Happy New Year! As I return from the holidays and begin the year ahead, I’m energized and excited about all the amazing accomplishments we achieved with WebEx in 2014. Many recollections come to mind that I’d like to share with you. And I have exciting news for 2015 — already! More on this in just a minute…
WebEx is really at the core of everyone’s work life. With over 60 million users and more than 1 million meetings a day, we really impact how people work and live. It was just a little over a year ago that I started leading the Cloud Collaboration Applications team at Cisco. When I started, I challenged the WebEx product team with a new goal to dramatically improve our already great web conferencing tool. A key element of this goal was a focus on simplicity. Making WebEx simple in addition to enhancing functionality was the target. Bottom line: It is our mission to delight every WebEx user and make their work life more productive.
The New WebEx
My team took this challenge to heart and made significant product changes in this direction. In October 2014, we launched the New WebEx that comes with a new clean intuitive interface, improved web landing pages that make it easier to join online meetings, much faster meeting load times, better video layout, and wideband VoIP audio for better audio quality. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cmr, collaboration, Collaboration Meeting Rooms, conferencing, Gartner, Gartner Magic Quadrant, online meetings, Personal Rooms, web conferencing, WebEX
[Note: If you like hearing these customer perspectives, register today for our upcoming live ACI webcast: “Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy”, January 13, 2015, 9 AM PT, Noon ET, featuring more ACI customers and several key ACI technology partners.]
Happy New Year to everyone! I thought this would be a great opportunity now that everyone is back into the swing of work to highlight a couple of customer presentations from last month at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas. Cisco hosted a 30 minute session on our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and we invited two customers, Acxiom and Symantec, to present their use cases and experience in deploying ACI so far.
These Gartner conferences attract primarily CIO and high-level IT executives, and it’s no secret that they prefer hearing from industry peers rather than vendor product pitches. Kamal Kharrat from Acxiom and Vince Spina from Symantec both do a great job talking about real benefits from their deployment and the reasons they chose ACI as a primary platform for their SDN strategy.
Read More »
Tags: application centric infrastructure, Cisco ACI, Gartner, Nexus 9000
Want to get the most out of your big data? Build an enterprise data hub (EDH).
Big data is rapidly getting bigger. That in itself isn’t a problem. The issue is what Gartner analyst Doug Laney describes as the three Vs of Big Data: volume, velocity, and variety.
Volume refers to the ever-growing amount of data being collected. Velocity is the speed at which the data is being produced and moved through the enterprise information systems. Variety refers to the fact that we’re gathering information from multiple data sources such as sensors, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, e-commerce transactions, log files, supply chain info, social media feeds, and the list goes on.
Data warehouses weren’t made to handle this fast-flowing stream of wildly dissimilar data. Using them for this purpose has led to resource-draining, sluggish response times as workers attempt to perform numerous extract, load, and transform (ELT) functions to make stored data accessible and usable for the task at hand.
Constructing Your Hub
An EDH addresses this problem. It serves as a central platform that enables organizations to collect structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data from slews of sources, process it quickly, and make it available throughout the enterprise.
Building an EDH begins with selecting the right technology in three key areas: infrastructure, a foundational system to drive EDH applications, and the data integration platform. Obviously, you want to choose solutions that fit your needs today and allow for future growth. You’ll also want to ensure they are tested and validated to work well together and with your existing technology ecosystem. In this post, we’ll focus on selecting the right hardware.
The Infrastructure Component
Big data deployments must be able to handle continued growth, from both a data and user load perspective. Therefore, the underlying hardware must be architected to run efficiently as a scalable cluster. Important features such as the integration of compute and network, unified management, and fast provisioning all contribute to an elastic, cloud-like infrastructure that’s required for big data workloads. No longer is it satisfactory to stand up independent new applications that result in new silos. Instead, you should plan for a common and consistent architecture to meet all of your workload requirements.
Big data workloads represent a relatively new model for most data centers, but that doesn’t mean best practices must change. Handling a big data workload should be viewed from the same lens as deployments of traditional enterprise applications. As always, you want to standardize on reference architectures, optimize your spending, provision new servers quickly and consistently, and meet the performance requirements of your end users.
