Moving to cloud offers many benefits to organizations. However, these benefits come with a corresponding range of new challenges for IT to address. One of these challenges is what is known as “Shadow IT.” Shadow IT refers to activities of members within an organization to secure their own IT resources without going through a company’s IT department.
There are many compelling reasons why organizations consider Shadow IT an important issue:
Security: IT resources outside the management of a company’s IT department are also outside of their control and policy management. Many cloud providers offer only marginal security with their baseline service; to get better security requires an upsell and higher cost. This means that sensitive company data and digital assets may be exposed without a company’s knowledge. As a result, a company may be at risk in many ways, either through potential loss of customer data or failure to comply with industry standards and requirements.
Cost: When cloud services are purchased individually, they cost more. A large organization can consolidate cloud resources needs across all of its departments to achieve volume-pricing discounts.
Efficiency: A group that purchases its own cloud resources may underutilize them. When clouds resources are managed by IT, unutilized resources can be shared with other departments. Such a strategy increases the efficient usage of cloud resources. In addition, fewer resources are required across the company, resulting in lower cost as well.
Unified Management: When cloud resources can be centrally managed, their management can be consistent and unified across the company. This enables IT to ensure that cloud resources are properly protected as well as simplifies tracking allocation and usage of resources.
There is a high value in eliminating Shadow IT. However, it is clear that relying upon policies that prohibit Shadow IT activities is not enough to solve the problem. In the blog, “Overcome Your Shadow IT Struggles”, cloud provider Presidio discusses the reasons why Shadow IT exists. The blog also describes how you can provide compelling reasons for members of your organization to go through IT and use internal resources.
Another important facet of eliminating Shadow IT is selecting the right cloud services and provider. It does little good to consolidate cloud access if the services IT brokers to the organization don’t provide enterprise-class security, performance, and flexibility as a baseline.
When I first visited Milan last year in January, the occasion was Cisco Live and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Alpine city is known as much for its Hi-tech as it is for fashion and tradition. I am one of the lucky few in Cisco to be visiting this great city for a second year in row as Cisco Live Europe is all set to commence here next week. What is special this year? From a Cisco Data center standpoint ACI, Inter-Cloud, IOT and UCS continue to grab the headlines. Particularly, ACI has established itself as the dominant SDN technology with more than 1,000 plus N9K customers, 200 plus ACI customers and a growing eco-system of 34 partners in just one year. In this blog, I am going to present excerpts of what attendees can broadly expect to see and experience at the buzzing event, and I will take you on a tour of how ACI is ready to engage and enrich you.
At the outset, I’d recommend that you attend all keynotes to understand Cisco’s strategy for the emerging technology trends and market transitions. Cisco Execs Carlos Dominguez and Jeremy Bevan kick-start the proceedings with an opening keynote on Jan 27 as they review the amazing things we have achieved in building the internet over the last decade and look at what we must do to build an Internet fit for purpose for the next decade. Don’t miss several technology trends keynotes occurring on Jan27 and 28. Soni Jiandani’s session scheduled for Jan 28 on SDN/ACI topic is going to be a sell-out. Come and listen to Soni to understand how ACI enables business outcomes and IT automation through the creation of an agile infrastructure.
Now I want to segue to ACI specifics. The last year has been phenomenal from an ACI eco-system momentum standpoint. F5 and Citrix, leading ADC vendors, have developed joint solutions with ACI and we have experienced several customer wins and success stories. F5 is a platinum sponsor and has a big presence at Cisco Live Milan this year to delight the 8,000 plus attendees. At the world of solutions F5 has dedicated demo stations to showcase multiple Cisco ACI-F5 joint solutions (featuring both BIG IP and BIG IQ), and F5’s engineers will be happy to explain via whiteboard how these solutions are relevant to your needs. Vincent Ng from F5, an expert presenter, has a technical breakout session on Jan 27 featuring ACI-F5 joint solution. Vincent’s expertise spans hands-on demos alongside lucid architectural illustrations, so do not miss this session.
