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Maximizing Big Data Performance and Scalability with MapR and Cisco UCS

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.

Performance

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.

High Performance with Low Latency

 

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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New UCS Servers deliver innovative scaling options and record-breaking power

February 18, 2014 at 10:31 am PST

This week we’re announcing new systems at the upper end of the UCS server product line: some heavy-duty iron for heavy-duty times.   These are important new tools for our UCS customers:  the digital age is accelerating, IT needs more horsepower to keep up, and there is a lot at stake.

Cisco UCS Servers with Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 V2 Deliver Unmatched Customer Benefits from Cisco Data Center

Consider this: less than 10 years ago, some of the largest mainframes scaled up to half a terabyte (TB) of main memory.  What if I were to tell you that these latest generation UCS blade servers will scale to 3TB?   Sound like a lot?  It is.  And that’s just the two-processor version.   Connect two UCS B260 M4 blades with an expansion connector and they become a UCS B460 M4, a four socket server that will scale to 6TB.  Putting that into perspective: a spiffy new laptop might ship today with 8GB of memory.   Multiply that by 750 and you have 6TB.

Not too long ago, all the content Wikipedia would fit in this type of footprint (in 2010 it was just under 6TB with media.)   Here is a fun illustration of what this scale of data would look like on paper (just the ~10GB of text, not the images.)  Now remember, we’re not talking about fitting all that data on the local disks of the server – we’re talking about fitting it in main memory.   This is becoming crucially important in the field of data analytics, where “in-memory” is the key to speed and competitiveness.  Applications like SAP HANA are at the forefront of this trend. Today, at Intel’s launch event in San Francisco, Dan Morales (Vice President of Enabling Functions at eBay) joined us to talk about how they’re betting on this type of analytic technology to help them make the eBay Marketplace work better for buyers and sellers (and eBay shareholders.)   I’ll post a video clip of that soon; his description of the challenges and opportunities, at eBay scale, is worth a watch.

We’ve talked about memory scaling, and Bruno Messina has a nice post that talks more about the scalability on these systems and UCS at large.   But dominating performance is the name of the game: behemoth processing performance is what we look for at this end of the server spectrum and Intel has not disappointed on this round of new technology.   The next generation of the Intel Xeon E7 family packs up to 15 cores per processor and delivers an average 2x performance increase compared to previous generation products.   Performance will be even higher on specific workloads, for example up to 3X on database and even higher for virtualization.   Cisco’s implementation of this technology has once again set the standard for system performance.   In today’s launch, Intel cited Cisco with 6 industry-leading results on key workloads.  As of this posting, the closest to come to that achievement that was Dell with 4.  HP ProLiant posted 1.  So hats off, once again, to the engineering team in Cisco’s Computing Systems Product Group.  Girish Kulkarni has a great summary of the performance news here.

 

New UCS Mission Critical Servers from Cisco Data Center

 

Our collaboration with Intel is one of the best technology combinations in the industry today.  Consider what we both bring to the party.  Intel: innovation in processor technology that drives Moore’s Law.  Cisco: innovation in connecting things across the data center and around the world.  UCS is an outcome of two blue-chip tech powerhouses investing in real innovation and the results have changed the industry.

In 1991, Stewart Alsop famously wrote:  “I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on 15 March 1996.”  He just as famously had to eat his words.  He munched on those twelve years ago, and while mainframes and RISC-based systems remain, there is an inexorable trend as the heaviest analytic workloads continue to shift to the type of scale-up x86-based systems we’re talking about today.   It only makes sense.  So while this will garner me plenty of comments from the architectural purists out there, I say “go ahead and plug a mainframe back in.”  It will fit right in your UCS B-Series blade chassis…

 

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Get More out of your Data with Cisco at Strata Hadoop World October 28 – 30, 2013

Superbowl Hype

 

With enough hype to rival even the most popular of Superbowl’s, Big Data experts will converge on New York City in just a couple weeks!  But big data has good reason for all the hype as businesses continue to find new ways to leverage the insights derived from vast data pools that are continuing to grow at an exponential rate.  A big reason for this is the ability to leverage Hadoop with the Hadoop Distributed File System and MapReduce functionality to analyze the data very quickly and provide incredibly fast queries that, although not even possible previously, can now be accomplished in minutes or less.  We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface in terms of the financial returns made around Hadoop and the infrastructure to support Hadoop deployments but one thing we do know, it’s going to be big and it will continue to get bigger!

