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What the Supermarket taught me about Big Data

October 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm PST

Author’s Note:  I have no kids.  I have friends with kids, who used to be in diapers.  The kids were in diapers, not the friends.  I’ve changed a few in my day, but not nearly as many as my friends have. And yes this has some sort of relevance to this story…

 

In every trade show or conference there’s someone talking about Big Data.  They talk about algorithms, CPUs, memory, software stacks, cabling, racks, ROI, TCO, nodes, names, federation, centralization, organization until you get “the pitch.”  I’m not really interested in the pitch for why someone’s product is better than the other, I’m more interested in the “What is the Problem that you’re trying to solve?”  This to me gets to the root of Big Data,or  the consolidation of a set of diverse data sources with a multitude of data types for which you’re attempting to determine relationships and patterns amongst it. Phew. Got it?

Me neither, but I like to think in examples and this is where it dawned on me in the grocery store.

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Cisco UCS Servers – Making Ben Franklin proud

October 25, 2012 at 7:56 am PST

In my first blog post, I highlighted some of the benefits being seen by customers using Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS) from Case Studies. In posts two, three, and four, I discussed reduction in cabling, provisioning times, and power & cooling in more detail. Today’s post will highlight three customers and their reduction in operating costs where, to quote Ben Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

EDIF Holding SPA– “We have reduced our operating costs by 75 percent while renewing the technology in our IT infrastructure, and we can now offer better continuity of service and a faster response to our customers.” Samuele Cerquetti, CIO

Seven Corners Inc.– “The system paid for itself in less than a year by recouping the more than $1 million the company had been losing annually due to network outages. The company also achieved a $475,000 reduction in operating costs within the first six months of buildout and saved $84,000 instantly by not having to renew software licenses on a number of virtualized servers.”

Avago Technologies – “Ordinarily, expanding from two to three data centers would be expected to increase operational costs by 50 percent. ‘Our operational costs will actually decrease by 40 percent when we expand from two to three data centers.’” Shreyas Shah, Senior Director, Global Information Technology

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 6): What is a cloud architect?

October 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm PST

On today’s episode, Cisco’s Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) and VMware’s Mike Laverick (@Mike_Laverick) discuss the roll of the cloud architect.

 

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Self-Service Arrives for Workload Automation – and Saves the Day

It’s close to 11 p.m. on the last day of the quarter in a large corporation. IT gets an urgent request to postpone a closing of the books process because there’s a large order stuck in the CRM system.

This means that the order won’t hit the books and be recorded as a booking.  The customer won’t get her order, the salesperson won’t get paid, and finance will show a missing number.

This generates an urgent call to the team that manages the workload automation platform: Hold the closing workflow!  Stop the presses!

The admins have to get to their console to find the job and pause it.  Not a huge deal, except there are thousands of jobs to be run and hundreds of business people calling on a regular basis, at all kind of hours.

Some customers have created help desks for their workload automation teams or they may even off-shore the call center to serve these kinds of requests.

No more.  Introducing self-service for workload automation.

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At the Strata Conference +Hadoop World with Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler 6.1

Today, Big Data and Hadoop are arguably the hottest (and most mysterious) subjects in computing for most technology workers. Ask any person in IT about Big Data/ Hadoop and you’ll probably get a look of utter confusion. Here at Cisco, I’ve recently taken on the role of Product Manager for Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler (TES) and part of my job is to help you face your fears and put your arms around the Big Data boogeyman.

Big Data’s growth in the market has exploded and it’s clear why: data-driven decision-making results in optimal business outcomes. With Big Data/ Hadoop, analyzing massive datasets has become easier and we glean new business insights, which can be a massive competitive advantage.

I just arrived in NYC for Strata Conference + Hadoop World 2012, where I’m part of the Cisco team here to show off the new 6.1 release of Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler announced yesterday. With 6.1, Cisco TES includes Hadoop integration – to help our customers address the Big Data challenge and gain even more value from your infrastructure. The workload automation features provided by TES are an integral part of getting the most out of your Hadoop deployments.

At the Strata event, we’re featuring Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus switches for Big Data as well as our Cisco TES support for Hadoop. To see Cisco TES and Hadoop in action, check out this online demo here.  This demo runs on UCS and schedules a Hadoop MapReduce job every 15 minutes to track tweets at the conference – revealing the biggest Twitter topics and the most active tweeps in Big Data this week.

In addition to our support for Hadoop and Big Data, with TES 6.1 we’ve announced a self-service portal, support for Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) EC2 & S3 features, and an iPhone app. AWS support adds the advantages of cloud-based Hadoop by providing the scalability and agility to expand capacity as needed coupled with Hadoop’s analytical strength. Throwing TES 6.1 into the AWS mix provides automated, efficient provisioning of cloud resources.

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