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ACI for Splunk Enterprise: Enabling comprehensive application health

On January 13th, 2015, Cisco will celebrate the 1-year anniversary of its launch of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), a ground breaking SDN architecture.  It will include a public webcast with the participation of early ACI adopters and our ecosystems partners.  One of these inaugural partners was Splunk,  the Operational Intelligence company for all types of IT organizations.  At the webcast, Splunk and other partners will describe  a range of new solutions with ACI, that dramatically simplify Data Center operations. Here is a preview of Splunk’s solution.

A large portion of the data center operational effort is consumed in managing application health.  This includes:

  • Ensuring the end-user experience for distributed users with different types of performance needs
  • Discovering the physical and virtual resources associated with applications and the user experience
  • Detailed monitoring of resources and events in the infrastructure that affect application performance

These activities have become more complex as applications have become distributed, interconnected or cloud based because they cause applications to move, scale and evolve rapidly.

Splunk Enterprise can monitor and analyze millions of infrastructure events through logs and agents, in real-time. This can provide rapid visibility and isolation of infrastructure that affect application performance. Cisco has been collaborating with Splunk to combine the application visibility of Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure with operational analytics of Splunk Enterprise. The result is “Cisco ACI for Splunk Enterprise” a highly scalable application that is orderable immediately at Splunk.com.

ACI and Splunk have enabled a comprehensive view of application health with the ability to monitor the entire end-to-end environment in real time and proactively prevent issues from impacting end users.

ACI provides visibility to application health from the network perspective by tracking all network dependencies and events that impact application performance and security. Splunk complements Cisco ACI by bringing actionable intelligence across the entire data center infrastructure including storage, compute, virtualization endpoints, as well as application tiers and components provided by ACI. Splunk’s analytical and visualization tools provide real-time insights to data center teams to optimize performance and ensure security policies in a highly dynamic environment.

How does it work

Cisco ACI exposes a wealth of networking data previously inaccessible to Splunk. The Cisco ACI app for Splunk Enterprise gathers data from APIC (Application Policy Infrastructure Controller) including APIC network events, health scores and inventory of logical constructs (e.g. tenants, application profiles, end point groups) and physical constructs ( e.g spines, leafs, VMs).

SplunkACI_CentralizedApplicationHeath

This data is used to:

  1. Reduce resolution time with accelerated root-cause analysis
  • Splunk enables users to reduce the mean time to investigate/resolve problems up to 70%
  • Centralized management of operational health of ACI environment & underlying entities in real-time
  • Detect issues or anomalies in performance or response times and proactively resolve
  • For multiple tenants, quickly navigate to the source of problems using flexible per-role views, including 1) Help Desk view, 2) Tenant View and 3) Fabric view
  1. Provide Central Proactive Monitoring of Cisco ACI
  • Get real-time proactive notification of network traffic and device faults with location, affected objects.
  • Track trends and anticipate application impact
  1. Operational Analytics across the entire virtual and physical infrastructure
  • Optimize network capacity and prevent service deterioration with detailed visibility into fabric path degradation.
  • Meet compliance/security with user analytics, including authentication tracking reports.
  • Correlate data from Cisco ACI with data from storage resources, operating systems, applications, security devices, endpoint and more for enterprise-wide visibility.
  • Trace and monitor transactions through all tiers of a distributed application architecture
  • Gives application managers a perspective on the underlying Cisco ACI infrastructure’s effect on applications without being directly involved in ACI Ops.
  • Monitor key operational metrics such as end-to-end response times to ensure SLAs met.

As an example, a Fortune 100 company is using Splunk with ACI:

  • for operational visibility for their ACI cluster with ability to quickly identify faults and troublesome tenants and determine corrective action.
  • to provide centralized visibility as ACI expands across multiple data centers and for proactive monitoring to establish baselines and triggered alerts when key thresholds exceeded.

