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Cisco and Platfora Delivering on the Promise of Enterprise Scale Analytics

Analytics will continue to take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data within and outside the enterprise are analyzed.  — Gartner

Big Data will continue to be important, but it’s critical to first understand how businesses can quickly gather relevant insights from their big data. The value is in unlocking key takeaways from the data because these insights can be used for agile decision-making and faster time-to-market approaches. Discovering better business insights quickly requires the combination of software and hardware that is optimized for speed, scale, and flexibility. And that is exactly what you get when you combine Platfora and Cisco UCS.

When Platfora runs on Cisco UCS, business analysts can find these patterns in minutes or hours rather than months. For example, our joint customer was able to identify exactly what factors impacted their customer experience using the Platfora solution which was deployed in 1/10th the time and cost of traditional approaches.

Platfora enables users to analyze petabytes of data at scale and leverages the latest cutting-edge technologies such as Spark and YARN (MapReduce 2.0). The Platfora end-to-end platform replaces the need for ETL, Data Warehousing, and BI tools. And the combination of Platfora and UCS ensures that there are no performance, scalability, or TCO tradeoffs as we add new data discovery joint use cases. This joint solution is truly designed for enterprise-scale analytics.

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A Strong Partnership: Cisco and Microsoft

Cisco continues to develop their partnership with Microsoft becoming a critical component of the Microsoft Data Centers across the globe. 80% of the data centers around the globe already include Cisco networking switches and routers. More and more of these same Data Centers are also making the switch to Cisco UCS server platforms.  There are many advantages to using Cisco UCS as your server platform. IDC recently competed a study interviewing many Cisco UCS installed customers and determined that by installing your application on a Cisco UCS server platform, those customers will gain the following business benefits.

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You can get first hand knowledge of these benefits by visiting Cisco at several Microsoft events over the next couple of months.

  1. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Microsoft Virtual Trade Show.

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Evolving Your Data Center to the Next Level

Keeping up with all of the changes in today’s data center technology is can be daunting. Data center technologies are evolving quickly on a number of different fronts. This presentation will cover some of the latest trends in data center technology. You’ll see how they can impact your business and how you can best begin to incorporate them into your own infrastructure. The technologies discussed will include the cloud, the hybrid cloud, containers, consolidated management, software defined networking, flash storage, as well as converged and hyper- converged infrastructure.

  1. Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Days

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This community initiative is the brain-child of several of Microsoft Canada’s Top MVP’s. It is our absolute pleasure to be able to share our knowledge locally allowing our communities to learn more and advance their technical knowledge base. You can follow Canadian MVP’s on Twitter #CDNMVP

Vancouver, BC – September 21, 2015

Click here to Register for Vancouver

Calgary, AB – September 23, 2015

Click here to Register for Calgary

Edmonton, AB – September 25, 2015

Click here to Register for Edmonton

  1. SQL Saturday

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Free 1 day training events for SQL Server professionals that focus on local speakers, providing a variety of high quality technical sessions. It’s a group of SQL Server database administrators, database and application developers, business intelligence experts, and users from around the globe. This community is represented by more than 285 local PASS Chapters worldwide, 28 virtual chapters, 120,000 members.

Orlando – October 10

Click here to Register for Orlando

Portland – October 24

Click here to Register for Portland

Join us at these different events and discover why the server platform on which you install these Microsoft solutions makes a difference. Hope to see you there.


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Part 2: How Many Servers Do You Have …. Comatose and Sitting Idle?!?!

Last week I introduced this topic, the pervasive problem of “comatose” servers in data centers, based upon an interesting recent eWeek article entitled “30 Percent of Servers Worldwide Sit Idle”, which in turn was based upon the research report by Stanford University in conjunction with the Anthesis Group.  In my blog, I described the costs of this problem, ranging from the obvious (e.g. power and facilities) to the hidden (e.g. un-used software licenses).  This week I’ll discuss why this happens and what you can do about this problem.

The Problem of Idle Servers - What Can You Do About It

The Problem of Idle Servers – What Can You Do About It

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My take on the integrated infrastructure buzz

I recently created a playlist of my favorite 80’s, 90’s and current songs. Listening to the playlist in shuffle mode, I noticed the stark contrast and evolution of the recording quality from the old classics to the current stuff.

Thank you Pink Floyd and Apple

I have to admit that the quality does get progressively better overtime, but in some cases tunes just sounded over-engineered, especially on the digitally recorded tracks. As good as they may sound, they often lack the warmth of reel-to-reel tape deck recordings. I am sure someone is busy developing an app to fix that.