 

Strata Hadoop World

 

So how does Cisco fit into this picture?

Scalable

Cisco is partnering with leading software providers to offer a comprehensive infrastructure and management solution to support customer big data initiatives including Hadoop, NoSQL and Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) analytics.  Leveraging the advantages of fabric computing, the Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture (CPA) delivers exceptional performance, capacity, management simplicity, and scale to help customers derive value more quickly and with less management overhead for the most challenging big data deployments.

Competitive Advantage

 

Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for big data enables rapid deployment, predictable performance, and massive scale without the need for complex layers of switching infrastructure.  In addition, the architecture offers unique data and management integration with enterprise applications hosted on Cisco UCS.  This allows big data and enterprise applications to co-exist within a single management domain that simplifies data movement between applications and eliminates the need for unique technology silos in the data center.  You can also check out my previous blog, Top Three Reasons Why Cisco UCS is a Better Platform for Big Data, to get an idea of what we’ll be sharing at the show.

 

Cisco logo

Have you considered Cisco UCS for your Big Data projects?   I’d like to invite you to come and hear more in a couple weeks at Strata Hadoop World in New York City.    We’ll have a number of demos and experts on hand to answer all of your questions.

 

In addition, Cisco and  ClouderaCloudera Logo are teaming up to offer you a chance to win some exciting prizes by joining our demo crawl program.  Stop by either the Cisco booth (#3) or the Cloudera booth (#403) to learn more.

 

Ready for Big Data

 

Stop by and say hello and let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.

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Design Zone Webinar: Unlock More Value from Big Data with Cisco UCS

Big Data Webinar Header

Design Zone Webinar for Big Data

 

 

Big Data Webinar TimeBig Data has become mainstream as businesses realize its benefits, including improved operation efficiency, better customer experience, and more accurate predictions. However, companies are often challenged by the complexities of traditional server solutions.

In this webinar, learn how to unlock the value of Big Data with the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS). Cisco UCS delivers the performance, capacity, management simplicity, and scale that businesses need to increase agility, speed time to value, and deliver a competitive advantage to increase revenue.

Our one-hour technical presentations will demonstrate how to build elements of the Cisco Unified Data Center platform. We will show you how to design your infrastructure and management for traditional and virtualized environments. You’ll also learn about available services to help deliver it.

 

To attend, please click the “ATTEND” link below:

Big Data Webinar Registration

 

Hope you can join us and let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.

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Join Cisco on the Road to Big Data

Cisco Big Data at Cloudera Sessions

 

 

 

Cloudera Sessions is coming to a City Near You!

Have you registered for the upcoming Cloudera Sessions roadshow yet?  According to IDC Analysts, the market for Big Data will reach $16.9 billion by 2015, with an outrageous 40% CAGR. As the sheer volume of data continues to climb, enterprise customers will need the right software and infrastructure to transform this data into meaningful insights.

Cisco is partnering with Cloudera to offer a comprehensive infrastructure and management solution, based on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), to support our customers big data initiatives.  As a proud sponsor for this event, I would encourage you to join us at one of the following scheduled stops to learn more about our joint solutions for big data:

San Francisco 9/11

Philadelphia 9/13

Jersey City  9/18

Miami 9/19

Denver 9/26

Milwaukee 10/17  (Note: changed from 10/2 to 10/17)

Cloudera has a fantastic agenda scheduled in each of the cities featuring keynote speakers that you won’t want to miss.  I hope to see you there.

For the latest information regarding Big Data on Cisco UCS, I’ve added a couple links below for your reference:

Introducing Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture (CPA) for Big Data, By Raghu Nambiar

Top Three Reasons Why Cisco UCS is a Better Platform for Big Data, by Scott Ciccone

Stop by and say hello and let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.

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