Citrix has been a regular platinum sponsor at Cisco Live events. This year at Cisco Live Milan, Citrix has a large booth presence in the partner area. The key activities at the booth include joint solution demos featuring UCS-XD/XA, ACI-NetScaler, Mobility and Cloud among other major ones. Besides, David Potter and Christian Hietzschold from Citrix are doing a presentation on topic, “Delivering the best in SDN and ACI integration solutions.” If you happen to be in the DevNet zone, you may want to check out Citrix’s short theater presentations to get a well-rounded view of our joint alliance.
A10 Networks and Radware both have a presence in the WOS, showcasing joint solutions with ACI, thereby providing further evidence for the fast growing ACI L4-L7 eco-system.
At the World of Solutions (WOS) this year, ACI and Cloud take center stage in the Data center category. There are 10 demos showcasing ACI innovations and 6 on the Data Center Networking front. We also have an “Ask the Expert- Solutions Design Center” where Cisco architects will help address your data center, cloud, ACI strategy and design questions to accelerate ROI and reduce TCO. The ACI demos cover broad customer interest areas such as Analytics/Telemetry/Visibility, popular Cloud Management Platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Open Stack, Support for Multi-Hypervisors, Secure Application deployment etc. Our ACI subject matter experts will be on site to give you a real-life demo and explain how these are relevant to your needs.
We also have Hands-on labs at the WOS that give you the opportunity to explore and evaluate a range of Cisco technologies, and our Meet the Engineer and Technical Solution Clinics give you access to the people who design Cisco’s solutions and give you the insight you need about your own environment and technical challenges. So stop by the WOS to explore new technologies and get answers to your unique questions.
In addition to the hands-on demos, we also have round the clock mini-presentations at the WOS Cisco Theater. This year we have three innovative ACI theater topics namely “Simplifying day-0, day-1, day-2 operations with ACI”, “Securing Applications with ACI” and “NX-OS Programmability and Automation”. The special draw at the WOS Theater is the topic of “Simplifying Operations with ACI”. This presentation will cover how application deployment can be accelerated and how easy it is to troubleshoot problems with ACI. To satisfy your broader interests we also have theater sessions on UCS, Cloud and Nexus switching portfolio. Check our WOS Theater roster in the agenda handout.
To your heart’s delight is how I’ll describe Cisco technical breakout sessions. Yes, we have more than 500 breakouts from industry recognized experts at the show. ACI breakouts feature prominently and ACI domain experts Carlos Pereira, Mike Cohen, Mike Herbert, Maurizio Portolani all co-present Jan 26 on topic ‘ACI-Policy Driven Data Center”. This session ranks at the top for me. If you are an Open Stack fan then you must look into the session “APIC Integration with Open Stack” presented by Sebastian Jeuk and Lijun Deng. Harry Petty is doing an ACI operations focused session PSODCT-2455. Data Center operators focused on tenant on-boarding, application monitoring and trouble-shooting will find this session very relevant, so mark this as a must-attend. There are many more breakouts and Lab sessions on ACI, and check out the session catalog for details. Another insightful breakout session PSODCT-1200 by Craig Huitema focuses on the Nexus switching portfolio and ACI and how together they enable a faster, responsive and flexible IT.
As a Cisco Live attendee you benefit from the opportunity to interact with your peers, Cisco staff and partner technical experts in both structured and informal settings. Our Welcome Reception and Customer Appreciation Event are the highlights of the week’s social calendar. Read more on the Social Events & Networking Onsite section. Our online communities on Facebook and Twitter provide year round access to like-minded individuals as well as valuable content, news and updates. We’d love it if you would join the conversation.
I can go on and on, but I’d never be able to cover all of the excitement in store. I’d leave some for you to explore on your own and our Meet and Greet ambassadors will be more than happy to assist you at the show. As for me, if time permits, I am planning on acquainting myself with some of the legendary artworks of MichelAngelo. Safe travels and a happy Cisco Live.
In this episode, Matt Brender (@mjbrender) and Rick Vanover (@RickVanover) give us an overview of why you should let your IOPS tell the truth! Ever wonder if your expectations for the modern Data Center match the reality? Matt and Rick go through the math and thinking for what your storage systems can and cannot do!
