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#EngineersUnplugged S7|E3 The IOPS Don’t Lie!

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!

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What’s Inside Your Cloud?

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.

Learn more about how Intel and Cisco are working together in The Future is in the Clouds.  To find a cloud provider who can offer you the reliability of Intel and Cisco together, visit the Intel Cloud Finder.

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Is it Time for a Data Mart Diet?

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 Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.34.41 PM

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?”

Fortunately Rick van der Lans, data virtualization’s leading independent analyst, has created the perfect Data Mart Diet program in his latest data virtualization white paper, “Migrating to Virtual Data Marts using Data Virtualization.”

This whitepaper include a step-by-step approach for migrating physical data marts to virtual data marts using Cisco Information Server. Steps include:

  1. Recreating Physical Data Marts as Virtual Data Marts
  2. Improving Query Performance on Virtual Data Marts
  3. Identifying Common Specifications Among Virtual Data Marts
  4. Redirecting Reports to Access Virtual Data Marts
  5. Extracting Definitions from the Reporting Tools
  6. Defining Security Rules
  7. Adding External Data to Virtual Data Marts

This guidance, along with the cost-benefit summary included at the start of the paper, make this paper a must read for organizations who are seeking a data mart diet.

 

 

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Learn More from My Colleagues

Check out the blogs of Mala AnandMike Flannagan and Nicola Villa to learn more.

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Do You Know How Much You Are Spending On Cloud? Hidden Costs of Public Cloud Can be 4-8 Times Higher than Visible Costs

Reducing costs remains amongst the top reasons why organizations use public cloud services. However, when calculating the costs of public cloud services organizations need to look well beyond the license fees and billed costs.

With Cisco Cloud Consumption Services, we have worked with numerous customers to discover their public cloud usage and analyze cloud spend. At Cisco Live Milan, taking place January 26-30, we are sharing public cloud spending trends with our customers. We have found that the hidden or soft costs of public cloud services can be four to eight times higher than visible costs. These soft costs fall in three areas and include business risk, network and security costs, as well as cloud operations and integration.

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Nexus switches simplify load balancing

Simple is rarely a word used to describe Data center or Campus networks. Network operators and administrators are often bogged down by the complexity of network design and related configuration. Cisco has an innovative solution that simplifies setting up load balancer devices. Network services like load balancers now use Remote Integrated Service Engine(RISE) on Nexus switches.  RISE enables simplified provisioning and configuration through automatic discovery and bootstrap of Citrix NetScaler Appliances.

The innovative Cisco RISE technology tightly couples external service appliances, such as the Citrix NetScaler ADC, to Cisco Nexus 7000,6000,5000,7700 Series Switches, enabling more efficient and flexible delivery for network services. Automatic discovery and bootstrap reduce administrator involvement for Appliance implementations from 30 steps to 8 steps: creating the port channel, allowing the control and data VLANs, and enabling desired Cisco RISE features on the Cisco Nexus Series Switch. RISE eliminates the need to physically connect a serial cable to configure the device through a console cable.

RISE is available on Citrix Netscaler MPX,VPX and SDX and Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module.

   Three  Simple  Steps to Configure RISE

  1. Interconnect the Citrix NetScaler with the Nexus Switch
  2. Create port-channel & set vlan(layer 2 ) configuration
  3. Create a RISE service using CLI or DCNM

Simplify using RISE

Cisco RISE integrates Citrix NetScaler as a service module within the Cisco Nexus 7000, 7700,5K,6K switch, even though it remains a physically separate device. Architecturally, this virtual service module arrangement is enabled by embedded intelligent services that securely integrate the control planes of the Citrix NetScaler ADC and Cisco Nexus Series Switches.