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Unleashing IT Big Data Launch

Unleash and Unlock
There’s value in your Big Data

Organizations are rethinking the realm of possibility that exists with the vast amount of data they gather and store with each IT transaction. The value of this data can unleash and unlock priceless opportunities for your business. Together with Intel, Cisco has released a special edition of Unleashing IT which focuses specifically on Big Data and the benefits therein.

Maximizing the value that exists in your data sets requires openly embracing change and considering new tools and technologies that enable better product and service delivery. And doing so can help identify new business opportunities representing tens of millions of dollars of incremental revenue.

This special edition of Unleashing IT is all about Big Data. As every industry expert knows, there is nothing simple or linear about your data stores. To learn how to start digging, avoid pitfalls, and maximize the value in your data sets, check out our new edition, containing expert advice, thought leadership, and industry insight.

Subscribe to Unleashing IT for access to all online content, including the new Big Data articles and resources.

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Featured Articles
Priceless grains of sand
Making Apache Hadoop enterprise ready
A unified platform for big data
Big data, big changes
Big data and the Internet of Everything
Saving brick-and-mortar retail
Transforming service delivery with big data
Automating big data workloads
Big data versus fast data

Additional Resources
Cisco and Big Data
Cisco Big Data Design Zone

Applications: The Reason We Have Infrastructure

October 27, 2013 at 10:45 am PST

Recently, the conversations I have been having about Software Defined Networks have shifted from supplying agile networking for VM provisioning and live migrations to looking at the problem through the lens of the application team.  In the past, I spoke about provisioning VMs and moving VMs as a surrogate for the application.  An application and a VM are not always in a one-to-one ratio.  This is a convenient simplification for everyone except perhaps the IT operations teams provisioning multi-server, tiered, or distributed server applications.

In this blog post, I want to complement Gary Kinghorn’s blog, The Promise of an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), to briefly share insights from talking with many IT operations managers and architects responsible for traditional enterprise applications as well the new distributed applications for cloud infrastructure.  What they are saying has profound implications for cloud infrastructure.

Conventional IT organizations have dedicated teams managing their applications, compute, network, security, and storage infrastructure.  These functional organizations must work together much like runners in a relay race to manage the lifecycle of the applications used by an enterprise.  These runners need to be agile but the racecourses are not the same every race.

When you look at some categories of applications side by side, the implications on business agility – the speed that a business can execute on a strategy (esp. one dependent on IT) – and the requirements on applications, network and security teams become apparent.

  • Productivity applications like Microsoft Exchange and Web 2.0 applications like SharePoint for collaboration support lots of client -- server traffic (this is North – South traffic) for the hundreds or thousands of end users of these applications within the enterprise.  Characteristic of these server deployments as they scale up users, the load is balanced across the edge servers using server load balancers or applications delivery controllers.  Additionally, since these applications are highly exposed to threats from the external network, these applications have priority requirements for security devices to prevent Denial of Service attacks and deliver secure access.
  • To scale I/O intensive applications such as SQL Server databases, IT organizations use clustered data base servers to handle the transactions or queries with deterministic network performance between servers and storage arrays which can be measured by latency and assured bandwidth.
  • New distributed cloud and big data applications like Hadoop can employ tens or hundreds of servers with unique I/O patterns between servers and terabytes of collected data which require guaranteed I/O characteristics for optimal performance between servers, local data, and the big data repositories.  The traffic patterns are between servers and shared storage within the data center and are often characterized as heavy East-West data center traffic patterns.

Every installation has its unique fingerprint of application requirements but the chart below is useful to provide a comparison and contrast of the requirements for these categories of applications.

App Requirements Chart

Source: Cisco interviews with leading IT DevOps administrators, 2013

IT organizations that want to work faster need to define applications requirements according to these major dimensions and learn to accelerate the workflow of application deployment across pooled network, security, compute and storage infrastructure.

Last June, Cisco revealed its vision for Application Centric Infrastructure, an innovative secure architecture that delivers centralized application driven policy automation, management and visibility for physical and virtual networks from a single point of management.  It provides a common programmable automation and management framework for the network, application, security, services, compute, and operations teams, making IT more agile while reducing application deployment time.

To learn more about Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure and how it accelerates application deployment cycles, join our ACI Announcement Webcast on November 6, 7:30 AM PT/10:30 ET/15:30 GMT. Register here.

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Industrial Manufacturing. What is it doing at the IoT World Forum?

Paul Puess head shot for ROK IoTWF post for Cisco IoE blogEd Note: As we head off to the IoT World forum, we have the honor of a Guest Post By Paula Puess.  Paula Puess has over 25 years of experience in both the IT and Manufacturing industries.  She is currently the Global Market Development Manager, Visualization & Information software for Rockwell Automation.

 

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Connected Enterprise image for ROK IoTWF post for Cisco IoE blogIt’s understandable if IT professionals reading this blog accused industrial manufacturing as being a technology laggard. Some hear “manufacturing” and immediately think “labor intensive,” “isolated operations,” and “dangerous and dirty.”

Not exactly a cutting-edge image.

So, what perspective does Rockwell Automation – the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information – offer IT experts from around the globe during the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum? Read More »

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A Smorgasbord of Denial of Service

On October 22, 2013, Cisco TRAC Threat Researcher Martin Lee wrote about Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that leverage the Domain Name System (DNS) application protocol. As Martin stated, the wide availability of DNS open resolvers combined with attackers’ ability to falsify the source of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets creates a persistent threat to network operators everywhere.

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Innovative Collaboration Tools for the Desk Worker

October 25, 2013 at 10:10 am PST

At Cisco, we’re committed to evolving and enhancing the collaboration user experience -- connecting you to the experts you need, regardless of location.  But user experience goes beyond that. It’s also thinking about ways to delight you -- with a simpler AND superior user experience. Whether that’s with high-definition voice and video on “every pane of glass”, to sharing content in meetings using your device of choice, to bringing the worlds of personal mobile devices and corporate IT owned and managed closer together.

Given the proliferation of mobile devices that have entered the workplace, you probably don’t find my comments around a focus on user experiences for the mobile worker too surprising. However, what I think might be surprising to you is that we’re placing an equivalent level of commitment to drive innovation on user experiences for the worker at the desk.

Why would we do this? I’ll tell you. Consider primary research we commissioned this past summer of 2300 global enterprise and mid-sized company end users and decision makers. The study indicated 70% of users work primarily from a desk 4-5 days per week. Read More »

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