Green Blog
| Helping environmentally-conscientious business leaders choose environmentally-friendly solutions.

AirHopper: Even Air-Gap Networks are Not Secure

It’s a good time to be in the Cybersecurity business. Quite often, highly secure computers are disconnected from the outside world so...

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The era of the hardware-based media server is over -scaling software-based media servers

As the telecom world moves closer and closer to software- based infrastructure, many questions are being asked about scalability of these...

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Brochures

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10 Reasons Why Microsoft is Winning

With new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft is changing and into something it needs to be. A company embracing a...

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Recognizing the Similarities Between WebRTC and VoIP

Next week I’ll be giving a keynote at the WebRTC Conference and Expo V.  When I last gave a keynote at...

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Invisible is Good Design

The whole idea of being a technology provider is that you make the technology invisible to the customer. They just have...

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VDSL and Vectoring are Important Parts of Broadband Deployment

By: Wendy Zajack, Dir. Product Communications, Alcatel-Lucent

From original on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog

A few months ago our home WiFi slowed to a crawl. At first we thought it was a temporary thing, but after my son ran a diagnostic there was a problem with our high-speed broadband.  

While the technician was fixing it, he mentioned that for an extra $10 a month we could get a faster plan.  Living in the US we already (in my opinion) pay enough for our monthly broadband package so I immediately said ‘no.’ But I told my kids that IF they wanted to pay for it … we would consider it.

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Achieving Sustainability, Longevity through Global Commitment

October 9, 2009

Whether or not they have implemented let alone realized it yet, enterprises today are in need of flexible, end-to-end solutions for their physical infrastructure in order to drive operational and financial advantages that allow companies to mitigate risk while heightening business agility. That may sound like a lot to swallow, but looking at long-term needs and implementing solutions now will allow companies to remain competitive in the next economy and beyond.

 

At first glance, one might think that Panduit is solely a huge manufacturer of the kind of hardware found in data centers and the network itself: cables, connectors, cabinets, racks, etc. In actuality, Panduit is also a developer and provider of industry-leading solutions that help customers optimize their physical infrastructure.  The company's UPI-based solutions can help customer's reduce the carbon footprint of their data centers and intelligent buildings and optimize energy use and maximize resource efficiency across all operations.

E-Cycling Nortel Gear

October 2, 2009

Jeff Wiener's excellent The TelecomBlog.com contains a prescient entry discussing and a pic showing old Nortel phones going into an Avaya box. Prescient in that Avaya is awaiting word from the Canadian government whether it can complete its $915 million purchase of Nortel's enterprise division.

Jeff, who writes TMC's The Canadan Angle blog explains that Avaya gives his firm Digitcom, which is based in Toronto, Ontario "some amazing credits for the old Nortel hardware. We pack it up, call Fedex, and say good-bye to our old faithful friend who finds its way to an e-waste processing plant."

Avaya, and other manufacturers, should get ready to expect to receive more Nortel e-waste now that once-vaunted communications equipment maker is being dismembered at the same time more firms are switching to VoIP, softphones, hosted platforms, and smartphones. 

While Avaya will if it is successful continue to support the Nortel lines, and the sets that are out there are for the most part rugged and well made the writing is on the wall for them. 

After all, what is a better time and reason than now to buy or get the budget approval to switch to that new IP phone that you've always wanted? While the economy is still slack, the prices are reasonable, and the sellers are hungry?

The interesting question from an environmental perspective is how much new junk will be produced per employee with these new technologies compared with the old ones.









Smart Data Centers: Not a One-Size Fits All Solution

September 29, 2009

With convergence now a critical focal point for IT decision makers looking to increase business flexibility, data centers need to achieve unprecedented levels of uptime to keep pace with business demands. The amount of data in the world is doubling at an astounding rate of every 18 months, and there is no "one-size fits all" solution for companies to manage these precious assets.
Ensuring minimal interruptions, and thus designing and implementing the right data center solution, is vital for enterprises today - and every solution is not quite the same. That said, industry standards dictate that products must be of a certain quality, however given the rapid pace of growth in this area, the industry norm may in fact not be enough as it pertains to the heightened dependence on data centers.
According to a recent article written by Panduit's Tom Turner, there are certain standards and testing for products to ensure they are safe, but not necessarily for performance and reliability. The Tinley Park, Ill.-based company implicitly understands that ensuring consistent connectivity - which depends on a reliable grounding system - demands a higher benchmark.   Turner wrote: "Agencies such as UL and CSA create standards and perform testing to help ensure that products are safe.

