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A Year Ahead: Big Data and Analytics on Cisco UCS

I’m so looking forward to the year ahead in the world of big data and analytics, because the opportunities appear to have no limits. Big Data and Analytics has been growing for quite some time. IDC expects the Big Data Technology and Services market to grow at a 26.24% compound annual growth rate through 2018 to reach $41.52 billion. This is the year that’s going to explode, delivering more benefits to more industries than ever before.

As it becomes more accessible and more common, it is no wonder that some people are starting to say that the term, “big data” may disappear. As data driven decisions become the new norm, we will need a more specific term, or several terms. For those of you who fall strongly in that camp, please feel free to search “big data and analytics” in my blog and replace it with “Clever Cute Name, CCN” until someone comes up with the new term.  Okay, back to the fact that this is going to be the new norm. If you need some examples, here are four in IT Services, Healthcare, and Communications industries.

IT Services Industry | Management Science Associates (MSA)

MSA is an IT services company that provides colocation, data integration, and analysis services. They came to MapR and Cisco to build a powerful new service for big data and analytics to help its customers increase revenues and make better business decisions. This case study is an excellent example for anyone looking to understand the importance of data driven decision in the manufacturing and distribution business.

Healthcare Industry | Union Hospital

Today’s healthcare depends on electronic information sharing. Union Hospital of Cecil County came to Cisco and Splunk to ensure fast and secure access to this information. Security Analytics on Cisco UCS with Splunk gave them the visibility into security threats, alleviating the need for the IT team to manually review gigabytes of daily log data from thousands of network devices and servers. With this in place, the focus was on delivering fast access and better customer care.

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Union Hospital Case Study

Communications Industry | Cisco WebEx Read More »

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Fast and Flexible – New Third Generation Fabric Interconnect

Guest Blogger: Nikul Sheth, Product Manager for Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect

One of the things I admire about great athletes is they are both fast and flexible. This combination makes them more agile and gives them a competitive edge. Our next evolution of Cisco UCS Fabric provides customers with greater speed and flexibility to help you maintain your competitive edge. This third generation Fabric Interconnect enables a high-performance, low latency and lossless fabric architecture to address the requirements for deploying high capacity datacenters.

Third Gen Fabric InterconnectThe new Cisco UCS 6300 Series Fabric Interconnect leverages our key technology differentiators – UCS Fabric, the Virtual Interface Card (VIC) and UCS Manager. The Fabric Interconnect 6300 series and the MDS 24-Port 40G FCoE module enable a high-performance 40G FCoE end-to-end solution. The new 6300 series adds to our successful Cisco UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnect to deploy 40GbE, 40Gb FCoE, and 16Gb FC. This provides UCS customers with higher bandwidth and more configuration options, so they can have higher performance ports and the flexibility to support LAN and SAN connectivity for all servers within a domain.

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Keeping It Simple While Keeping It Fresh

When you read the headline, you may think this blog is about a new restaurant or cuisine, but this post is about UCS management. The description may not sound like it has much to do with software, but stay with me. One of the challenges you encounter when you have nearly 50,000 customers and hundreds of thousands of end users that use your software every day to manage millions of systems is providing significant enhancements (keeping it fresh) while still making it easy to use (keeping it simple). This is the challenge we faced when we made the latest upgrades to UCS management.

Here’s an example. In the new release of UCS Manager, version 3.1, we have added a new HTML 5 user interface (UI) to keep it fresh. Our customers have been using the Java UI in UCS Manager for years, so we had to make sure it was simple for them to transition. Our developers replicated the screens in HTML 5, so there is virtually no difference from the same screens in the Java UI. The layout, colors, icons and text are almost identical between the Java and HTML5 UI to provide a seamless user transition.

(There’s an example of the new HTML 5 UI in the screen captures below.) The new release supports both the HTML 5 and Java UI, so customers can transition in a way that works best for them without the hassle of having to learn new screens or modifying any of their processes.

Example of the new HTML 5 UI in UCS Manager

UCS Manager Screenshots 2

There are many new enhancements in the latest updates to UCS management.

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Cisco UCS Innovations: Leverage the Power of Unification, Performance and Scalability

Cisco leads the industry with a Unified, Application-centric approach to computing. Building on the architectural foundations, partnerships, and rapid customer adoption of UCS,  today Cisco introduces innovations inspired by customer requirements in two key Data Center technology areas:

  • Cisco MDS, UCS and Nexus portfolio Innovations: To help customers grow, consolidate, converge and to adapt to changing business needs, Cisco is announcing new additions and innovations to the Cisco MDS, UCS and Nexus portfolio. Please check the blog post by Tony Anthony Cisco Storage Networking Innovations to support high data growth and scale for additional details about these innovations.
  • Cisco UCS Innovations: Inspired by customer needs for greater efficiency and lower TCO, Cisco delivers new UCS features and functionalities with 3rd generation Fabric Interconnect, next wave of unified computing management innovations, new acceleration options for Cisco UCS and scalability options for Cisco UCS solutions.

