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How Cisco Helped Solutionary Boost Security and Improve their Hadoop Performance

Every day, security threats continue to evolve, as cyber attackers continue to exploit gaps in basic security controls. In fact, the federal government alone has experienced a 680% increase in cyber security breaches in the past six years, and cybersecurity attacks against the US average 117 per day. Globally, the estimated annual cost of cybercrime is over $100 billion. Often, even when security breaches are identified, it can be extremely difficult to figure how they happened or who is responsible.

One company working hard to prevent these threats is Solutionary, a managed security services provider (MSSP) that actively monitors their customers’ technology systems in order to identify and thwart security events before any negative impacts occur.

In order to provide real-time analytics of client traffic and user activity, Solutionary, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Group, developed a patented Solutionary ActiveGuard® Security and Compliance Platform which correlates data across global threats and trends in order to quickly identify security alerts and provide clients with actionable alerts.

The patented, cloud-based ActiveGuard® Security and Compliance Platform is the technology behind Solutionary Managed Security Services

The patented, cloud-based ActiveGuard® Security and Compliance Platform is the technology behind Solutionary Managed Security Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to keep up with growing data volumes, the need for fast security analytics, and their expanding client base, Solutionary needed to find a way to quickly scale their infrastructure, as their traditional server infrastructure was not able to easily scale and support in-depth analysis. Their challenge was to figure out how to:

 

1)     Increase their data analytics capabilities and improve their clients’ security

 

2)   Cost-effectively scale as their clients/data volume grows

 

When a security threat occurred in the past, the legacy systems could only be used to analyze log data; they couldn’t see the big picture. Thus, when an event happened, it would sometimes take weeks of forensics work to figure out what had occurred. In order to meet these challenges, Solutionary turned to the MapR Distribution for Hadoop running on the Cisco Unified Computing System™.  By using Hadoop, Solutionary was able to smoothly analyze both structured and unstructured data on a single data infrastructure, instead of relying on a costly traditional database solution that couldn’t pull in both structured and unstructured data into a single platform for analysis.

Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for Big Data

Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for Big Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifically, the Cisco/MapR environment consists of two MapR clusters of 16 Cisco UCS C240 M3 Rack Servers. Solutionary uses the Cisco UCS Manager to provision and control their servers and network resources, while the Cisco UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects provide high-bandwidth connections to servers, and act as centralized management points for the Cisco infrastructure, eliminating the need to manage each element in the environment separately. Because of the environment’s high scalability, it’s easy for the fabric interconnects to support the large number of nodes needed for MapR clusters. Scalability is improved even further by using the Cisco UCS 2200 Series Fabric Extenders to extend the network into each rack.

Cisco UCS Components

Cisco UCS Components

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With MapR and the Cisco UCS CPA for Big Data environment, Solutionary can now access a much greater amount of data analysis and contextual data, giving them a more informed picture of behavior patterns, anomalous activities, and attack indicators. By quickly identifying global patterns, Solutionary can identify new security threats and put them into context for their clients.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.

 

 

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#EngineersUnplugged S5|Ep13: Big Data on Cisco UCS

June 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm PST

In this week’s episode, Robert Novak (@gallifreyan) and Steve McQuerry (@smcquerry) talk about Big Data on UCS. Real world use cases including UCS Manager, UCS Central, and more.

Big Data, Big Unicorn, courtesy of Robert Novak and Steve McQuerry

Big Data, Big Unicorn, courtesy of Robert Novak and Steve McQuerry

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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It’s all about you: thanks for making Cisco’s Unified Computing System #1

When we talk about Cisco UCS success, we could boast about how, in just five short years, Cisco has earned the #1 position for x86 blade server sales in the Americas. Or, brag on how we achieved 39% revenue growth in a period where the other top five vendors saw flat or declining numbers, according to IDC. We could mention how some in the industry questioned our strategy to enter this market in the first place, in the middle of a worldwide economic slowdown no less. Also, we might remind everyone that others predicted that we wouldn’t last a year.

