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.
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.
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.
I’m happy to report that Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia) has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Storage, Virtualisation & Cloud (SVC) Awards! Please take a moment and vote for UCS Director at http://cs.co/SVCAward.
This finalist nomination recognizes the innovation and differentiation that Cisco UCS Director provides for end-to-end converged infrastructure management — including automation for both virtual and physical resources across compute, network, and storage.
The video below provides a good overview of Cisco UCS Director and its benefits for IT organizations:
The sweet spot for Cisco UCS Director is in managing converged infrastructure based on Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) with Cisco Nexus switches and third party storage — focusing on our market-leading integrated systems including the FlexPod solution with NetApp, as well as VCE’s Vblock Systems and our VSPEX solutions with EMC storage.
But the beauty of Cisco UCS Director is that it can also manage heterogeneous environments, including non-Cisco infrastructure and multiple hypervisors. Whether you call it your single-pane-of-glass or one ring to rule them all, it’s a highly innovative and comprehensive infrastructure management solution for your data center operations. These capabilities and more are highlighted in the award nomination which you can read here.
Late October is the start of the colorful fall season in East Coast and taking a ferry ride up the Hudson river in Big Apple is a photographer’s delight. Not to mention the vibrant Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, with hundreds of people dressing up in outrageous costumes. While you are enjoying the scenery, come meet our good Cisco folks talk about writing SDN Applications on controllers at the Open Network User Group (ONUG) event on October 29-30 hosted by JPMorgan Chase at their New York City headquarters.
On both days, we are giving a live demo of the Extensible Network Controller (XNC) and specifically, the Latency Optimized Forwarding application. This is a very good opportunity to see live, how the network administrator can easily and transparently create a custom forwarding path through the network. Moreover, on Day 1, we have Chris Marino giving a presentation on OpenStack Networking: Software Defined Networks in cloud environments. All around, it is a wonderful opportunity to interact with the Cisco team to get insights into how to implement SDN in your Data Centers in a low risk way.
Hope to see you there and good luck if you are running the world famous New York City Marathon on Nov 3rd !
Welcome back to Season 4 of Engineers Unplugged! The whiteboards are shiny and new, and the markers are fresh. We have some incredible episodes lined up for this season, featuring multiple languages, countries, and guests new and returning.
To kick off the season, we’re changing the pace a little bit, stepping away from the whiteboards, with a special episode that highlights one of the EU mission statements: actionable information from and for the community.
Community Building! Amy Lewis interviewing Fred Nix at VMworld Barcelona. (photo credit: Nick Howell)
Today’s guest is Fred Nix (@nixfred), who works with a team at EMC to onboard SEs. He takes us behind the scenes of how they do it with methods you can apply to a company of 40 or 40,000. It’s a great story, let’s roll the clip:
Thanks to Nick Howell (@that1guynick, http://datacenterdude.com) for the photo. Keep us posted with who you’d like to see on the show, and the topics you’d like to hear discussed. The hotline is open!
Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)