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Tales of a Fourth-Grade Something: Big Data with Cisco & Splunk at .conf & Strata

Someone at a meeting recently told me how cool it was that big data was finally moving out of the early adopter phase. He’s lucky I wasn’t drinking a beverage at the time, or he might have ended up wearing it.

I’m accused of being sort of a unicorn when it comes to the Big Data ecosystem, having worked with engineered Big Data environments since 2004 or so and Hadoop proper since 2009. And while some individual companies may be emerging from early adopter, it’s hard to say that Big Data itself is that new. You just have to look at the conference world to see how big this ecosystem has become, and how it’s shifted from theory and skunkworks projects and resume fodder, to technology solutions for new and metamorphic problems in business.

Some people will say “But surely there’s only been a competitive landscape for Hadoop distributions since 2012, right?” That’s true, but as I’ve said in 20 or more presentations in the past year, Big Data is more than Hadoop. And don’t call me Shirley.

One of the oldest companies driving Big Data software predates commercial Hadoop by a couple of years. In fact, they’re just about old enough to go into fourth grade (with apologies to Judy Blume for my title on this post). And you still have time to join Splunk (and Cisco) for their seventh annual worldwide user conference the week of September 21, 2015.

Buttercup at the .conf Search Party courtesy Lily Wai (@lgwai)

Buttercup at .conf Search Party via Lily Wai (@lgwai)


.conf is Splunk’s annual worldwide user conference, attended by thousands of customers and partners and users of Splunk’s suite of products.

Cisco has been attending, and presenting, for a while now, and 2015 is no exception. We will have a booth in the expo at .conf 2015, and you can join members of the Cisco team at two IT Operations breakout sessions.

  • Thursday, September 24, 11:15am: Cisco and Splunk: Under the Hood of Cisco IT (with Robert Novak and Cisco IT’s George Lancaster)

Learn how Cisco IT uses Splunk software to gain deep operational visibility into applications, accelerate problem resolution, and drive better business outcomes.

  • Thursday, September 24, 1:15pm: Event-Driven SDN with Splunk and Cisco’s Open SDN Controller (with Steven Carter and Friea Berg)

This session presents and demonstrates a system using Splunk and the Cisco Open SDN Controller for steering large data flows around firewalls and other devices that could disturb their performance while actively blocking threats.

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See Cisco at Open Networking User Group

Late October is the start of the colorful fall season in East Coast and taking a ferry ride up the Hudson river in Big Apple is a photographer’s delight. Not to mention the vibrant Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, with hundreds of people dressing up in outrageous costumes. While you are enjoying the scenery, come meet our good Cisco folks talk about writing SDN Applications on controllers at the Open Network User Group (ONUG) event on October 29-30 hosted by JPMorgan Chase at their New York City headquarters.

On both days, we are giving a live demo of the Extensible Network Controller (XNC) and specifically, the Latency Optimized Forwarding application. This is a very good opportunity to see live, how the network administrator can easily and transparently create a custom forwarding path through the network. Moreover, on Day 1, we have Chris Marino giving a presentation on OpenStack Networking: Software Defined Networks in cloud environments. All around, it is a wonderful opportunity to interact with the Cisco team to get insights into how to implement SDN in your Data Centers in a low risk way.

Hope to see you there and good luck if you are running the world famous New York City Marathon on Nov 3rd !

To learn more about XNC, please visit

To learn more about ONUG and event agenda, please visit



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Using Human and Technology Networks to Tackle Homelessness

This post was written by Molly Tschang, customer solutions director, advisory services, reflecting the teamwork started by 20+ members of Cisco’s New York City public sector team

Ten to fifteen percent of America’s homeless population is chronically homeless. Yet they utilize more than 50 percent of public resources available to help the homeless.  Housing people permanently reconnects them to society and amounts to annual savings of US$30,000 to US$40,000 per family in New York City, money that could potentially support other city services.

Community Solutions is a leading social enterprise, assessing the roots of homelessness and addressing them with long-term solutions. Partnering with Community Solutions, Cisco’s New York City public sector team is tapping a broad range of Cisco’s assets–human and technology–to help end homelessness. At the same time, they are achieving the business aim of better understanding their customers’ mission and having greater, more meaningful impact as a business partner.

Networks tackle homelessness

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The Big Apple: NYC Digital at the Core

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Municipalities around the world have been targeting broadband deployment, with varying degrees of success, as noted in our recent editorial, Intelligent Communities: A Smart Choice? The biggest U.S. city of all, New York, has committed extensive resources to make its broadband deployment a huge economic success, focusing on some traditional areas — government information, business support — and also some non-traditional areas.

Much of the program, dubbed NYC Digital, mirrors what many municipalities have already done. It includes deploying broadband access throughout the five boroughs to improve digital capabilities for industry, citizens, educational institutions, and city government itself. It also includes the traditional feature of giving citizens electronic access to government services — for example, permits, public records, and street cleaning schedules.

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