Cisco Unified Computing System to Run Your EDH
The Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data delivers a highly scalable platform that is proven for enterprise applications like Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. It also provides the same required enterprise-class capabilities--performance, advanced monitoring, simplification of management, QoS guarantees--to big data workloads. With lower switch and cabling infrastructure costs, lower power consumption, and lower cooling requirements, you can realize a 30 percent reduction in total cost of ownership. In addition, with its service profiles, you get fast and consistent time-to-value by leveraging provisioning templates to instantly set up a new cluster or add many new nodes to an existing cluster.
And when deploying an EDH, the MapR Distribution including Apache™ Hadoop® is especially well-suited to take advantage of the compute and I/O bandwidth of Cisco UCS. Cisco and MapR have been working together for the past 2 years and have developed Cisco-validated design guides to provide customers the most value for their IT expenditures.
Cisco UCS for Big Data comes in optimized power/performance-based configurations, all of which are tested with the leading big data software distributions. You can customize these configurations further, or use the system as is. Utilizing one of Cisco UCS for Big Data’s pre-configured options goes a long way to ensuring a stress-free deployment. All Cisco UCS solutions also provide a single point of control for managing all computing, networking, and storage resources, for any fine tuning you may do before deployment or as your hub evolves in the future.
I encourage you to check out the latest Gartner video to hear Satinder Sethi, our VP of Data Center Solutions Engineering and UCS Product Management, share his perspective on how powering your infrastructure is an important component of building an enterprise data hub.
In addition, you can read the MapR Blog, Building an Enterprise Data Hub, Choosing the Foundational Software.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.
Tags: Big Data, blade server, blades servers, C240 M3 Rack Server, Cisco UCS, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Unified Data Center, Cisco Unified Fabric, Enterprise Data Hub, Gartner, Hadoop, MapR, rack server, UCS Central, UCS service profiles
We continue to evolve the ways we interact and communicate. Still, telephony remains a foundation element of business communications. Even as we bring technologies into the collaboration mix, telephony is still a default option for many situations. It’s ubiquitous. It provides real-time, personal, human interaction that’s critical to communications with peers, customers, partners.
Given the importance of telephony, we’re always pleased when recognized for having powerful technology products. Continuing a history of recognition that goes back 12 years, Gartner named Cisco a leader in the 2014 Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony. Gartner maps companies in the telephony space according to their “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision.” Cisco lands in the top-right of that grid.
Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony
Our unified communications and telephony products are the most prevalent of our collaboration portfolio. The core of our corporate telephony platform, Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, Gartner, IP Phones, Magic Quadrant, SIP, telephony, voip
This week, I had the opportunity to focus on digital business as an attendee and presenter at Gartner’s ITxpo in Orlando, Fla. It was a sold out crowd with 8,500 attendees and approximately 2,700 CIOs. And one insight that seemed to resonate with the audience was Gartner’s belief that by 2018, digital business will require 50 percent fewer business process workers and 500 percent more key digital business jobs.
At the ITxpo discussing how the Internet of Everything enables the transition to Gartner’s All Things Digital
We already live in a world that is rapidly connecting people, process, data, and things in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. I believe that IoE is a key driver of this transition and a fundamental stepping stone to making “All Things Digital.”
Gartner defines All Things Digital as “blurring the physical and digital worlds to create new business designs.” Interestingly, Gartner focuses on people, business, and things, but omits process. Gartner’s view is that process will happen dynamically and be measured in not months or weeks, but nanoseconds. While this is a true statement, it reflects the end goal. The key question is, how does an enterprise become digitally enabled?
A first step in transitioning to All Things Digital, is embracing IoE by lighting up “dark assets.” A dark asset is something that is currently not connected to the Internet. A dark asset in itself however, does not create value. ln All Things Digital, connected devices begin to talk with other connected devices. These devices interact with one another dynamically, which in turn creates processes in just nanoseconds. In this environment, IoE allows you to understand what process to focus on and which assets to connect. In other words, IoE is the pathway to Gartner’s All Things Digital. The overarching goal is business outcomes. One retail example is connecting a parking lot to a retail store. In a recent trial, we found that data from parking lot sensors, when analyzed correctly, can predict when checkouts will get busy, so that more cashiers can be deployed. There are many other dark assets in a retail environment that have the potential to increase revenue, lower costs, and grow margins once they are lit up.
Read More »
Tags: All Things Digital, analytics, CCS, Cisco, data, Fast IT, Future of IT, Gartner, information, IoE, ITxpo, Joseph Bradley, people, process, retail, things