accelerating the delivery of new services simply, reliably and securely and solving key challenges in the data center. The results can’t help but grab your attention:

  • 20% lower cost for compute and network infrastructure
  • 60% greater virtual desktop density – with no effect on performance
  • Simple operation – start in minutes, scale in seconds
  • Massive scalability
  • Extended memory and I/O avoiding desktop virtualization bottlenecks.

How does UCS do it?

UCS is made up of a rich set of technical innovations that stand it apart from competitive products including [Read more…]