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Unlock The Value of Big Data with Cisco Unified Computing System

Big Data is not just about gathering tons of data, the digital exhaust from the internet, social media, and customer records.  The real value is in being able to analyze the data to gain a desired business outcome.  

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 8.18.12 PMThose of us who follow the Big Data market closely never lack for something new to talk about. There is always a story about how a business is using Big Data in a different way or about some new breakthrough that has been achieved in the expansive big data ecosystem. The good news for all of us is, we have clearly only scratched the surface of the Big Data opportunity!

With the increasing momentum of the Internet of Everything (IoE) market transition, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020—just five years from now. As billions of new people, processes, and things become connected, each connection will become a source of potentially powerful data to businesses and the public sector.  Organizations who can unlock the intelligence in this data can create new sources of competitive advantage, not just from more data but from better access to better data.

What we haven’t heard about – yet—are examples of enterprises that are applying the power of this data pervasively in their organizations:  giving them a competitive edge in marketing, supply chain, manufacturing, human resources, customer support, and many more departments. The enterprise that can apply the power of Big Data throughout their organization can create multiple and simultaneous sources of ongoing innovation—each one a constantly renewable or perpetual competitive edge. Looking forward, the companies that can accomplish this will be the ones setting the pace for the competition to follow.

Cisco has been working on making this vision of pervasive use of Big Data within enterprises a reality. We’d like to share this vision with you in an upcoming blog series and executive Webcast entitled, ‘Unlock Your Competitive Edge with Cisco Big Data Solutions’, that will air on October 21st at 9:00 AM PT.

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I have the honor of kicking off the multi-part blog series today. Each blog will focus on a specific Cisco solution our customers can utilize to unlock the power of their big data – enterprise-wide– to deliver a competitive edge to our customers.  I’m going to start the discussion by highlighting the infrastructure implications for Big Data in the internet of Everything (IoE) era and focus on Cisco Unified Computing System initially.

Enterprises who want to make strategic use of data throughout their organizations will need to take advantage of the power of all types of data. As IoE increasingly takes root, organizations will be able to access data from virtually anywhere in their value chain. No longer restricted to small sets of structured, historical data, they’ll have more comprehensive and even real-time data including video surveillance information,  social media output, and sensor data that allow them to monitor behavior, performance, and preferences. These are just a few examples, but they underscore the fact that not all data is created equally. Real-time data coming in from a sensor may only be valuable for minutes, or even seconds – so it is critical to be able to act on that intelligence as quickly as possible. From an infrastructure standpoint, that means enterprises must be able to connect the computing resource as closely as possible to the many sources and users of data. At the same time, historical data will also continue to be critical to Big Data analytics.

Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for Big Data from Cisco Data Center

Cisco encourages our customers to take a long-term view—and select a Big Data infrastructure that is distributed, and designed for high scalability, management automation, outstanding performance, low TCO, and the comprehensive, security approach needed for the IoE era. And that infrastructure must be open—because there is tremendous innovation going on in this industry, and enterprises will want to be able to take full advantage of it.

Cisco UCS for Big DataOne of the foundational elements of our Big Data infrastructure is the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).  UCS integrated infrastructure uniquely combines server, network and storage access and has recently claimed the #1, x86 blade server market share position in the Americas. It’s this same innovation that propelled us to the leading blade market share position that we are directly applying to Big Data workloads.  With its highly efficient infrastructure, UCS lets enterprises manage up to 10,000 UCS servers as if they were a single pool of resources, so they can support the largest data clusters.

UCS Mini

Because enterprises will ultimately need to be able to capture intelligence from both data at rest in the data center and data at the edge of the network, Cisco’s broad portfolio of UCS systems gives our customers the flexibility to process data where it makes the most sense. For instance, our UCS 240 rack system has been extremely popular for Hadoop-based Big Data deployments at the data center core. And Cisco’s recently introduced UCS Mini is designed to process data at the edge of the network.

Because the entire UCS portfolio utilizes the same unified architecture, enterprises can choose the right compute configuration for the workload, with the advantage of being able to use the same powerful management and orchestration tools to speed deployment, maximize availability, and significantly lower your operating expenses.  Being able to leverage UCS Manager and Service Profiles, Unified Fabric and SingleConnect Technology, our Virtual interface card technology, and industry leading performance really set Cisco apart from our competition.

So, please consider this just an introduction to the first component of Cisco’s “bigger”, big data story. To hear more, please make plans to attend our upcoming webcast entitled,  ‘Unlock Your Competitive Edge With Cisco Big Data Solutions’ on October 21st.  

Register Now

Every Tuesday and Thursday from now until October 21st, we’ll post another blog in the series to provide you with additional details of Cisco’s full line of products, solutions and services.

View additional blogs in the series:

     9/25:    Unlock Big Data with Breakthroughs in Management Automation

     9/30:    Turbocharging New Hadoop Workloads with Application Centric Infrastructure

     10/2:    Enable Automated Big Data Workloads with Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler

     10/7:    To Succeed with Big Data, Enterprises Must Drop an IT-Centric Mindset: Securing IoT Networks Requires New Thinking

     10/9:    Aligning Solutions to meet our Customers’ Data Challenges

    10/14:   Analytics for an IoE World

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via Twitter at @CicconeScott.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Part 1: Why Is Enabling Only Authorized Users So Complex?

