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Chambers Wades Into Web 2.0

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Networkers Live Conference -- Cisco CEO John Chambers preached a gospel of virtualization and Web 2.0 technologies during his keynote here today, predicting major changes in how businesses work over the next few years. (See Cisco Acquires Reactivity and Cisco Reports Q3.)

"The role of virtualization is huge -- it's the ability to communicate to any application, any server, in your data center," he said, adding that Cisco has managed to consolidate its own data center hardware through the technology. "Most of us have server and storage utilization at under 25 percent. Ours was under 20 percent."

By implementing virtualization and data center provisioning technologies, Cisco's server and storage utilization is now up beyond 50 percent, saving the company hundreds of millions of dollars in the last four years, according to Chambers.

The CEO also highlighted recent growth in Web 2.0 technologies such as podcasts, Web services, and wikis. (See Keynote Monitors Web 2.0 Apps, HP Hoists Software Upgrades, Dunes Adds Web 2.0, and In Search of Enterprise 2.0.) "What makes these Web 2.0-type capabilities so important is that you can communicate as if you were really there," he said, explaining that these will link with virtualized systems in back-end data centers. "It doesn't matter if the data is in your home, in a data center, or at an Internet content creator."

To illustrate his point, Chambers used the example of Cisco's own M&A strategy, contrasting the 2005 acquisition of Scientific Atlanta with the purchase of Webex earlier this year. (See Will Cisco Make an IPTV Middleware Move?, Cisco Reports Q1, and Cisco Acquires WebEx.) "Scientific Atlanta took 45 days -- 18 months later, we did Webex in eight days [because] we did it all virtually."

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