Special Note: For fun we’ve got a poll on your favorite unicorn… after the jump!
One of the key benefits of moving to the cloud is that someone else–your service provider–takes care of the day-to-day management of your technology. You can focus on adding value at a higher level. Scale capacity and increase your company’s productivity by introducing new capabilities such as collaboration applications or desktop-as-a-service.
Unfortunately, not all clouds are created equal. The success of your business relies upon the quality of the services you choose. You might not experience the level of losses Best Buy did when their site went down on Black Friday, but unplanned downtime can still seriously hurt your business.
The technology inside the cloud services you use really does matter. When you buy commodity-class services, you have no guarantee of the performance, reliability, or even availability of your business-critical data and applications.
This is why Intel and Cisco are working together to deliver enterprise-class cloud services you can rely upon. These two leaders offer more than just promises. Both companies have a long history of proven quality and reliability. Services built upon their technology provide fast time-to-market, offer assured performance, and leverage ongoing innovation.
This assurance of quality is extended to your service provider as well. Cisco identifies cloud providers meeting its highest standards with the Cisco Powered logo. These partners must undergo a rigorous third-party audit to verify that they are able to deliver as promised. This means your services are also protected with end-to-end security. And, with the rise of the Intercloud, you’ll benefit from workload portability between clouds and the ability to comply with local data sovereignty regulations.
You trust Intel and Cisco inside your data center. Now you can trust them inside your cloud services. Intel and Cisco. Connect with confidence.
We’ve all heard the expression, “you can never have too much of a good thing.” But we all know that’s not quite true. For example, a little dessert is good. But too much can be a problem for your waistline.
It seems data marts also fit this pattern. A few data marts can be very helpful, but too many create a huge total cost of ownership (TCO) burden.
Fortunately, with data virtualization, you can turn physical data marts into virtual ones. And when you do, you will never have to worry about having too much of a good thing.
What’s Great about Data Marts
Data marts were developed as a complement to enterprise data warehouses. Typically subject or domain specific, and derivative of the warehouse, they provide a number of benefits including:
Focused Content – Narrowing the scope to a specific domain such as finance or sales simplifies reporting and analysis.
Query Performance – Offloading workload from the enterprise data warehouse can improve query performance.
Data Structure – Certain reporting tools require certain structures, for example star schemas. Data marts can easily be modeled based on these structures as an alternative to the warehouse schema.
Local Control – Users find it easier to control and modify data marts than larger warehouses.
Costs Can Outweigh the Benefits
Given the benefits cited above, data marts have proliferated rapidly. Unfortunately, as with deserts, “A moment on the lips can be a lifetime on the hips.” Data mart TCO is huge. Costs include:
Development Costs – Each data mart requires a full design, development and deployment effort.
Operating Costs – Not only does the data need to be refreshed regularly, all the underlying databases, database servers, ETLs and more must be monitored and tuned.
Change Management Costs – Adding new data to respond to business change requires extensive rebuilding of complex data mart schemas and ETL scripts, adding costs and reducing agility.
Data Governance and Quality Costs – Because data is physically replicated in each data mart, each mart requires data governance to ensure consistent quality.
Data Virtualization to the Rescue
As an alternative to physical data marts, many organizations now use data virtualization middleware such as the Cisco Data Virtualization Suite, to create virtual data marts. Virtual data marts provide all the benefits listed above with far lower costs.
Development Costs – Virtual data marts have far fewer moving parts, which lessen design, development and deployment efforts.
Operating Costs – Fewer moving parts also means less infrastructure to maintain.
Change Management Costs – Adding new data to respond to business change can be done in minutes or hours via virtualized data sets, rather than days or weeks in the physical data mart world.
Data Governance and Quality Costs – With data virtualization, data mart content can be centrally governed to ensure consistent quality wherever that data is used.
Try the Data Mart Diet
If you agree that it makes sense to lighten up on data marts, the question is how? In other words, what is the “Data Mart Diet?”