In the past, a critical component of preventing threats was understanding and controlling network access and access to network resources based on role, while also denying access for unauthorized users and devices.

However, assuring this secure network access has been increasingly difficult due to:

  • Complexity in understanding more than just who, but how, by what, when and from where users and devices attempt to access network resources
  • Complexity in connecting authorized users to needed services with the explosion of both on premise and remote devices used by a single user
  • Complexity in evolving network architectures where networks have become more “flat” and difficult to manage from a security standpoint
  • Complexity in unifying the number of disparate security systems that need to be configured, managed and visualized

These various aspects of security complexity challenge security practitioners with delivering the right services and purchasing the right solutions to not just handle the complexity, but also reduce it. However, when we take a look at IT security spending, where does the majority of investment go and where do most vendors siphon their money to and why?

If you look across the entire attack continuum, there are three phases that people need to focus on when dealing with threats and attacks: before an attack happens, during the time it is in progress, and even after the damage is done. To properly protect against threats in all stages, organizations need to reinvestigate their security to gain visibility and control across these three phases in order to truly reduce risk.

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FlexPod is Cisco ACI Enabled

In today’s data centers, organizations want to further accelerate application deployment, resulting in even greater demands on the IT infrastructure. The need for speed and efficiency is paramount and keeping pace with dynamic priorities requires infrastructure flexibility, agility, and automation. Hence, leveraging an application-centric operational model is now essential.

FlexPod has become a leader in integrated infrastructure by combining Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure (Cisco UCS & Nexus) and NetApp storage systems into a single system, this integrated infrastructure approach provides the ability to dramatically improve the efficiency and agility of data center infrastructure, while reducing deployment risks.Flexpod aci

FlexPod is the first integrated infrastructure to validate Cisco ACI. Cisco and NetApp have recently released FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Application Centric (ACI) Infrastructure and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 with Cisco ACI design guides. Cisco ACI is a holistic architecture with centralized automation and policy-driven application profiles that delivers software flexibility with hardware performance. The Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) defines policy-based application network profiles and provides a single point of control for ACI fabric.

Typically, the configuration of infrastructure to support multi-tier applications is manual and time consuming with a risk for errors. The validation of FlexPod with Cisco ACI can enable IT teams to provision applications in hours instead of months and accelerate the deployment of application-ready infrastructure. With UCS Director, FlexPod with Cisco ACI will be able to leveraging the application network profiles from APIC, service profiles from Cisco UCS Manager, and integration with NetApp storage management to ensure that all infrastructure elements align with the application. This automation of integrated infrastructure (compute, network, and storage) in sync with the needs of the applications can enable IT to deliver unprecedented speed and efficiency.

To learn more about FlexPod with ACI please check out the solution brief and to see the latest on our FlexPod portfolio visit our web page.

 

The Service Year: Unleashing America’s Potential

This week, I joined Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, along with heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, nonprofit leaders, and influential CEOs for the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) – whose mission is to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

When leaders and progressive thinkers of this magnitude join together, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the role technology can play in positively impacting lives around the globe. To date, members of the CGI community, including Cisco, have made more than 2800 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

The 2014 Annual Meeting brought CGI members together under the theme “Reimagining Impact,” guiding members in better measuring and assessing the outcomes of their work, and rethinking how we create value through new approaches to address complex global challenges going forward.

Big ideas can change the world, and that’s why I truly believe in the big idea of national service. Young Americans today are facing the crisis of unraveling traditional communities and social structures. In fact, 1 million students drop out of school each year, and 17% of youth aged 16 to 24 are out of school and work. This isn’t just a problem about unemployment or a weak future workforce – it escalates to encompass poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity, homelessness, and a lack of healthcare – leading to a weakened civilization.

Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Tae Yoo (second from left) joined representatives from the National Service Alliance and Lumina at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 22, 2014 to announce their commitment to promote and support national service opportunities.

Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Tae Yoo (second from left) joined representatives from the National Service Alliance and Lumina at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 22, 2014 to announce their commitment to promote and support national service opportunities.

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SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014: It’s a Wi-Fi Bonanza!

By David Alsobrook, Director, Strategy & Product Management, Cisco’s Connected Devices BUDavid Alsobrook

If there’s one thing that is absolutely unmistakable, going into this week’s IBC conference in Amsterdam, it’s the proliferation of Wi-Fi – a technology that’s also a service, and the industry’s ticket to providing wireless broadband connectivity that simultaneously rivals mobile, and tightens consumer loyalty.

Note: I’m not the cheerleader type, and as such don’t use the word “bonanza” loosely. By definition it is “a situation or event that creates a sudden increase in wealth, good fortune, or profits.” That fits. Let’s go literal about the increase in wealth, good fortune, or profits. Here’s an impressive supporting number for you: As of this moment, we’ve shipped Read More »

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