Trends Shaping the Next Generation Data Center

September 28, 2009

As enterprises grow, their requirements for access to data center applications and services grows at least as quickly, which is driving many of businesses to build out new data centers or enhance the capabilities of their existing ones.   Underlying this general trend, which includes data center optimization, increased efficiency, and risk mitigation via a converged physical infrastructure such as that defined by Panduit, are several other factors that are resulting in data center executives to look closely at how they are developing their data centers.   During a recent videocast focusing on data center evolution, Garter research vice president Mark Fabbi outlined four trends that are helping drive next generation data center design: regulation and compliance, flexibility and agility, cost, and Green IT - all of which are pushing data centers toward a three-step process that includes consolidation, virtualization, and automation.   Regulation and Compliance In order to meet regulatory requirements, most data centers are looking to increase their control over data through centralization of storage and servers, which is driving many of the consolidation projects - which are an ideal opportunity to leverage Panduit's ideal of a converged, all-IP physical infrastructure.    Flexibility and Agility On its surface, the need for more real-time access to data and services from more places, including mobile and remote workers, seems to contradict the desire for increased control. However, the growing movement toward virtualization and automation is helping achieve both goals.   Cost Savings The down economy, which seemingly has flattened out somewhat, only heightened an existing movement to cut costs across businesses, and resulted in an increased need to justify investments, perhaps more than ever before. Consolidation, virtualization, and automation are well suited to helping lower data center CAPEX and OPEX.   Green IT There is a global movement towards eco-friendly technologies, partially as a function of cost saving initiatives, but it also involves other, global environmental issues that more and more businesses are considering as they make technology decisions. This also increases the focus on consolidation, virtualization, and automation.   Each of these trends is helping drive consolidation, virtualization, and automation. Consolidation allows for the sharing of assets between resources, so they can be repurposed for multiple uses. Then, virtualization and automation can be leveraged to allow faster, easier access to resources to increase operational efficiency across the enterprise, along with cost savings. They also play well into Green IT initiatives, as they help decrease the physical footprint of data center technology, and are designed to reduce power consumption and, consequently, cooling requirements.   These four trends, which represent the changing requirements placed on data centers, combine to increase the focus data center infrastructure components, particularly as the interact with one another. Specifically, with the ever-changing requirements being placed on data center assets, the infrastructure must be able to accommodate that evolution without having to be re-engineered each time.    That requires insight into the entire infrastructure, including not only the applications and other assets, but the servers and switches, cabling, security, power and cooling, and all other components that allow the data center to operate efficiently. In other words, the physical infrastructure becomes a moving part in the business process, rather than a static transport mechanism, which requires a holistic approach to designing, deploying, and managing the entire data center.   That's where Panduit, along with its partners is making a difference by adding intelligence into the data center to allow it to become more agile, more efficient, and more cost effective. According to Fabbi, infrastructure vendors must have a broad, comprehensive range of solutions to address the many data center systems that must be integrated into a single, united entity. Panduit and its partners bring those end-to-end solutions to the data center market, driving tighter integration between not only data center infrastructure systems, but also between the data center end the enterprise businesses they support.   Watch to full videocast to see more of how Gartner views data center evolution, and how Panduit and some of its partners are addressing data center pain points to help them become more agile, more cost effective, and more operationally efficient.   For more on Panduit's UPI vision, and its high-speed transport and green data center solutions, visit the Smart Data Centers community.   

Panduit and EMC Combine to Increase Data Center Efficiency

September 26, 2009

As the adoption of IP-based communications technologies continues to grow, the convergence of voice, video, and data traffic over a single media IP enables is creating a need for businesses to improve their system uptime and overall service levels across their networks. That necessarily includes their data centers, which, as more advanced and robust applications are developed, also increased bandwidth needs as they become mission critical elements of a successful enterprise.   Of course, with the increased focus data centers receive due to their critical nature, they also become a greater part of enterprise cost saving initiatives.   Combining the need to optimize data center performance and increase their security with the need to reduce operational expenses, Panduit has been focusing on methods to consolidate data center physical infrastructures in a way that will meet all of these needs, along with creating more energy efficient and eco-friendly "smart data centers."   The approach is embodied in its Unified Physical Infrastructure vision, or UPI, which, as TMC's Erin Harrison writes, "leverages intelligent physical infrastructures as the foundation to enable convergence across communication, computing, control, power, and security systems." Those five components, as Panduit's vice president of global marketing Vineeth Ram explains, are part of any data center operation, and can be tightly integrated under a single, unified management system to increase operation effectiveness and create a more energy efficient environment.   A key part of driving operational efficiency and minimizing risk lies in the ability to automate processes. Panduit has recently enabled integration of its PIM (Physical Infrastructure Manager) software with EMC's Ionix software to facilitate increased visibility and control of physical infrastructure components.    Panduit's software provides a Web-based utility for automating the documentation of network connectivity, change notification, asset management and reporting, and virtual server mapping. EMC's Ionix further enhances automation by enabling efficient and effective management of both physical and virtual layers, including networks, storage systems, servers, and applications.   By delivering real-time data on the connectivity status of network infrastructure to EMC Ionix, Panduit and EMC helps enable more efficient monitoring, management, and automation of network tasks. The combined solution helps network administrators react quickly to alarm situations, manage configuration changes, apply policy settings, ensure compliance, and generally adapt quickly to evolving connectivity requirements.   The collaboration helps drive the UPI vision, and allows businesses to improve their data center reliability, reduce operational expenses, become more agile and sustainable, and drive Green IT initiatives, especially as they continue to leverage virtualization and cloud computing strategies.   Read more about Panduit's UPI vision and the solutions it has developed to drive that vision to market on the Smart Data Centers community.  

