Everybody has been talking about big data over the past years . Your data continues to grow, both in mass and importance. And you know that your company is in need of better analytics to use the influx of data as a point of improvement for business. As the Internet expands and connects all things previously unconnected (a concept referred to as the Internet of Everything, or IoE), consumers have access to more personalized information that keeps them engaged and delivers efficient services. This means data is pouring in from—well, everywhere. To sort and utilize it for better user experiences, it’s first necessary to ensure your data center is capable of gathering and housing all this data. And that starts at the foundation.
Our distinguished engineer and Chief Architect of Big Data Solutions at Cisco, Raghunath Nambiar, talks about “A Unified Platform for Big Data” in our last edition of Unleashing IT . Recently elected by the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) to lead the development of the industry’s first big data benchmark standard, Nambiar states “To get the most out of big data, companies need an infrastructure that is tuned for big data workloads, with better performance and scalability than traditional environments.” Read more here .
In fact, the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) Common Platform Architecture (CPA) for Big Data is a robust platform built on a unified fabric, and based on Cisco Nexus® switches for exceptional availability and scalability. Built specifically with Big Data in mind, this certified and validated architecture has been utilized by businesses in a variety of industries.
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Tags: Big Data, Cisco UCS, Common Platform Architecture, CPA, Intel, Ragunath Nambiar, Unleashing IT
“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition,” voiced Jim McKay in the Wide World of Sports introduction. In two years, the world will tune in to Rio de Janeiro as the Brazil hosts the human drama of the next Summer Olympics.
I enjoy both the Winter and Summer games, but I’m particularly drawn to the Summer’s 4×100-meter relay race. My connection to the sport harkens back to summers at Fordham University in Bronx, NY. While my dad coached a summer league basketball team, I took to the track and the 4×100. It was the irony of the sport that intrigued me. In 100-meter sprints the fastest runners always lead the pack across the finish line. However, winning the 100-meter relay requires four sprinters to collectively run the fastest 400-meters, 100 meters at a time. Easy enough, one might think, just pick the four fastest sprinters and go, go, go! Of course, it’s not that simple.
The 4×100-meter relay requires acceleration, speed and coordination. A pair of sprinters must exchange a baton within a 20-meter changeover box. Both sprinters are running during the exchange. The sprinter receiving the baton races forward with his hand extended behind him. Upon feeling the baton in hand, he must quickly accelerate to full speed towards another sprinter or the finish line.
Fumble the baton exchange and the race is over. Breach the changeover box before receiving the baton and the race is over. Run out of the lane and the race is over. Having the four fastest individual sprinters does not guarantee victory.
Victory goes to the team with the fastest end-to-end performance: fast out of the blocks, quick hand off, accelerate to the next sprinter, quick hand off, accelerate to the next sprinter, quick hand off, and finally, accelerate to the finish line. Every step matters and every hand off matters. No slips, no stumbles, no drops, no falls, and most of all, no excuses.
While fundamentals of the 4×100-meter relay have remained the same for a hundred years, training and the technology beneath the sprinters have evolved. Track surfaces advanced while performance footwear adopted lighter flexible materials. As a result, today’s fastest relay teams complete the 400-meter race in under 37 seconds!
This relay shares striking similarities to IT organizations. Such organizations are involved in a relay beginning with adding assets to data centers, followed by provisioning the resources for applications and then those applications consume the resources and run as quickly as they can towards the business goal. If any leg in the relay trips, stumbles or falls, the race to transact, analyze or process data takes longer or fails. Too often the initial legs of the IT-organization-relay complete only to pass the baton to an application running too slowly to win or even finish.
IT runs a relay for businesses all day, everyday. The winners are those who are able to quickly pass the baton with agility and accuracy (Tweet This). Similar to the advancements in training and technology supporting 4X100-meter sprinters, the technology around IT must advance in order to increase overall performance.
UCS Is the new surface and the lighter flexible material. From the start, computing fabric enables the fast deployment of resources while flash memory lets applications bolt as swiftly as Usain (Tweet This). Today’s fastest sprinters don’t win in yesterday’s rubber soled sneakers. The real-time business must run applications on the fastest, easiest to manger infrastructure. Runners, take your mark!
Tags: application acceleration, Cisco UCS, flash memory, UCS Invicta
As we have been celebrating over the past weeks the Cisco UCS 5 year anniversary, here is another great example of an enthusiastic customer and partner .
Steria has been amongst the early adopters of Cisco UCS in 2009, as the IT organization was looking for innovative solutions.