The Tres Virgo Recording Studio – 1980’s style with owner Robin Yeager

The Tres Virgo Recording Studio – 1980’s style with owner Robin Yeager

It actually makes me wonder how some artists are able to pull some of those over-engineered studio songs off on a live stage, and some do a great job. But these days, concerts are as much about the show, not just the music – thank you Pink Flyod for setting a trend.

Pink Flyod Live – Earls Court, London 1994

Awesomeness: Pink Flyod Live – Earls Court, London 1994

But I digress: what digital allows you to do is fix stuff in the mix with a simple mouse click, versus having to re-record part of, or all of the tracks. That is time and money saving stuff. It is streamlined sound engineering workflows at it’s best.

And it has opened up a whole world of possibilities for recording artists, including making mediocre ones sound pretty amazing. In fact, anyone with Garage Band installed on a MAC (and some talent) can sound pretty good these days. Thank you Apple.

Is your data center stuck in the tape-deck age?

Similar evolution has occurred in data centers around the globe. An IT environment of disparate servers, storage, and networking systems all managed in silos is a thing of the past. Or is it?

The unfortunate reality for many organizations is that their data centers are stuck in the tape deck age and associated laborious workflows. The result is that much of today’s IT budget is still being consumed by keeping the data centers humming along. That comes at the expense of real innovation.

It’s no surprise that in today’s connected-everything world, businesses and organizations off all sizes rely heavily on IT. And in that world, you need an infrastructure that is up to the task: an environment that is agile, secure and simple to manage with few resources.

Once you have that in place, your talented IT folks can turn their attention to focusing on real innovation that can lead to tangible business outcomes, rather than just keeping the lights on – just as talented musicians should focus on the music.

So what a novel idea to have an environment that combines compute, storage and networking into a pre-validated, fully integrated design that can be centrally managed? Enter the idea of integrated infrastructure. By no means is this a new concept. After all, many vendors now claim they deliver integrated infrastructure. Or can they?

I can’t speak for other vendors, but can say that Cisco has teamed up with the best in the industry to deliver pre-validated (so you know it will work together), integrated systems.

And they work just as advertised. I recently discovered this when I picked up my personal hardcopy of Unleashing IT.

I was delighted when my hardcopy of Unleashing IT arrived in the mail

I was delighted when my hardcopy of Unleashing IT arrived in the mail

This edition dedicated to discussing the various Integrated Infrastructure flavors available today from Cisco and it’s eco-system of partners. It profiles businesses and organizations much like yours that are reaping the business benefits.

I encourage you to take a moment to subscribe, download the pdf or get your personal hardcopy shipped to you, and let me know what you think.

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Why I Love Big Data Partner Series 6: Highlights from Cisco Live — Top Insights from Platfora

Our last but not least guest blog on “Why I Love Big Data Partner Series” is up! If you are on your way back home from Cisco Live, this would be a great read for your commute. Rob Rosen from Platfora will take us through how easy it is to uncover previously hidden threats with an integrated big data solution that dynamically analyzes large volumes of disparate security data from Cisco’s security portfolio. If you missed Cisco Live this year, Rob also did a great job summarizing some of the key highlights.


Rob Rosen 2 (1)

Rob RosenSr. Director Partner Solutions at Platfora, is responsible for developing Big Data solutions within Platfora’s partner community including Cisco, Hadoop distribution providers and Platfora’s growing channel partner team. Rob has worked in leadership capacities with technology leaders in the infrastructure and Big Data space including MapR Technologies, NetApp, Check Point Software and Sun Microsystems.


Highlights from Cisco Live: Top Insights from Platfora

It was a jam-packed week at Cisco Live and I had the opportunity to dive into the latest developments around big data analytics and security. It’s well known that as IT infrastructure has transferred to virtual cloud-based applications and storage, organizations need visibility and security to keep their assets and data safe. I saw a lot of impressive presentations and I was able to share our own technology in partnership with Cisco.

Highlights from this week’s conference:

  • John Chambers’ keynote: Everyone’s talking about it—and for good reason. As he welcomed the crowd to Cisco Live, Chambers focused on exactly how businesses get disrupted in the digital age. He urged attendees and organizations to not hesitate to scrutinize their IT infrastructure and adopt the new technologies they’d see at the conference.
  •  Collaboration across companies: There was a huge ecosystem of technology companies that partnered with Cisco for a presence at the event. It’s encouraging to see that these tech giants across all industries are collaborating with one another to develop more comprehensive solutions for customers. Cisco’s leading the pack as it models an inclusive approach built on partnerships—which is better for everyone in the long run.
  • Cisco Intercloud announcement: This is a particularly exciting partnership announcement for Platfora. Cisco’s Intercloud Ecosystem could be described as a hybrid “cloud of clouds.” For anyone looking to pull value from their stored data, manage files or do a huge variety of other vital business tasks, this development is huge.

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