We could do that, but we won’t. Because we know without a doubt, that the success of Cisco UCS is not all about us. It is about our customers, who continue to choose innovation. Like our customers, we are acutely aware that the data center, including the role of IT, is changing rapidly. Cost pressures, technology changes, and game-changers like cloud computing require a new approach. With our unified data center architecture, products, solutions, and services, we are helping you achieve the business outcomes you need for your organization to grow. We are working with you, over 33,000 strong and growing, to help evolve your data centers using the Cisco Unified Data Center platform and redefine the economics of your IT operations. So you can spend more of your resources on delivering innovation to your business, all while increasing business agility, reducing CapEx and OpEx, and simplifying your operations.

thankyouIt’s also about Cisco data center partners, because we know that it takes an ecosystem to be successful. Driving 80% of all Cisco UCS sales, channel partners are fueling this rapid growth and capturing emerging opportunities including cloud, big data, enterprise applications, and desktop virtualization. Early on, our partners recognized the value of UCS and embraced it. Their training, infrastructure, and other investments have been a huge contributor to UCS traction in the marketplace. The results are an expanded data center practice and value delivered to customers. Cisco data center partners, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Not long ago, Paul Perez predicted this day would come. His bold “sooner than you think” statement has come to pass, well, sooner than we thought. Frankly, we’re not too surprised. But we are pleased, and humbled, and determined to keep pushing forward with data center innovation such as Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure.

But most of all, we thank you.

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Cisco UCS is #1 in Integrated Infrastructure

What is integrated infrastructure? Major analysts firms differ slightly on the taxonomy and makeup of the various integrated systems that comprise this market segment. However, they do agree that these systems include a combination of servers, networking, storage systems, and management.  Cisco realized that bringing together industry and market leading technologies would help accelerate IT infrastructure deployment, lower design costs, simplify management, and enable high levels of utilization. Integrated infrastructures offer the foundation for private cloud deployments, virtual desktop solutions, and enterprise applications.

Everyone agrees that the integrated infrastructure market is booming and that Cisco is a core vendor in this market segment with leading integrated infrastructures built on top of Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus. IDC believes this market is going to grow at greater than 30% for the next few years to more than $14B in 2017. Today, Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus participate in the top three Integrated Infrastructures –FlexPod Solutions with NetApp, Vblock Systems with VCE, and EMC VSPEX.  FlexPod and Vblock have captured more than 42% of the market and utilize Cisco UCS and Nexus exclusively.

UCS if _blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Select and Nimble Storage SmartStack also chose to build integrated infrastructure solutions with Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus switches. If you add up the numbers from IDC, Cisco participates in integrated infrastructures that account for roughly 69% of the market from a revenue perspective. Very impressive!

It is also impressive that just five years ago we announced Cisco UCS and it is now the #1 provider of x86 Blade ServersII-Cisco 1 blog in the Americas and #2 World Wide (according to the most recent IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker -- May 2014).  Cisco UCS has delivered some ground breaking technology. The policy-based Service Profiles and Cisco SingleConnect technology changed how we connected, managed, and provisioned servers. Cisco continues to drive this strategy forward with Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), offering comprehensive control of a much broader set of data center infrastructure that is oriented to the application environment.  FlexPod, Vblock Systems, and Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX plan to integrate Cisco ACI with Cisco UCS Director to accelerate application delivery and streamline operations. Both NetApp and VCE recently announced they will also integrate Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric with FlexPod and Vblock Systems, enabling the management of cloud-enabled workloads across heterogeneous environments.

This rapid rate of customer adoption for Cisco UCS and integrated infrastructures enabled by Cisco is evidence that real innovation can deliver IT infrastructure that transforms the data center. For more information on integrated infrastructures enabled by Cisco please check out this new white paper.

