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Swimming in Data and Analytics

    As I prepare to go to the Data and Analytics conference in Chicago next week, I just realized how much I have been swimming in big data and analytics lately. There has been so much going that I think It makes sense to that highlight some activities from last week, upcoming activities next week and in early November.
    In case you haven’t been keeping up with the frantic pace make sure you check out the news form last week:

Data Preparation Announcement

    Kevin Ott, General Manager of Cisco Data Virtualization and Connected Analytics Business Unit, introduced Cisco Data Preparation. This is a new big data and analytics offering for business analysts and IT that makes it easy for non-technical business analysts to gather, explore, cleanse, combine and enrich the data that fuels analytics and business decisions.
    Bob Eve, Data Virtualization BU, and Robert Novak, UCS Sales Engineering, also had a great discussion on new Cisco big data offerings at Strata + Hadoop World last week.

    Ok, so on to next week and things that I recommend that you don’t miss:

Data and Analytics Keynote

    If you will be in Chicago next week, you are in luck because the line up for the keynote sessions is great. 

        – Mike Flannagan, VP and GM of Cisco’s Data and Analytics Business Group
        – Jim Green, CTO of Cisco’s Data and Analytics Business Group
        – Award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality Stephen J. Dubner author of Freakonomics. 

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Composable Infrastructure – Beyond Blade and Rack Servers

IDC-LogoGuest Blogger: Jed Scaramella, IDC Research Director, Servers and Datacenters


Over the past several months Cisco, Dell, HP and other vendors have introduced a new category of servers called composable infrastructure. These subsystems are based on disaggregated server architecture. In a new video series and an IDC paper I explain what is driving the demand for composable infrastructure, how it is designed and managed and the benefits for customers.

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ACI, Big Data, and DataTorrent

(This blog has been developed in association with Farid Jiandani, Product Manager with Cisco’s Insieme Networks Business Unit)

If you work for an enterprise that’s looking to hit its digital sweet spot, then you’re scrutinizing your sales, marketing and operations to see where you should make digital investments to innovate and improve productivity. Super-fast data processing at scale is being used to obtain real-time insights for digital business and Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives.

According to Gartner Group, one of the cool vendors in this area of providing super- fast big data analysis using in-memory streaming analytics is called DataTorrent, a startup founded by long-time ex-Yahoo! veterans with vast experience managing big data for leading edge applications and infrastructure at massive scale. Their goal is to empower today’s enterprises to experience the full potential and business impact of big data with a platform that processes and analyzes data in real-time.

DataTorrent RTS

DataTorrent RTS is an open-DataTorrent RTS provides a single, unified batch and stream processing platform that enables organizations to reduce time to market, development costs and operational expenditures for big data analytics applications. source, enterprise-grade unified platform for stream and batch processing on Hadoop.

DataTorrent RTS Integration with ACI

A member of the Cisco ACI ecosystem, DataTorrent announced on September 29th DataTorrent RTS integration with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) through the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) to help create more efficient IT operations, bringing together network operations management and big data application management and development: DataTorrent Integrates with Cisco ACI to Help Secure Big Data Processing Through a Unified Data and Network Fabric.

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ACI Security – Open, Consistent, for Everyone

Cisco is unquestionably leading in enterprise SDN adoption with over 1,000 ACI customers, 150+ customers in production, 45+ ecosystem partners benefiting from the ACI policy driven automation approach.

after 6 quarters of industry adoption

The robust and open APIs made it easy for the technology partners to rapidly integrate with ACI. The result is customers have the broadest set of security, monitoring, orchestration, and automation choices with the ability to adapt the ACI implementation to their own operational model.

And the best part is that we know that what we have built is working because our customers and partners are telling us (See List).

This dramatic pace of adoption has been noticed by the research and advisory firm, Gartner Group, and Network World that stated Cisco ACI is outpacing VMware NSX 2:1 in SDN.

Why is ACI Winning
Cisco ACI delivers an agile, open, and secure solution for deploying applications across any physical, virtualization or cloud technology being used for data center infrastructure.

same policy model across P V and C Technology

Cisco ACI provides consistent policy and operational flexibility for the leading cloud management platforms, for multi-hypervisor and bare metal server workloads. It is a true SDN solution with built-in secure multi-tenancy.

Arista’s Announcement is “Yesterday’s News

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New FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI Delivers App-Centric Security Automation For Data Center Agility

Cisco’s open ACI eco-system is gaining rapid momentum in Data Centers with more than 45 leading partners developing joint solutions addressing L4-L7 network and security service use-cases along with application stack automation. Just a few weeks ago we announced a major milestone in our journey, Cisco’s 1000th ACI customer.

Some of our customers have deployed the ACI-Fortinet joint solution. In this blog, I want to talk about the integration of Fortinet FortiGate Firewall with Cisco APIC. The integration of Cisco APIC and the Fortinet FortiGate solution provides customers several benefits:

  • Consistency and transparency for workload security deployment across physical and virtual application environment.
  • Single-pane-of-glass management from Cisco APIC with full visibility on security policy enforcement
  • Predefined security policies are deployed on command and automated through complete application deployment lifecycle

Let me take you on a quick tour of some of the customer success stories.

Qbranch Case Study: Orchestrating FortiGate Security with Cisco ACI

European service provider Qbranch, part of Axians, and networking leader Cisco discuss the real-world challenges with manually provisioning firewalls and security policies, and how orchestration of Fortinet’s SDN Security framework with Cisco’s Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) can reduce costs and enable better service delivery in multi-tenant environments. Watch Video and Case study for details of the implementation.

Hosting Provider Zitcom Accelerates Time to Market with Cisco ACI and Fortinet

Zitcom, a premier partner-driven hosting company based out of Denmark is one of the early adopters of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Watch Thomas Raabo, Network Operations Manager of Zitcom, share details about how Cisco ACI made Apps deployment easier, fostered collaboration between apps and network teams, and brought an overall agile application deployment environment.

There are several other customer stories featuring ACI-Fortinet solution, but I’d run out of time and space to list them all. For your easy reference visit for more customer videos.

Let’s look in detail at the key capabilities of Fortinet-Cisco ACI solution and the benefits it brings to Data Center customers. Fortinet’s FortiGate firewall solution integrated into Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) delivers application-centric security automation in modern data centers. The solution provides automated and predefined policy-based security provisioning for next-generation firewall services. It enables location independent security services insertion anywhere in the network fabric through a single-pane-of-glass management. Cisco ACI – FortiGate solution architecture is shown below:



The joint FortiGate Integration with Cisco APIC has two major components:

  • FortiGate device package for Cisco APIC
  • FortiGate physical or virtual appliances

Now let us segue to the Fortinet Device package integration with Cisco APIC. The Device package integrates with Cisco APIC through open APIs and provides per-app, per-tenant L4-L7 policy configuration and dynamic service chaining and insertion. In addition, the integrated solution also allows exchange of intelligent telemetry information between Fortinet and APIC for application and tenant visibility.

The Fortinet Device Package for Cisco ACI comprises a device Model and a device Script. The Device Model defines the functions provided by FortiGate such as firewall inspection including IP reputation, web filtering, anti-virus, DNS filtering, SSH inspection, IPS, and DDoS etc., The Device Script provides the adapter functions required for FortiGate to communicate with APIC.

I am pleased to inform that we are also having a detailed Webinar, Oct 23, on the ACI-Fortinet joint solution topic, presented by subject matter experts from Cisco and Fortinet. Register Here.

Additional Resources

Video Interviews

Solutions Brief

Press Release

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