Cisco's annual networkers event, Cisco Live! began this week - in Vegas, or virtual attendance for many over the virtual equivalent conference site. Cisco packs keynotes, educational sessions, an expo and other special events into this week long annual event for user education.
Cisco CEO John Chambers was the keynote Tuesday and outlined his vision for Cisco and future technology trends. Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior will keynote Wednesday. Several major product announcements have also been made during the event.
Cisco Cius Tablet
Cisco unveiled the Cius, a first of its kind mobile collaboration business tablet that delivers virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including HD video.
The 1.15 lbs Android-based tablet will stream HD video, has full telepresence interoperability, offers conferencing, email, messaging, browsing and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud. Additionally the Cius will self-orient with an on-board accelerometer and supports 802.11 a/b/g/n wi-fi as well as 3G and cellular. The Cius is completely integrated with the full range of Cisco business applications such as WebEx, Presence, TelePresence, Unified Communications Manager and AnyConnect VPN security.
"This platform can transform how healthcare professionals advance patient care; how retailers deliver service experiences to consumers, or how universities deliver world-class education to their students," said Tony Bates, senior vice president and general manager, enterprise commercial and small business at Cisco. General availability of the Cius will be in the first quarter of 2011.
Energy Management Tools
Cisco also unveiled new technologies that build on its recently announced Connected Grid portfolio and help consumers and businesses better monitor and manage their energy consumption for cost and carbon savings, including an easy-to-use interface for the home environment. The push into new models of energy management is focused on enabling an end-to-end, open standards-based communications platform.
A new home energy management solution pairs an energy controller with Cisco Energy Management Services that, when provided by utilities to their customers will give the end user insight into and easier control over their energy use. The home energy controller coordinates networks and protocols such as ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Encoder Receiver Technology (ERT).
The Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 will let corporations connect, monitor, aggregate and manage distributed networks of Cisco Network Building Mediators, and multiple buildings via a central enterprise portal.
"We have been using the Cisco Network Building Mediator to integrate multiple building systems across areas such as HVAC, lighting and our data center operations. As a result of using the Cisco solution together with an integrated utility program, we are now able to shed 1.1 megawatts of power in 20 minutes during demand response events," said Dave Shroyer, Senior Controls Engineer at NetApp.
Additional features of the Network Building Mediators and Mediator Manager include a global navigator for enterprise wide visibility, tools for defining global schedules, equipment status pages, support for enhanced security with Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAMs), and integration with the Cisco EnergyWise API, in addition to the Cisco EnergyWise SNMP protocol.