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Cisco UCS and SAS: A Platform for Fast Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics is becoming an integral part of the enterprise IT ecosystem. In order to realize its full potential it must be integrated with traditional data management systems and analytics technologies (and in the near future with Internet of Everything). Today, Cisco and SAS is announcing joint solutions that deliver faster, more accurate insights and solve most complex business problems. Built up on our vision of shared infrastructure and unified management across enterprise applications, these solutions are designed to deliver high-performance compute, network, and storage access and cost effectively scale as your business demands. We are offering you the choice of three configurations to meet your business needs:

  • Scale-out solution based on UCS Common Platform Architecture for Big Data powered by Cisco UCS C240 M3 Servers in which SAS Analytics coexists on the same cluster with Hadoop. This solution combines  in-memory analytics capabilities of SAS Visual Analytics and cost effective storage and scaling of Hadoop – significantly lowering the TCO, enabled by SAS/ACCESS software that provides access to data stored in Hadoop via HiveQL, as if they were native SAS data sets
  • In-Memory real-time analytics solution powered by Cisco UCS B460 M4 Blade Server and C460 M4 Rack Server featuring Intel Xeon E7 V2 processor family that supports up to 60 processors cores and 6TB of memory enabling fast in-memory analytics, delivering up to 80 percent more performance and up to 80 percent lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than alternative RISC architectures1
  • Traditional shared-storage based solution with Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Servers and Cisco UCS Invicta Series Solid State Systems or enterprise-class storage from Cisco partners where compute and storage components can scale independently.

For additional information please see the join solution brief.

 

 

 

 1Source: http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2014/02/18/intel-advances-next-phase-of-big-data-intelligence-real-time-analytics

 

#EngineersUnplugged S6|Ep1: Behind the Scenes with Cisco Networking Acadamy

July 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm PST

Welcome back! In the season premiere of Engineers Unplugged, Roving Reporter Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd) talks to Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team Member Tylor Kytasaari (@TylorKytasaari) about network topology and what it takes to keep the bandwidth flowing at an event the size of Cisco Live US! Great tech talk with a side of practical information.

If you would like to become Internet Famous, and strut your unicorn talents, join us for our next filming session at VMworld 2014. Tweet me for details!

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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The Future of Cloud, Part 4: Building a Resilient Cloud for the Future

(This is part 4 of a 7-part series sharing insights from Cisco partners about the Future of Cloud.)

At Cisco Live!, Derek Siler, Director, Solution Engineering – Channel Sales at Sungard Availability Services, shared his company’s vision of the cloud and how they bring value to the market.  “Our real unique differentiation is our focus on availability and our ability to give a very resilient hosted environment for production instances,” said Siler.  “We have Cisco Powered cloud services for both hosting and instances of a client’s production environment.  We can do that with our managed cloud, which has all the benefits of a multi-tenant cloud environment but a full managed service layer all the way up to the operating system.  We also have a true public cloud offering which has that elastic spin up/ spin down capability.”

Building a resilient cloud that can carry businesses into the future requires a resilient foundation.  “We’ve been with a Cisco partner from a technology perspective for years,” said Siler.  “We’ve also been in the Cisco partner network for multiple years now too.  We’ve even won a Cisco Cloud partner of the year award.  We were very honored to receive that recognition.”

“Not only do we work extensively with Cisco, we work with many of the top Cisco partners in the Cisco partner ecosystem.  We’re building our cloud future around Cisco and around enterprise-grade architectures.”

“For us, Cisco is absolutely vital.”

You can also learn more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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Leading Analyst Firm, EMA, Validates Cisco’s Big Data Warehouse Expansion Solution

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) is a leading industry analyst firm that provides deep insight across the full spectrum of IT and data management technologies. EMA analysts, including Shawn Rogers who guides EMA’s Business Intelligent Research group, leverage a unique combination of practical experience, insight into industry best practices, and in-depth knowledge of current and planned vendor solutions to help their clients achieve their goals.

Shawn recently published an EMA Impact Brief on Cisco Big Data Warehouse Expansion.   In it he examines the impact this solution brings to traditional data warehouse environments by better managing data, system growth and extending the analytic value delivered from a data warehouse investment.

Cisco Big Data Warehouse Expansion is a new offering that combines hardware, software and services to help customers control the costs of their ever-expanding data warehouses by offloading infrequently used data to low-cost big data stores.  Analytics are enriched as more data is retained and all data remains accessible.