 

Customers Choose Innovation: Cisco UCS is the #1 Blade Server in the Americas from Cisco Data Center

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OpenStack Gains Momentum with Users at Recent Summit

Cisco highlighted its support for OpenStack at the recent OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, which hosted 4500+ attendees and included many more users, in addition to the developers and operators that have dominated past conferences.  A common theme among keynote presentations was the speed and flexibility of IT required to support the clouds that will soon dominate commerce and communication worldwide.  The effort underway to improve stability was also a recurring discussion topic.

OpenStack Summit, May 12-15 in Atlanta

OpenStack Summit, May 12-15 in Atlanta

From its beginning as an open source project at NASA, the OpenStack movement has grown as an open alternative to propriety cloud services and applications.  The Summit serves as a forum for those interested in hashing out the direction and adoption of the model and standards, as well as a learning opportunity for those ready to build and deploy on them.

Keynote speakers from Wells Fargo and Disney helped transition the Summit from an academic exercise to a forum for learning how innovative companies are taking control of their cloud environments.

Glenn Ferguson, Head of Private Cloud Enablement for Wells Fargo, described the compliance, auditing and governance Wells requires in its private cloud, that aren’t available in public cloud offerings.  Wells has designated OpenStack their “cloud infrastructure model” to facilitate rapid deployment of infrastructure to meet application developers’ needs and requires all IT vendors to work within the OpenStack specifications. “This is something we have to do to remain agile and competitive in this environment,” Ferguson said.  “Our infrastructure needs to keep pace with the software.”

Chris Launey, Disney’s Director of Cloud Architectures and Services, was blunt in how he described the value of speed.  “If you’re a business that deals in any kind of information, you need speed (to thrive.)  “If you give (developers) their own ‘fast’, they’ll make their own ‘cheap’ by getting their product to market quickly and responding to customer demands.  And (they’ll) make their own ‘good’ by shrinking development cycles and introducing improvements more often, until they reach a virtual continuous cycle of improvements.”

The OpenStack Foundation divides the work into individual projects focused on the various cloud components: servers, object-based storage, networking infrastructure, security, etc.  Proponents are excited about the innovation that can be unleashed when developers are freed from having to worry about the complexities associated with underlying infrastructure and can focus on the innovation of cloud services and applications.

Cisco was highly visible at the Summit, drawing standing-room-only crowds to sessions in the Networking Track,  as network stability and scalability are top-of-mind for users deploying critical applications and services to an open source cloud.

Lew Tucker, Cisco Vice President and CTO for Cloud Computing and Vice-Chair of the OpenStack Foundation, painted a picture of what is possible in his presentation “Open Stack and the Transformation of the Data Center.”  He described how the data center is becoming a large, highly automated “fabric” consisting of interconnected physical systems and virtualized services.  In this environment, OpenStack acts as a platform for building a highly efficient cloud, providing management of diverse infrastructure “below” and orchestration of a vast set of application services “above”.

Lew Tucker, Cisco VP and CTO of Cloud Computing

Lew Tucker, Cisco VP and CTO of Cloud Computing

Cisco’s key contribution to OpenStack has been participation in the development of Neutron, the OpenStack Networking Service.  There is clearly a need to have the same level of visibility and management flexibility that Cisco has been offering its customers in an open source cloud model.  In addition to driving connectivity generally, Cisco has received approval on blueprints for plugins to integrate VPN- and Firewall-as-a-Service as part of OpenStack networking.  (Referred to as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) plugins.)  Cisco is also working on the integration of OpenStack Neutron with OpenDaylight, a separate project started to focus specifically on network programmability.  Cisco’s extensive work in the open source community will bring even greater value to its existing customers by extending the ecosystem of solutions integrated with Cisco products.

In the Expo Hall, Cisco highlighted the integration of its networking, compute and management products with OpenStack APIs, demonstrating:

If you missed the Summit, check out the Session Videos and Slides to deep-dive presentations by Cisco contributors, presented at the Atlanta Summit 2014:

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