The Ultimate Cash For Clunkers: Trading Traditional Offices For Home Offices

September 25, 2009

Forget about turning in old gas guzzlers for slightly more efficient vehicular monsters. 

If governments want a 'cash for clunkers' deal that will really have a positive green impact, both environmentally and in keeping money in taxpayers' wallets, they should offer to take over office space leases and buildings--prioritizing on those in car-oriented 'office parks'--in exchange for organizations sending their workforces to home offices.

Governments can then recycle the spaces, working with the owners and real estate firms (and giving them tax breaks to get their buy-in), for other uses: i.e. schools, hospitals, child/eldercare facilities--including tearing them down and cleaning them up to create parks or market gardens. Or they can flip these buildings and land around as brownfield sites, driving property prices so low to make greenfield development i.e. sprawl not attractive.



Going Green Advice From DMG Consulting

September 16, 2009

Donna Fluss, president, DMG Consulting is one of the most common-sense, practical, and passionate contact center experts that I've met and have interacted with in my 14 years covering and working in this space.

In that same vein she has come out in her latest newsletter with this advice on going green for contact centers--but applicable to most other organizations. Here it is, in her words:


"Over the last two years I've seen hundreds of articles about 'going green.' I've been invited to more "green conferences" than I can count, and been asked to suggest 'green KPIs.' Saving the planet by reducing waste and pollution is a great goal, but what does "going green" really mean for contact centers and how much of a difference will it make? 

"Fads come and go, but some have real value, and 'going green"'is one of them, particularly if you think of it as eliminating waste.


CDW Report: Energy Efficient IT Yield Savings, Yet Millions Are Still Wasted (and Environment Harmed)

September 9, 2009

A new, and telling, report by CDW on energy efficient IT is at first glance is positive, that more firms are successfully doing more to boost energy efficiency, and those that do achieve savings that ultimately translate into fewer dangerous emissions from their operations. 

Yet the report also reveals that efficiency too often takes a back seat to other considerations like purchase price. A point that serves as a stark reminder that unless the costs and subsequent financial pain of pollution--and this blog has outlined them in spades--is felt by the users i.e. those who pollute directly and indirectly no real progress will be made to stabilize let alone clean up the environment.

Here are highlights:

SUPERCOMM Green Initiative via VirtualBag

September 8, 2009

A GREEN initiative from SUPERCOMM enables its attendees to request and store exhibitor information online in lieu of printed materials. Attendees can easily request and download exhibitors' materials by using their mobile device  even or going directly to VirtualTotebag.com.

This is a FREE service to all exhibitors and attendees. Just upload your materials for your company's booth (including brochures, sell sheets, presentations and more) before September 30, 2009 to be included in the master list of materials that will be distributed to all attendees.

Our company added our most recent newsletter and our brochure. It's very cool.

To make your materials available to SUPERCOMM attendees and to receive the names of those who request your information, simply:

Login to your account on Virtual Totebag with the following credentials:
Email Address:
The password that SUPERCOMM gives you.

Upload your materials (up to 2 items free of charge) and receive your item codes.











Cash For Comm Clunkers A Truly Green Solution

August 26, 2009

Kudos to companies such as Grandstream, MegaPath, and Netsuite for offering and to Rich Tehrani in his blog for raising and promoting what will turn out to be a much more effective 'cash for clunkers' campaign: turning in old legacy PSTN/TDM equipment and obsolete premises-based solutions for IP and where appropriate hosted tools and recycling them to avoid e-waste. 

The cash for clunkers in the comm industry will arguably be more effective in that this one doesn't involve governments, subsidies, and kowtowing to special interests. The Sierra Club has criticized what had started out to be a well-intentioned program into 'support for gas guzzlers'. Money allocated for this program has arguably come at the expense of more efficient mass transit. While there has been stimulus money to build new systems, agencies are being starved to buy vehicles and operating funds to provide services. 

In contrast going to software-based IP and hosted means less goods that have to be manufactured from raw resources that must be extracted and processed, and lowered transportation costs and the consequent environmental consequences at all stages.



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