Let’s take a closer look at these latest Cisco UCS innovations and how they can assist to achieve better business outcomes.

New Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect 6300 Series and Fabric Extender 2304 

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The Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect 6300 Series employs the UCS Fabric, VIC and UCS Manager to enable a high-performance, low latency and lossless fabric architecture for high capacity data centers. The Fabric Interconnect 6300 series adds to Cisco’s successful Fabric Interconnect 6200 series to deploy 40Gb, 40G FCoE, and 16Gb FC to further bandwidth capacity and provide for an adaptable data center fabric. The 6300 Series offers 2.6X increase in throughput, 3X lower latency and high-density 40GbE ports that enable an end-to-end 40 Gigabit solution. For additional details please check: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/servers-unified-computing/ucs-6300-series-fabric-interconnects/index.html

Cisco VIC 1387 dual port 40Gb QSFP mLOM adapter

Cisco also announced the 3rd generation UCS VIC 1387 dual port 40Gb QSFP mLOM adapter.The VIC 1387 is based on 3rd Generation Cisco ASIC technology and is ideally suited for next-generation networks requiring up to 40Gb bandwidth. It supports network overlay technologies such as VXLAN and carries forward support for advanced Cisco features such as VMFEX, Netflow, and usNIC. The VIC 1387 is supported with the C220 M4, C240 M4 and the C3160 Servers.

UCS Management Enhancements: UCS Central 1.4 (1a) Releases and UCS Manager 3.1(1e) Release:

UCSM 1

Enhancements to the UCS Management portfolio enable remote operation, automation and policy enforcement across massive multi-site footprints with the UCS Central Software 1.4(1a) Release. The UCS Manager 3.1(1e) Release provides Unified Management for ALL UCS Server Platforms – UCS B-Series, C-Series, M-Series and UCS Mini.

Some of the key UCS Management enhancements include:

  • New HTML5 as well as JAVA GUI options
  • Unified Release for ALL UCS server platforms – B-Series, C-Series, M-Series, and UCS Mini
  • Provisioning and usability Enhancements to UCS Central
  • Support mixed UCS domains with M-Series and B/C-Series with support for up to 10,000 servers

Please check Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco UCS Central Software for additional details.

New Acceleration options for Cisco UCS Servers

Cisco announced the availability of the new “Maxwell” generation M6 GPU for Blade Servers and M60 GPU for Rack Servers.  Both new GPU technologies enable new VDI use-cases with NVIDIA GRID 2.0 Integration. Cisco and NVIDIA have co-developed the M6 MXM GPU for both Tesla, general purpose Graphics Processing as well as GRID VDI GPU and integrated it with the Cisco B200 M4 Blade Server.  This fully-integrated GPU is supported with all CPU SKUs and provides performance on par with the NVIDIA K2 GPU, at less than ½ the power profile!

Here is a complete list of new acceleration options introduced for the Cisco UCS servers:

  • NVIDIA M6 GPU Support for B200-M4
  • NVIDIA M60 GPU support for C240 M4 and C460 M4
  • Support PCIe SSD on M4-Servers
  • Support Crypto Card on B200-M4
  • Support LSI 9286CV-8e RAID Controller

 Enhanced Solutions Scalability with Second UCS Mini Chassis Support

UCS Mini

If you need more than eight blades for your small / medium business, remote / branch office, or in your data center for physical isolation, wait no more! You can now have a total of 16 blades and up to six rack servers. Check out these UCS Mini Solutions for integrated infrastructure, business applications, and storage.

New Acceleration Options for UCS M-Series

Part of Cisco’s composable infrastructure, M-Series is designed for scale out applications and dense compute. Four new cartridges have been released. Two each for the M142 and M1414 models featuring the Intel® Xeon ® E3-1200 v4 series processors including Iris Pro graphics integrated GPU. The Iris Pro GPU can accelerate a variety of graphical applications like remote desktops. For additional details please check: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/servers-unified-computing/ucs-m-series-modular-servers/index.html

Building on the architectural foundations, partnerships, and rapid customer adoption of UCS, Cisco now delivers the next wave of Unified Computing innovations to enhance data center performance and scalability while maintaining operational efficiency. Leverage the latest Cisco UCS innovations to minimize data center complexity and disruption while deploying infrastructure and applications faster than ever before.

Don’t forget to register for the Interactive Webinar on February 11th, 2016 “Cisco UCS Innovations-Adopt the Power of Unification, Innovation and Scalability”  where Cisco Data center experts will review new Cisco UCS innovation in detail and you can  also hear fa customer testimonial about the latest UCS Innovations.

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#CiscoChampion Radio, S3|Ep. 4. Insight Into New UCS Innovations

#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’re discussing Insight Into New UCS Innovations with Cisco Subject Matter Expert Dan Hanson.

Cisco ChampionGet the Podcast

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Cisco Guest
Dan Hanson (@danhanso), Cisco UCS Product Group

Cisco Champion Hosts
John Kerns (@packetsar), Network & Systems Engineer
Colin Lynch, (@ucsguru), Principal Consultant

Moderator
Lauren Friedman (@lauren)

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