One of the hottest topics in the data center lately is around big data and the actual dollar value that businesses are deriving from making sense from tons of unstructured data. Virtually every field is turning to gathering big data, with mobile sensor networks, cameras everywhere, and information archives. New techniques are being developed that can mine vast stores of data to inform decision making in ways that were previously unimagined. The fact that we can derive more knowledge by recognizing correlations can inform and enrich numerous aspects of every day life.
Cisco is partnering with leading software providers to offer a comprehensive infrastructure and management solution, based on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), to support our customers’ big data initiatives. Taking advantage of Cisco UCS’s Fabric based infrastructure, Cisco can apply significant advantage to big data workloads.
There are actually many advantages to hosting big data applications on Cisco UCS infrastructure. With UCS, Cisco offers a balance of performance, management and scale that sets UCS apart from other industry solutions. Although we’ll be discussing the benefits in more detail at Cisco Live next week, here is a sneak peak of what you can expect:
Reason #1 to deploy Cisco UCS for your big data analytics: Form factor independence and administrative parity.
Cisco UCS provides a single point of management for the overall infrastructure—whether it’s blade architecture on the enterprise application side or rack architecture on the big data side, including troubleshooting, monitoring, and alerting capabilities. Customers can proactively monitor the system and keep operational costs down.
In other words, Cisco UCS Rack Servers can be managed the same way as UCS Blade servers with full workload mobility across both blades and racks. This simplifies the management construct and eliminates the need for additional management silos in the data center. This form factor independence is made possible by Cisco Unified Fabric with single wire management and Cisco Unified Management that includes UCS Manager with Service Profiles.
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Tags: Big Data, blade server, Blade Servers, Cisco UCS, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Unified Data Center, Cisco Unified Fabric, Cisco Unified Management, rack server, UCS Manager, UCS service profiles
Recent results clearly reinforce the growing understanding that Cisco has unleashed a more highly evolved and effective solution into the computing ecosystem. While the principles outlined by Charles Darwin in Origin of the Species can stir controversy, I find them to be an accurate model for technology evolution and quite useful for describing how we’ve arrived at this latest watershed in the x86 server market.
Our first observation would be the extremely rapid rate of customer adoption for Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS). Darwin would tell us that there must be significant advantage in “fitness to purpose” inherent to UCS that have driven this velocity. This is certainly true. Looking back at where we’ve been and how we’re positioned to go forward, here are key factors I see at play that create these advantages for UCS adopters:
- Primitive incumbents in the server industry attempted converged infrastructure by choosing to combine compute and storage first. Cisco chose to converge compute and fabric first. This is a critical threshold event because it turns out that most optimizations for virtualization and cloud are fabric-oriented. With our Virtual Interface Cards we made server NICs and HBAs part of the fabric, not part of the server, a significant mutation in computing design. Further, Cisco abstracted every single identity and configuration element for servers, network access and storage into a programmable software model – inventing fabric computing with stateless servers. Simple. Flexible. Resilient. Advantage: UCS
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Tags: Big Data, Cisco UCS, cloud, Convergence infrastructure, Darwin, data center, Gartner, nexus, tco, x86
Cisco Live 2013 opens on June 23, 2013, at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida with more than 20,000 registered attendees including customers and partners expected to attend the event.Cisco’s unique, fabric-centric architecture-Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), allows IT organizations to align people, process and infrastructure to lower the cost of computing and open up new ways for IT to transform business.
The best way to quickly learn about latest Cisco UCS innovations and solutions is by seeing them “LIVE IN ACTION”. Come to the Cisco Data Center booth # 758 at Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando to leverage the Cisco UCS demos, theater sessions and related activities at Cisco Live 2013.
Learn more about Cisco UCS: Visit the Data Center zone in the Cisco Campus #758 to interact with peers, Cisco executives,, and Cisco partners.
Ask Our Experts: Cisco UCS experts will be available to answer your questions and provide interactive live demonstrations of Cisco UCS.
Attend Cisco UCS Theater Sessions: Visit the Cisco Campus Solutions Theater to attend the informative Cisco UCS theater sessions.
Location: Cisco Campus Solutions Theater
- Tuesday, June 25-2:15 p.m. – Big Data on Cisco UCS
- Wednesday, June 26-4:45 p.m. – Business Apps on Cisco UCS
- Wednesday, June 26-3:45 pm – Pragmatic Approach to Trans UCS
Explore the Cisco Unified Computing Demos:
Simplify Compute, Network and Storage Access Management with Cisco UCS
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Tags: Cisco Live 2013, Cisco UCS, Data Center Technologies
Witnessing the advent and momentum of Open Source into the broader enterprise, and “the mainstream” Data Center, has been incredible. Many will look back and recall a time when Open Source was met first with a look of confusion, and following not too far behind, a reaction of fear. With that, consider how far we’ve evolved.
Taking a snapshot over the past few months, I reflect on some of the highlights from a Data Center and Cisco UCS perspective.
