Hello fellow VDIers…if you are reading this blog first in the series and wondering why we are on Question 9, then check out the following posts to see the entire series:
We also did a BrightTALK session as well, please kindly watch the recording here: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/7345/68115
You bet you do! Storage is a pivotal part of any datacenter. Shared storage rules king these days, and really is challenged by the fact that our desktops are the exact opposite storage model: distributed and direct attached.
Specing out and configuring your storage for a VDI environment can make or break it!
Let me put it this way: Have you used an SSD in your desktop or laptop yet? If not, you are missing out on a truly delightful end user experience.
Things just POP! Boot times can be sub 10 seconds. Apps load almost instantaneously. The spinning blue circle that replaced ye ol’ hour glass becomes a thing of the past. And when you sit down at somebody else’s system that hasn’t made that earth shattering change from clanking disk to silent solid state bliss, you just want to pull your hair out because now your application is taking multiple seconds to respond.
THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR THE VDI EXPERIENCE.
Except I’ve been on VDI environments that go from a spinning disk experience to something worse (like that floppy up above perhaps?) All this research we’ve done up to this point around optimizing CPU and Memory doesn’t mean a hill of beans if the CPU’s cores are sitting there twiddling their idle loops waiting on storage. Then your end user wants to pull their hair out and go back to their desktop, which is a pain for you to manage and the opposite goal of the project.
So, while we are not a storage company, I think we all agree that storage is a pivotal part of the VDI equation, and we made some quick and general storage observations in our environment.
THE BOOT STORM: 150 desktops powered on simultaneously
It happens…you had to push an app out last minute, and you are sitting at your desk after an all night-er maintenance blast, and you need to power on all of a department’s desktops. What happens if you do this simultaneously to 150 desktops?
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Governments around the world understand the importance of a national ICT infrastructure and the role it can play in the economic and social development of a country.
However, there is a significant industry trend called Big Data that, I believe, presents a major opportunity for governments to deliver more targeted services to citizens and businesses.
Three key aspects of Big Data are already impacting governments around the world:
- Volume: Each interaction with a government entity creates digital records, network traffic, and storage requirements. The compound annual growth rates of global consumer and business data are expected to climb by 36 percent and 22 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2015.
- Velocity: Data is being collected at greater and greater speeds. One example of the new velocity of data is the U.K. government’s transition to real-time tax reporting, where employers submit earnings and taxation information on a monthly rather than annual basis.
- Variety: In addition to traditional documents and forms, governments now must deal with torrents of less-structured data such as video from public safety and security systems, along with social media feedback. The multiple channels through which people now interact with government have also created a challenge.
It is not the data itself that creates innovative opportunities for governments, but the potential for analytics and insight around this vast array of information across many formats. Big Data could enable governments to shorten the daily commute for citizens by developing predictive analytics on traffic flows and actual traffic data affecting traffic signaling in real time. Or perhaps governments could help with rapid identification and control of disease outbreaks—from flu, to infectious diseases, to food contaminants.
One example is an online application from a geospatial mapping company that applied trend analysis to help responders to Australia’s recent floods maximize the relevance of social media reporting. This web app shows how crowdsourced social intelligence provided by Ushahidi enables emergency social data to be integrated into crisis response in a meaningful way. The Australian flooding web app includes the ability to toggle layers from OpenStreetMap, satellite imagery, topography, and filter by time or report type. By adding structured social data, the web app provides valuable situational awareness that goes beyond standard reporting, including the locations of property damage, affected roads, hazards, evacuations, and power outages.
Ultimately, a better understanding of the way in which public services are consumed, mapped to population/demographic data, can enable a much more efficient service delivery ecosystem that reduces waste.
Perhaps the “killer app” for a government cloud is enabling a Big Data revolution. By its very nature, the computational and storage demands of most Big Data applications are volatile and therefore well suited to a cloud infrastructure, enabling multiple government departments to share a single scalable platform for analytics. Furthermore, it is essential to bring data together in a common format and a single view to unleash the maximum potential; a government cloud can fulfill the role of a “data federation” for the public sector. Finally the issue of trust can be managed through the creation of a secure private cloud infrastructure.
While a Big Data vision may seem a challenging stretch for some, the reality is that there already are isolated examples of governments bringing together data from multiple sources to make policy decisions. However, the “siloed” nature of these solutions makes them more expensive to build and challenging to maintain. As a result, governments now have an ideal opportunity to put Big Data at the heart of their discussions on government cloud.
Stay tuned to view upcoming installations of the Cloud for Local Government blog series or click here to register and reserve your copy of the complete compilation of the blog series, including this blog as well as a variety of cloud resources, which will be available in May.
Tags: Big Data, Cisco, cloud, government, IBSG, public services
Cisco attended the Next Generation Insurance Summit (March 11-13) in Newport Beach, CA and the Best Practices in Retail Financial Services Symposium (March 13-15) in Carlsbad, CA. Some of the top minds in the financial services industry were in attendance and it was great to see these leaders deliver ideas and solutions for how to further the customer experience for both industries as well as the agent experience in insurance. Both conferences focused on reducing the amount of time it takes to adopt new technology and innovative ideas for competitive advantage, a current problem many financial institutions are going through.
At the Next Generation Insurance Summit, Cisco’s Michael Cantwell, Financial Services Solutions Architect, delivered a keynote on building a customer centric distribution network and how the expectations of today’s insurance customer has of their insurance institution/agent. He stated that from the end customer’s point of view everything is getting more integrated and simplified, but that insurers have yet to create that agent or customer omnichannel capability that allows for communication channel choice as well as fluid switching during an interaction to answer questions or assist in self-directed channels. Michael also touched on how enabling insurers with new tools and technologies, including sales force automation and mobile devices, will be key to fulfilling overarching business goals of improving sales interactions through traditional channels and, therefore, driving revenue.
Attendees showed immediate interest when Michael spoke about the best methods for line of business executives to work with their IT executives and vice versa. The success of customer retention rates among insurers who have incorporated Cisco solutions to improve customer-centricity was also of special interest to attendees. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, customer experience, Financial Services, insurance, multichannel, omnichannel, retail banking
Okay, I have a confession to make.
I’ve been somewhat amused by Brocade’s recent “Gen 5″ Fibre Channel campaign. After all, the idea that “we’re going to simply call 16G Fibre Channel something other than 16G Fibre Channel and pretend that people will not figure out that it’s really just 16G Fibre Channel” is, well, amusing!
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Tags: 16GFC, 32GFC, Brocade, FCoE, Fibre Channel, Gen 5, INCITS, standards, T11