BDWE

In his Impact Brief, Shawn makes three important observations about how enterprises can benefit:

Cost Control: A common cost to traditional data warehouse environments is planning for the exponential growth of data. The Cisco solution analyzes the system, identifies data not in use (cold data) and provides a workflow and tools to offload the data onto Hadoop avoiding upgrade costs and extending the life of the data warehouse.

Improved Performance: By implementing an ongoing strategy to offload data from the primary system to Hadoop, the Cisco Big Data Warehouse Expansion solution frees up resources providing for better overall system performance. Additionally, Cisco deploys data virtualization technology that adds a layer of optimization for fast queries and simplified access spanning the original warehouse and the new Hadoop data store. Further, Cisco UCS servers are optimized for Hadoop workloads.

Added Analytic Value: Many companies are forced by the economics of data management to implement aggressive Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) policies removing data from critical systems to avoid costs. The Cisco solution helps customers keep more data online and available for deeper and more insightful analytics, therefore, adding value to the overall environment.”

The report ends with the following conclusion:

“EMA recommends that organizations that manage mature data warehouses investigate offloading as a strategy to expand and extend their data warehouse investment.”

If Shawn’s counsel makes as much sense to you as it does to me, then let’s get started.

Click here to download and read the entire report.

Learn More

To learn more about Cisco Data Virtualization, check out our page.

To learn more about EMA research, analysis, and consulting services for enterprise line of business users, IT professionals and IT vendors at www.enterprisemanagement.com.

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So many workloads and so many clouds ….

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to join a discussion regarding the #FutureOfCloud in the #InnovateThink  Tweet Chat. One of the questions that came up revolved around the process typically used to associate a workload with a specific cloud deployment model. That is an important question and top of mind whenever we speak with customers.

One of the most appealing qualities of the cloud is the variety of ways in which it can be delivered and consumed. A successful cloud strategy will let you take advantage of a full range of consumption models for cloud services to meet your specific business needs. In reality, when we think about it, the process is very similar to what any company in virtually any industry goes through when shaping its business strategy. For each area of the business, inevitably the question arises: Build, Buy or Partner?

Build versus Buy

When formulating their sourcing strategies, IT organizations repeatedly face very similar service-by-service, “build-versus-buy” decisions. The predisposition of IT organizations is to create and build IT services on their own. That is what many IT professionals want to do … create new services, invent ‘new things’. And that may very well be the best option. However, many customers also realize that it is often beneficial to adopt best-in-class capabilities to remain competitive even if this requires outsourcing select portions of the IT value chain. Hence the emerging role of IT as a broker of IT services that we discussed in the past (for more information please visit our web site.) And this requires a paradigm shift for many IT organizations.

Solving the ‘Equation’

To solve the “build versus buy” equation when sourcing their IT services, IT needs to evaluate cost, risk, and agility requirements to determine the best strategy for their business. IT needs a plan and a set of governance principles to evaluate each service based on its strategic profile. A collaborative approach between business and IT is also required. For example: Is the service core to the business? What is the business value associated with it (e.g., strategic importance, sustainable differentiation it can provide, time to market requirements etc..)? What are the cost implications (CapEx vs OpEx), risk profile, security, SLAs, data privacy and regulatory compliance requirements?  And … do you have the expertise to plan, build and manage the new IT service while meeting the expectations of your business counterparts?

Hybrid Cloud Rapidly Emerging as the New ‘Normal’

Not surprisingly, my experience when talking to customers that operate in regulated industries or that are concerned about security -- and the privacy of their data more specifically – is that they tend to favor private cloud deployments. For example, I was talking to a compliance manager part of a global financial institution and as soon as I uttered ‘public cloud’ his reaction was quite predictable …. He shook his head, got serious and quipped “Public cloud … I do not think so …” Real or perceived, security concerns remain top of mind and a major barrier to cloud adoption, and this is validated by market research data.

Hybrid Cloud

The predictability of the application with respect to resource consumption is also a factor. Applications that have high elasticity requirements are well positioned to benefit from the economics, agility and scale that public clouds can offer. Infrastructure capacity planning and optimization is a big task for most IT organizations. Having the ability to burst into the public cloud represents an appealing option. This is also why ultimately hybrid cloud is becoming the new normal, and results of the 2014 North Bridge Future of Cloud Computing Survey supports that view.

2014 Future of Cloud Annual Survey Results - Source Gigaom

2014 Future of Cloud Computing - Annual Survey Results

The Power of Choice

Arguably the most important thing your IT organization can do is to diversify its choice of cloud providers ….. Simply because without choice you really do not have a strategy …. And no contingency plans to go along with it ….

What do you think?

Additional Resources:

 

 

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