This approach to Application Health is part of the broader discipline of Application Performance Management (APM). According to Gartner, “By 2018, 60% of APM deployments will use and integrate data extracted directly from log  files alongside wire data and agent-derived data as a foundation for reporting, prediction, and analysis, up from less than 5% today.”  With our collaboration, ACI for Splunk Enterprise provides important new capabilities for  Application Performance Management.

Learn more about Cisco ACI for Splunk Enterprise here.  And register for Cisco’s webcast on January 13th.

 

 

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Cisco Connects Data and Analytics

Billions of devices are changing how organizations compete and disrupting traditional data management and analytics.

This Internet of Everything world presents an exciting new opportunity to discover and take advantage of market, customer, and operational insights. And by making sense of captured data quickly, organizations can take action at that point, in that moment, in ways that differentiate versus competitors and drive significant new business value.   TimeWarnerCable’s intelligent home initiative is one example.

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But all this data is massive, messy, and everywhere, spanning many sources – cloud, data warehouses, devices – and formats – video, voice, text, and images.  To address this challenge, new solutions beyond traditional data warehousing and even big data are required.

Cisco Enters the Data and Analytics Market

When Cisco acquired data virtualization market leader Composite Software in mid 2013, Cisco signaled a clear intent to begin connecting this data via intelligent networking the same way it connected LANs; the Internet; voice and video over IP; and more in it’s 30 year history.

And with our December 11, 2014, Connected Analytics Portfolio announcement, Cisco adds a rich suite of analytics solutions that help organizations capture insights that create new opportunities, simplify business operations, enhance the customer experience, and resolve potential threats.

New Methods for the New Challenges

Today’s analytic solutions need to advance beyond traditional methods that move data to a warehouse or data lake before commencing analysis.  Cisco’s Connected Analytics Portfolio provides analytics with immediate access to data, as well as brings analytics to the data – no matter where the data resides on the network.

Further, Cisco is uniquely qualified to implement analytics at the point of data, because so much of the data worldwide resides on our networks, providing the ideal platform for embedded analytics.  Along with 30 years of networking experience, Cisco now has the data and analytics tools, software, and services to help our customers instantly capture, analyze, and interpret critical data out to the network edge.

 

Learn More

Visit our Data and Analytics website to learn more.

Join the Conversation

Follow us @CiscoDataVirt and @CiscoAnalytics.

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Big Data Analytics Remains a Big Opportunity for Wealth Managers – Part I

Wealth Management firms are spending billions on IT to differentiate in the market place. Yet the question remains, can “Big Data” have a material impact on the business? Can it deliver business outcomes by reducing risk, increasing assets under management, driving profitability, client satisfaction, products per client, client and financial advisor retention, all while improving the cost/income ratio and return on equity?

These are questions that are being discussed in board rooms across the financial industry and topics that I will cover in this blog series.

In order to answer these questions we need to put the wealth client at the center and understand changing client needs and expectations around how the client wants to be served by the firm. We need to examine external factors such as the impact of game changing consumer technology and unprecedented client access to information, as well as understand how new market entrants are challenging the traditional financial advisor value proposition and business model as a new round of Robo-Advisors hit the market.

Up until recent years, banks enjoyed an account centric transactional business model. What is changing is the onset of unstructured social interaction data as smart mobile devices and mobile broadband Internet usage reach high penetration levels. Device proliferation is leading to the availability of “data exhaust” from mobile phones, tablets, automobiles, video cameras, and from sensors in buildings, streets, consumer wearables and footfall traffic counters. Correlation of such data to better attract, retain, and serve clients can create market advantage.J pagano Wealth Mgt Blog part 1

The “Big” in Big Data comes from the fact that worldwide data volume is doubling every two years with unprecedented volume, variety, and velocity. Ninety percent of the all data in the history of the world was created in the last two years (SINTEF)! The concept of Big Data is about the correlation and analysis of transaction data, social interaction data, and machine/sensor data in a way that can turn data into knowledge, knowledge into insights, and insights into actions in real-time.

So what does this all mean for wealth managers?

