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Data Abstraction: The Lingua Franca for Data Silos

Enterprises are seeking ways to improve their overall profitability, cut costs, reduce risk and more through better leverage of their data assets.

Significant volumes of complex, diverse data spread across various technology and application silos make it difficult for organizations to achieve these business outcomes. To further complicate matters, there is a range of problems such as

  • Separate access mechanisms, syntax, and security for each source
  • Lack of proper structure for business user or application consumption and reuse
  • Incomplete or duplicate data
  • And a mixture of latency issues

Data abstraction overcomes these challenges by transforming data from its native structure and syntax into views and data services that are much easier for business intelligence and analytics developers to use when creating new decision-making applications.

Enterprises can approach data abstraction three ways:

  • Manual data abstraction
  • Data warehouse schemas
  • Data virtualization

Of the three approaches, data virtualization is the superior solution for data abstraction because it enables the most flexibility and agility when you need to provide simple, consistent, business–formatted data from different data locations and sources.

As a complement to Cisco’s Data Virtualization software and services, Cisco also provides data abstraction best practices that help you accelerate your data abstraction activities. Composed of three distinct layers (application layer, business layer and physical layer), these best practices support a data reference architecture that rationalizes multiple, diverse data silos for a range of BI and analytic applications. The architecture aligns closely with analyst best practices mapped out by both Forrester and Gartner on the topic of data virtualization. Using these best practices will enable your company to access the right data for the business, gain agility and efficiency, maintain end-to-end control, and increase security of your data across all your data silos.

To learn more about data abstraction best practices using Cisco Data Virtualization, check out our white paper.

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FlexPod’s Success and Technology Roadmap Point to a Bright Future

The integrated infrastructure segment continues to be one of the fastest growing IT markets. We recently highlighted that Cisco was the leader in the integrated infrastructure market with industry leading integrated systems built on top of Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus. The FlexPod platform, jointly developed by Cisco and NetApp, is a leading solution in this segment.

The alliance between Cisco and NetApp has been rewarded with tremendous success. FlexPod has generated $3 billion in shared revenue since its inception in 2010 with a $2B annual run rate, making FlexPod one of the fastest growing solutions in Cisco and NetApp history.  In addition, FlexPod now has more than 4100 customers in over 100 countries being sold and supported by a network of 1,000 FlexPod channel partners. Read More »

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Decoding UCS Invicta – Part 1

Storage 101

Less than a year ago, October 29th 2013, Cisco acquired Whiptail , a high performance scalable solid-state memory system. Shortly after its acquisition, the product lines were renamed UCS Invicta.

The idea behind UCS Invicta and its market positioning is application acceleration. This is not to be considered a traditional storage but instead a solution to enhance application performance. In fact, Cisco has made it quite clear that they have no plan to target the traditional storage market:

“This acquisition is really about the server market. It’s a significant opportunity, but distinct from the portion of the market served by traditional stand-alone storage systems. As a result, our continued engagements with NetApp on FlexPod, EMC on VSPEX and VCE on Vblock will not change. We have no current plans to expand into the broad based, traditional storage market.”

Now, just as it happened in 1998 when Cisco got into the VoIP market, and then in 2009 when it got into the server market, we need to learn a new lingo and we need to understand the pains of that market.

In this blog series, I’ll be covering some of the lingo, highlighting some of the pains the users have and describing what UCS Invicta brings to the table. Read More »

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What Cisco’s Top Cloud Infrastructure Means to You

Arguably 2014 is already turning out to be a big year for cloud. Some have even called it “The Year of the Cloud.” Cloud implementation continues to play an essential role in overall IT strategy:

  • A recent report says 80% of cloud adopters saw improvements within 6 months of moving to the cloud.
  • According to the recent Future of Cloud Computing Survey, “organizations average 52% current use of applications that advance business priorities – underscoring the increasing value placed by organizations on facilitating the delivery of services beyond IT via the cloud.”
  • More than half of respondents in the same survey cited business agility (54.5%) and scalability (54.3%) as the main drivers for cloud adoption.

Synergy Research Group _ Cisco Holds off HP in Leadership Battle for Cloud Infrastructure

In today’s business landscape, a variety of organizations and industries are embracing cloud as a way to make a real difference in their business.

Cisco is committed to helping our customers evolve their business and take advantage of the latest transformations in IT.  We are starting to see the results of that commitment. This is evident by the way that our customers have embraced UCS, as proved by being named #1 in blade server market share, and recently with Synergy Research naming Cisco #1 in cloud infrastructure equipment market share to deploy their cloud strategy.

So, what does Cisco being named the #1 cloud infrastructure provider mean for you?

Read More »

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More Case Studies and Customer Success with Cisco UCS Director

Recently at our Cisco Live user event, I had the opportunity to talk to many IT organizations about managing and maintaining their data center environment, and the common theme I heard time and again was “how do I get the most value for my existing data center investments?”

It became evident that many IT organizations didn’t build out their data center strategy with an end-to-end hardware and software strategy, but rather purchased numerous point products along the way and are trying to manage their environments as efficiently as possible on top of heterogeneous hardware and multiple element managers.

The good news is that Cisco’s UCS Director can manage their end-to-end infrastructure including multiple element managers and heterogeneous systems – across compute, storage, network, and hypervisor – from a single pane of glass.  And if they’re deploying integrated infrastructure systems like Vblock Systems, FlexPod, or VSPEX, the out-of-the-box support provided by Cisco UCS Director ensures faster provisioning processes, greater operational efficiency, and lower costs.

As evidenced in some of our recent case studies below – UCS Director is providing massive financial and time savings through unified infrastructure automation.  Here are some of the things these three customers are saying about the benefits they’ve experienced with UCS Director:

NEC“The effects of Cisco UCS Director have been enormous. Teams spend half as much time deploying environments. NESIC looked at other options for automated management tools for virtual environments, but only Cisco UCS Director could manage both virtual and physical environments.”

Hiroshi Matsuda
Head of the cloud architecture department
NEC Networks & System
Integration Corporation

Read the full case study here or below

System Integrator Simplifies and Automates Data Center Infrastructure from Cisco Data Center

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