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Cisco ACI: Overcoming the ‘Stack Fallacy’

There’s a new buzz phrase making the rounds recently around the concept of the “stack fallacy,” with the premise being that market leaders in any industry are well adept at going “down the stack” in terms of innovation but constantly struggle to stave off more nimble upstarts who are creating disruption in the layers above. The underlying factor, according to the source of this theory, is companies focusing too much on the tools they need to build and not enough on solving the evolving needs of their customers.unleashingit

As the undisputed leader in networking infrastructure for decades, Cisco is now faced with this innovator’s dilemma with the emergence of SDN, or software-defined networking, which has spawned countless wannabes hoping to redefine how enterprise networks should be built. But as evidenced by the progress Cisco has made from vision to reality with the Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI), it is clear that Cisco is succeeding in every measure in overcoming the stack fallacy challenges.

Cisco introduced the ACI a little over a year ago. Since then more than 1000 customers have already deployed the groundbreaking SDN architecture as part of their application deployment and management processes. We believe the key success factor has been our ability to build the ACI ground-up on the fundamental understanding that that today’s enterprises must do a lot more with a lot less, and do it a lot faster.

Cisco incorporated this design principle into the original ACI architecture and has constantly evolved it with customer-driven features and capabilities such as:

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From desktop to Data Center…changing the game with graphics

What if you were able to give everyone in your organization the flexibility and freedom to securely work anywhere in the world and on any device? What types of productivity gains would your company see as a result? What efficiencies or cost savings might your IT department receive from moving desktops to your datacenter and managing these virtual workstations through one single pane of glass?

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Our Cisco UCS team is excited to present the new Maxwell generation NVIDIA Tesla M6 GPU for the Cisco UCS B200M4 Blade and the NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPU for Cisco 2U Rack Rack Servers. Cisco and NVIDIA have joined forces to deliver this new graphics solution.  Combining security, reliability and manageability from Cisco UCS and adding NVIDIA’s GRID technology, we’re able to deliver performance and speed needed to run high-end applications on virtual desktops. What’s better is that you have two form factor options to fit your organization’s’ data center footprint. 

The M60 Rack GPU is supported with UCS Manager 3.1(1) and later & Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC) 2.0(9) and later; the M6 Blade GPU is supported with both UCS Manager 3.1(1) and 2.2(7) and later.

 

With Cisco UCS & NVIDIA GRID, you can now expand your virtualization footprint without compromising performance or user experience while also increasing security. This means, you can empower your workforce to create anything around the world, from any location with the ease and flexibility.

 

The new Cisco & NVIDIA M6 Blade GPU solution is fully integrated with the flagship B200M4 Server, supporting all CPU configurations and performance on par with NVIDIA K2 GPU, at less than half the power profile!  With two of the M60 GPU’s on Cisco UCS C240M4, you can now enable high density NVIDIA Tesla Compute and GRID 2.0 VDI user consolidation, which is over 8,000 CUDA cores & 32GB of GPU memory for up to 64 GPU-accelerated virtual desktop users.
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This is especially exciting for organizations in the Oil and Gas, Manufacturing and Design industries since historically, this type of work demanded high-end applications like ESRI, AutoCAD, Petrel and Siemens to be used in on-site with workstations. But now, these types of applications can be powered virtually through your data center to any device.

Take an airplane manufacturer for example. With a follow-the-sun working model, this organization can now empower its employees to design from anywhere in the world with the device they prefer, while all working on the same application in real-time. This helps the company save time, money and fuels rapid innovation. Last but not least, this is all done while maintaining security for the organization.

Empower your employees to create flexibly, securely and from any device and any location in the world. Now possible with Cisco UCS & NVIDIA GRID.   

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Productivity, mobility, security, and flexibility for all. This changes everything.

Learn how others are transforming their data centers with Cisco UCS.