5 years after the inception, Eric Fradet , CTO on Infrastructure Management, reflected on the achievements and shared at Cisco Live Milan how transformative for his IT organization this “bold” move was .
Thanks to the UCS deployment, Steria has been able to develop quickly cloud services, starting with the IaaS and PaaS offers, and moving now into the desktop-as-a-service with an offer called Workplace on Command.
Amongst the qualities brought to the market by the UCS concept, Eric Fradet was prompt to highlight the performances, the ease of deployment and the security .
And it was with great delight that a very satisfied customer wished a warm “bon anniversaire” to UCS!
Actually the story of Steria is quite remarkable as the offer evolved recently to embrace the desktop with the deployement of Cisco Prime Service Catalog [ Spoiler alert : Stay tuned for more good news around Cisco Prime Service Catalog – Check Phillip Han’s blog on this topic in the following days ]
Already one of the largest providers of IT-enabled business services in Europe, Steria is also becoming a global player with a growing presence in India, North Africa, and South East Asia. With proven consulting skills, and expertise in IT and business process outsourcing, the company decided that the time was right to extend its offer to the cloud with offers targeting enterprise users .
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Tags: Cisco, Cisco Prime Service Catalog, Cisco UCS, cloud, cloud provider, cloud services, Steria, Steria Workplace on Command
Huge amounts of information are flooding companies every second, which has led to an increased focus on big data and the ability to capture and analyze this sea of information. Enterprises are turning to big data and Apache Hadoop in order to improve business performance and provide a competitive advantage. But to unlock business value from data quickly, easily and cost-effectively, organizations need to find and deploy a truly reliable Hadoop infrastructure that can perform, scale, and be used safely for mission-critical applications.
As more and more Hadoop projects are being deployed to provide actionable results in real-time or near real-time, low latency has become a key factor that influences a company’s Hadoop distribution choice. Thus, performance and scalability should be evaluated closely before choosing a particular Hadoop solution.
The raw performance of a Hadoop platform is critical; it refers to how quickly the platform can ingest, process and analyze information. The MapR Distribution for Hadoop in particular provides world-record performance for MapReduce operations on Hadoop. Its advanced architecture harnesses distributed metadata with an optimized shuffle process, delivering consistent high performance.
The graph below compares the MapR M7 Edition with another Hadoop distribution, and it vividly illustrates the vast difference in latency and performance between these Hadoop distributions.
One particular solution that is optimized for performance is Cisco UCS with MapR. MapR on the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) is a powerful, production-ready Hadoop solution that increases business and IT agility, supports mission-critical workloads, reduces total cost of ownership (TCO), and delivers exceptional return on investment (ROI) at scale.
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Tags: Big Data, blade server, Blade Servers, Cisco UCS, Cisco UCS C240 M3 Rack Server, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Unified Data Center, Cisco Unified Fabric, Hadoop, MapR, rack server, UCS Central, UCS service profiles
Many IT organizations use Microsoft PowerShell to automate and accelerate data center management tasks. The Cisco UCS PowerTool module for PowerShell provides users a comprehensive list of cmdlets to manage all components of Cisco UCS. Users can use these cmdlets to write PowerShell scripts to simplify, speed up, and error proof UCS management and deployment. With Cisco UCS PowerTool, IT operations teams can tie together the management of storage, compute, and software applications into custom, end-to-end management solutions.
New to scripting on UCS? Check out this Google + Hangout (Tips and tricks for managing Cisco UCS with PowerShell and Microsoft Systems Center) or this video on Microsoft’s Channel 9: Manage Cisco UCS with System Center 2012 and PowerShell.
Everyone is invited to share their scripts and possibly win some prizes by entering the UCS Power Scripting Contest on the Cisco Communities. The contest will run until May 11th. A distinguished panel of judges (@jsnover, @rob_willis, @concentrateddon, @halr9000, & @ThomasMaurer) along with other members of the community will select the grand prize winner from a set of five finalists.
Distinguished Judges for the UCS Power Scripting Contest
We will announce the finalists at Microsoft TechEd 2014 and announce the grand prize winner at Cisco Live 2014 in San Francisco. You don’t have to submit scripts to participate! You are encouraged to review, comment, and share best practices. Use the Twitter hashtag #CiscoScripts to share.
If you are in the Houston or Dallas area, Cisco will be hosting a UCS User Group Meeting (Houston) and Meetup (Dallas) to help you get started.
Are you interested in starting a Cisco UCS User Group in your area or hosting a local meetup? Contact your Cisco representative and let us help!
Tags: Cisco UCS, PowerShell, PowerToool, scripting, scripts