Cisco has been talking the talk with its Cisco's Data Center 3.0 initiative, which includes new products to manage virtual assets. But it's also walking the walk, overhauling its in-house data centers to take advantage of the same capabilities.
As we've seen with many large virtualization and consolidation projects, that means building a new data center. In the next two weeks Cisco (CSCO) will open a new facility in Richardson, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), which will serve as the model for the company's future facility builds. Cisco executives Sidney Morgan and Doug Gourlay discussed the new facility Tuesday at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas.
"We were out of capacity," said Morgan, manager of IT engineering systems at Cisco. "We were physically out of floor space. After a while, the capacity issue was no longer even floor space, but power and cooling."
Cisco currently has 47 data centers with 195,000 square feet of raised floor space, which house 12,000 servers and more than 12,800 apps. Cisco has also acquired data centers through more than 120 acquisitions since 1997. That has given Cisco a larger footprint, but the company needed more advanced data centers. Morgan said many of Cisco's data centers have the equivalent of Tier II infrastructure, and the company wanted more capacity and redundancy.
The project also gave Cisco the chance to evaluate new locations. "Since Cisco is a frugal company, we always bought affordable real estate," Morgan noted. "We ended up with data centers in a flood zone, and an earthquake zone in San Jose. So we did a lot of due diligence in where to put our new data center."
After weighing opportunities in Phoenix, Arizona and Boulder, Colorado, the company opted to retrofit an existing building it owned in the Dallas market. A lot of work went into the site location effort, and the availability of a suitable company-owned building with adjacent land was a key decision point.
The Richardson building is a four-story facility with a partial glass fa