The Open Source Business Conference held not too long ago, centered the conversation around previously uncommon mates. “Open Source” and “Business” used in the same sentence once stirred some emotion, though not today. The notion now fuels curiosity and enablement, and both were alive and well in San Francisco with OSBC. Leaders in the space, spanning established household Data Center vendors were well represented in breakout sessions and thought provoking topics on the show floor, alongside the “up and coming” vendors in Open Source. Linux granddaddies Red Hat and SUSE also offered the Enterprise Linux perspective, with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst taking the stage on the conference’s opening morning. Whitehurst acknowledged the event’s commendable 10th anniversary, and touted the innovation and collaborative successes of Open Source, while reflecting on Red Hat’s significance and market leadership. SUSE kept the Enterprise Linux subject current, presenting SUSE’s role in Big Data workloads, where attendees may have pondered “What would Big Data look like, and be today, without the success and progress of the Open Source movement?”
An “open cloud” panel featuring several notable figures in Open Source leadership for cloud infrastructure, including Marten Mickos of Eucalyptus Systems and Joshua McKenty of Piston Cloud, shared insight on how today’s generation of Open Source leaders are shaping the future of cloud software stacks, infrastructure, and API (read: interoperability). This proved to be a fascinating discussion on project governance, expectations of Open Source, and how customers leverage Open Source to deliver the applications of tomorrow.
Open Source @Cisco
Cisco Open Source Days provide an opportunity to share, learn and grow. Cisco engineers and product teams descend on the San Jose campus packed with an agenda to share knowledge and best practices, new developments in the community, exchange ideas and share successes, and inspire new ways of delivering software and products. This year featured a cornucopia of topics that would make any card-carrying Open Source geek blush. Typically there are multiple tracks and this year included Big Data and Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Everything and a few select topics in the Networking and Data Center interest areas. Cisco teams have an incredible opportunity to learn and collaborate, which ultimately benefit the Open Source community and our customers. Attendees enjoyed thought provoking and engaging presentations, including appearances by Chris Wright from Red Hat, and Troy Toman from Rackspace within the Cloud track, as well, our very own OpenStack leaders within Cisco. Overall there were great takeaways on collaboration and innovation, project participation and furthering common goals through upstream contribution, and solving market problems through emphasis on differentiation rather than upstream code nomination. Another memorable moment, I personally enjoyed Chris Wright’s comical reference to the IFC television comedy, “Portlandia”, referring to the popularity of API’s with “Put an API on it”.
Open Source in the Cisco UCS powered Data Center
One of the most exciting aspects in my role revolves around connecting Open Source innovations with Cisco’s UCS x86 based platforms. Software and API enable many integration use cases most people are not used to expect from server and infrastructure platforms. “Software Defined” is used quite liberally these days, with ” Software Defined __Fill_In_The_Blank__ ” found where it probably shouldn’t be. I digress, Open Source is at the core of these “Software Defined” possibilities, enabling vendor agnostic API structures and interfaces as an alternative to traditionally proprietary closed-configuration products.
The conversation with customers today is less “Oh, Cisco makes servers?” and more about, “Help me learn more about your software integration capability in my Data Center infrastructure.” Once customers deploy UCS, they quickly realize the efficiencies and power derived by the Cisco UCS Service Profile, and the level of control and manageability not available with other solutions. For Data Center management requiring a view into their systems’ availability, the UCS XML API provides that ability, where the customer’s software may retrieve, configure and automate infrastructure that previously required manual intervention. We truly feel this enables a unique “Software Defined Infrastructure” way of managing applications, availability and user workloads through software, previously not seen without custom hardware and software integration.
It’s an exciting time for Open Source, and for computing platforms like Cisco UCS which provide an open and extensible ability to deliver on business demands of tomorrow. Exciting times are definitely ahead as customers increasingly adopt Open Source, its flexibility, advances, and innovations, into the broader enterprise and mainstream computing spaces.
How far have we come? Further reading: “From subversive to mainstream: Looking back on 18 years with Linux“
Tags: Cisco UCS, data center, datacenter, Enterprise, Linux, OpenStack, XML API
There are a number of trends that are impacting data centers today, many of which will have a profound impact on how businesses consume data center resources. These can provide a variety of challenges. Perhaps most obvious, is the fact that people and businesses are more connected than ever with the proliferation of mobile devices and tablets. These new devices are driving more applications, more users, and an insatiable appetite for network bandwidth. This blog will discuss a few of these trends and how Cisco is shaping its data center strategy to enable customers to meet these rapidly changing demands.
Another major data center trend that is driving change in the data center is the continued adoption of virtualization technologies. What’s interesting is that although server spending has remained relatively flat for over a decade, there is still a great deal of “head room” for companies to further adopt virtualization.
In fact, IDC studies show that many applications are yet to be virtualized as the chart to the right indicates. However, virtualization is driving complexity elsewhere including the network, software and storage. So what has created a more agile server, has not necessarily created a more agile system.
The next major trend is that of Cloud Computing, with more business leveraging private, public or potentially even hybrid cloud models. Some actually forecast that there could eventually be a small number of mega data centers and companies will all leverage capacity exclusively from these since they can offer extreme efficiencies. The truth is, there are two ends of the spectrum, some customers will prefer to host their own infrastructure and others may choose to use Cloud providers exclusively. We are finding today that many customers are somewhere in the middle and choose their model based on the application needs.
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Tags: blade server, Blade Servers, Cisco UCS, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Unified Data Center, Cisco Unified Fabric, Cisco Unified Management, rack server