As a wealth manager, what impact would it have on your business if you were able to increase the understanding of your client exponentially? Actions derived from data are informed by highly personalized needs predictions that can arm wealth managers with deep insights about their clients, increase their relevance in every interaction, and directly contribute to business outcomes. Big Data can help wealth managers transform the client value proposition and re-imagine the client experience.

The new vision for financial services is that a firm must be present in the financial lives of its clients, any time, any place, on any device, and across any channel.

The firm can no longer wait for the client to come to it. It must be proactive in delivering highly relevant value-added services in real-time and anticipate client needs. The firm needs to aspire to creating a “market of one” experience for each wealth client, understand the needs of and the hierarchy within the household, and move to a client centric versus account centric go-to-market approach.

When it comes to Big Data in Wealth Management start with the foundation, put the client at the center, and define business outcomes. Focus on building capabilities around what is possible while re-imagining the client experience.

Wealth management firms can take concrete steps in the form of measurable business outcome based projects to significantly enhance the client experience. These include:

  1. Define a roadmap for wealth client data analytics maturity. This will identify gaps that can be addressed resulting in more relevant advisor-client interactions.
  2. Establish a wealth client listening system across all channels. Early detection of client behaviors can lead to the identification of issues and sales opportunities.
  3. Create a real-time single view of wealth client data with data virtualization. Substantial savings can be had by leaving disparate data in place while providing managers with a single view.
  4. Establish an analytics driven financial advisor collaboration platform. This helps create market differentiation by maximizing advisor productivity, sharing best practices daily.
  5. Deploy mobile virtual advisor video capability and establish branch analytics. This improves client experience and gives advisors more minutes per day with clients increasing cross-selling opportunities.
  6. Empower advisors with real-time client insights to drive business outcomes. This helps the advisor manage to client life events with much greater granularity and speed.

The choices that wealth management firms make around data analytics in the next two years will determine their position in the marketplace. Can Big Data help wealth managers? With a client centric and business outcomes solutions approach, the answer is an astounding YES!

I will discuss each of the above steps in more detail in my next blog. As always I welcome your suggestions, stories, and feedback!

 

 

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Driving Agility and Innovation Through Software

User Experience - RetailIn the US, this is the time of year when holiday shopping kicks into high gear. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, retailers begin their big push to drive nearly a quarter of their annual revenue. And whether their customers are online or inside a traditional store, retailers today have the ability to understand shopper behavior better than ever before. This information – from purchasing patterns and advertising effectiveness to dwell times and foot traffic – allows retailers to provide their customers with a more personalized, richer digital experience that’s more likely to result in a sale. It’s a win-win. And it’s made possible through an intelligent network that manages the data analytics, location information, security, and mobility applications that drive a more enhanced and personalized user experience.

Software plays an integral role in this intelligent network. Whether it’s driving data virtualization and analytics, for example, or enabling an application-centric private and hybrid cloud, or providing comprehensive threat protection – software plays a vital role. But even more than that, software enables businesses to be more agile and innovative with market and technology transitions.

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Connected Analytics: Capturing the Value of the Internet of Everything

Ten large oil refineries produce about 10 terabytes of data each day, which equates to the entire printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress.

One modernized city the size of Singapore can generate about 2.5 petabytes of data every day, which translates to all U.S. academic research libraries combined.

And with more than 14 billion, data-transmitting devices connected to the Internet today, growing to 50 billion by 2020, it is little wonder that most of us are overwhelmed by this mind-boggling explosion of data.

Wim 1

Turning this flood of raw data into useful information and even wisdom for better business decisions and quality of life experiences is what the Internet of Everything (IoE) is all about. This is a daunting task. According to IDC Research, just .5% of all data is used or analyzed, and online data volumes are doubling every two years from a combination of mobile devices, videos, sensors, M2M, social media, applications and much more.

Connected Analytics Portfolio

Last Thursday, however, Cisco unveiled our Connected Analytics portfolio for the Internet of Everything, a unique approach that includes software packages to bring analytics to the data, regardless of its location or whether it is in motion or at rest. This new generation of analytics tools for IoE can convert more and more data into valuable intelligence — from the inter cloud, to the data center to the network’s edge.

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