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The Journey to DevOps and Composable Infrastructure

The rate of change is accelerating in IT. The need to provide your enterprise with a competitive advantage and to leverage new technologies is driving the need for rapid change and constant improvement. IT organizations must deliver new business services consisting of new and enhanced applications faster while ensuring SLAs. This environment of frequent and rapid change is what analysts refer to as Mode 2. It requires adopting business practices where development and IT operations work more closely together and more processes are automated. These forces are driving the growing requirement for DevOps and composable infrastructure.

Speed of ChangeAfter watching the videos and reading the press reports from the recent HPE Synergy announcement, you’d think that transitioning to a DevOps and implementing composable infrastructure just requires purchasing the new hardware and launching HPE OneView. Some good marketing, but DevOps is a methodology, not a system. It is an ongoing journey of continuous improvement as well as continuous delivery. Adapting to a faster rate of change requires enhancing processes, better communication and tighter integration of tools as well as some new technology.

You can embrace the speed of change while minimizing the disruption and risk. We’ve developed a new brief that explains how you can make the transition to DevOps and composable infrastructure easier using your existing UCS systems, UCS management software and operations management tools.

Download the brief to learn more.

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Big Data and Analytics Touchdowns

What’s your winning combo for big data and analytics? This may come as a surprise to you – but given that the Superbowl is approaching – I am going to use a football analogy. As we get ready for the game in 2 weeks, we have a tale of two quarterbacks. One is an established quarter back with a long-standing history of victories. The other –new, up and coming—brings a ton of enthusiasm and fresh legs to the game.

This is like the analytics market place of today. We have established players like SAP, SAS, and IBM and new ones such as Splunk, Platfora, and ParStream (now part of Cisco). On this 10th birthday of Hadoop, we have established technology approaches from Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR using MapReduce being challenged by the new player to the game – Spark, which is starting to score big in the technology field. The big 3 are taking different approaches to this, which should make it fun to watch.

Ok, guess how Cisco UCS ties into all of this? The foundation under all of these players is a solid integrated infrastructure that enables the game to be played and won. And like Levi’s stadium, UCS is the state of the art infrastructure with all of the most essential bells and whistles (Yes, I’m talking about service profiles for policy execution and management and ACI for business-relevant software defined networking (SDN)). Because in football and in business, it’s important to go ALL THE WAY, you can rely on Cisco’s end-to-end solutions to make this happen.

Trying to figure out the winning combination for your team? I pulled together a ‘scouting report’ to help you put together your ideal fantasy team. Bookmark this, because this is where you can find the latest and greatest and how each player partners with Cisco to bring you insights to action.

Cisco Big Data and Analytics Latest Content

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Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data and Cisco ACI with SAP HANA Vora

One of the common topics of debate in data management circles has been – do Big Data solutions replace traditional database solutions? The industry trends show that it will not, but instead the two will coexist and complement each other.

Following this theme of coexistence, two years ago we at Cisco shared our vision of integrating with platforms such as SAP HANA and Hadoop. As you would already know, SAP HANA is an in-memory database, built for transactional, analytical, and application logic processing while with Hadoop from the Apache software foundation is designed for  large scale data management and distributed data processing that can analyze massive amounts of diverse datasets. Combing SAP HANA with Hadoop can bring new dimension to data analytics. Our new integration shows how a shared infrastructure and unified management architecture delivers simpler and scalable implementations at a lower cost of ownership.

Last year, we announced our partnership and commitment to SAP HANA Vora – an Apache Spark-based execution framework for interactive memory analytics on Hadoop. SAP HANA Vora on the Cisco UCS and ACI offers unified administration across SAP HANA and Hadoop distributions, role- and policy-based automation, full active- active redundancy, high performance and exceptional scalability needed to support growing business demands.

Today, we are happy to announce the availability of a Cisco Validated Design (CVD), Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data and Cisco ACI for SAP HANA Vora, that provides step by step design guidelines that have been comprehensively tested and documented to help ensure faster, more reliable and predictable deployments at a lower total cost of ownership.

Additional Information  

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