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Enhancing the Splunk experience with Cisco UCS

According to scientists, the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span that even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer. On an average, human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in year 2000 to 8 seconds in today’s smart-world.

What does this mean for Splunk Enterprise ? Read More »

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Cisco UCS and MapR Transform Delivery of Hadoop Technology

Delivering on the promise of Big Data and Analytics takes an ecosystem of partners who collaborate to integrate the underlying technologies so your organization can turn data into business value – faster. That’s why Cisco and MapR are teaming to deliver integrated solutions that are transforming the way organizations deploy and capitalize on the value of Hadoop technology.

The Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data with MapR solution combines the MapR Distribution including Apache Hadoop with Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data, which unifies computing, storage, connectivity, and management capabilities. This validated solution delivers an industry-leading architectural platform for Hadoop-based applications.

Cisco and MapR continue to innovate to enable new customer use cases. MapR Senior Solutions Architect, Dr. James Sun, provides an excellent example on his latest blog on Dockerizing Apache Webservers with Cisco UCS, Apache Mesos and MapR.

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The Value Cisco Brings to Tableau

Guest Blog by Ron Graham Ron_graham[1]

Ron Graham had served as a Data Center Architect and Systems Engineer for some of the largest IT companies in the U.S. including Cisco Systems, NetApp, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle. He is currently working for Cisco Systems as a Big Data Analytics Engineer.

What is Data Virtualization? Our definition is: Agile data integration software that makes it easy to access all your data no matter where it’s managed, and query it across the network as if it were in a single place. I like to say it differently – the real value lies in its ability to provide business users with a single high-level view of data that is spread across their infrastructure.

Data Virtualization is essentially middleware software that leverages a high-performance query engine and can utilize advanced computer architectures such as Cisco UCS. It’s a virtual data integration layer that can deliver data from multiple sources that are loosely coupled or have little or no knowledge of the other components. Of course this is done in a logically organized manner as show by the diagram below.


This is all nice but where is the beef, or the sex appeal? The sexy part is in the front-end business intelligence platforms and data visualization tools that can access and analyze data such as Tableau. Tableau can simply access data through the Cisco Data Virtualization with an ODBC driver. From here, business users can query data on demand from a single point of access (i.e. a common data model) without having to understand the different schemas or SQL dialects of the original data sources.

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Policy Driven Infrastructure to Transform Your Microsoft Cloud, Apps, and Operations

Please join us Thursday Sept 24, 2015 11:00AM ET for a WindowsITPro virtual event.


We have an information packed agenda planned for you encompassing:

  • The cloud, the hybrid cloud, and the private cloud.
  • Software-defined networking and policy-based automation.
  • The idea of application policy in next generation networking technologies and how they differ from the networks of today.
  • How Next-Generation SDN is impacting the cloud, your applications, and the
    data center.

Join us to learn about how policy helps companies make “bi modal IT” a continuum for IT organizations to support both traditional and cloud native applications on a common infrastructure.  Learn how to reduce TCO, achieve greater agility for the entire IT organization, enhance security for compliance and governance needs and simplify operations when infrastructure itself helps support and enable applications.

Policy Driven Infrastructure to Transform Your Microsoft Cloud, Apps, and Operations delivered by yours truly and a distinguished executive panel including:

  • Michael Michael, Senior Director of Product Management at Apprenda, responsible for the vision and product direction of Apprenda’s Platform As A Service (PaaS) solution.
  • Scott Napolitan, a Senior Program Manager with Microsoft’s Cloud and Datacenter Management Organization focused on Network and Fabric Management.
  • Jeremy Oakey, VP Strategic Alliances at CliQr for their application-defined cloud management platform for modeling, deploying, and managing clouds, applications, and users.

Evolving Your Data Center to the Next Level delivered by Michael Otey, senior contributing editor for Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Pro.

Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Microsoft Solutions presented by Tim Cerling, Technical Marketing Engineer with Cisco’s Datacenter Group, focusing on delivering customer-driven solutions on Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center products.

Understanding Next-Generation SDN: The Complete Integration of your Data Center presented by Bill Kleyman, VP of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies.

The Path Forward: Charting a Course to the Networks of Tomorrow presented by Frank Ohlhorst, an award-winning technology journalist, professional speaker, and IT business consultant with over 25 years of experience in the enterprise technology arena.

The virtual event will include an exhibition with demonstrations, presentations, videos, and engaging subject matter experts who’ll be glad to chat with you, answer questions, and provide you with access to even richer educational information.  I hope you will register now and join us next week!

Related Information on ACI and Microsoft Cloud Platform

ACI and Microsoft Cloud Platform solutions webpage

ACI and CliQr blog and interview

Microsoft Ignite breakout on ACI and Microsoft’s Cloud Platform

Video: Winning Together with Cisco ACI and Microsoft Azure Pack.

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New Innovations for L4-7 Network Services Integration with Cisco’s ACI Approach

As application performance, security and delivery get more critical, and as the need for network automation grows, the vision of an architecture that allows easy integration of L4-7 services into the data center fabric is increasingly getting validated. We’ve seen at least two services load balancers and firewalls in every application tier our customers deploy. Traditional deployment models are also shifting, as we have seen the model evolve from north-south traffic (perimeter based approaches) to east-west traffic patterns bringing new requirements of scale, security and application performance.

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture was designed to help both easy integration and scale of network services. ACI can manage physical switches, virtual switches in hypervisors as well as L4-7 services from multiple vendors stitching everything under the umbrella of applications. Recognizing that customers have a choice of L4-7 vendors, ACI has taken an open approach to accommodate automation of network services from multiple vendors (for both physical and virtual form factors) with its policy-driven architecture, delivering greater operational simplicity to customers.

Traditional way of inserting L4-L7 devices, from any vendor, in the network is to manually steer traffic through L4-L7 devices and configuring each of these devices independently. The manual steering of traffic is done by carefully provisioning VLANs/VRFs/Subnets etc by a network administrator today.

While ACI supports traditional mode of L4-L7 insertion from any vendor device, ACI provides additional capabilities for automating the entire workflow and tying it to applications. There are two steps in automation of L4-L7 integration through APIC:

  1. Automatically steering traffic from one application tier to chain of L4-L7 service devices and finally connecting back to another application tier.
  2. Automatically configuring all L4-L7 devices in a chain as the application are deployed and modified

The step (2) is ultimate level of automation; configuring all L4-L7 devices as needed by application and keeping it up to date as the application life cycle changes. For example customers add security policies into their firewall, but never clear them since it’s hard to correlate which policies to clear when application goes away, or when there are organizational changes with the relevant SME moves out. With APIC managing application tiers and configuration on L4-7 device, the configuration is added and removed dynamically as application are added or removed.

What’s new?

Since day 1, APIC supports traditional manual way of inserting L4-L7 services from any L4-L7 vendor. Similarly ACI supports fully automated mode called “Managed” mode, where both the network services stitching and device configuration is performed as described by both 1 and 2 above. The managed mode requires a “device package” which is typically provided by the concerned L4-L7 ecosystem partner and jointly qualified by Cisco/Partner for ACI.

A second new automation mode called “Unmanaged” will be introduced that equates to network stitching only as described in #1. Customers have realized that traditional manual mode is error-prone and hard to automate as workload moves around. The “Unmanaged” mode will provide a middle ground between traditional L4-L7 mode and fully automated ACI “managed” mode.
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