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Cisco UCS and ACI Infrastructure Innovations for Big Data at Hadoop Summit

Big Data remains one of the hottest topics in the industry due to the actual dollar value that businesses are deriving from making sense from tons of structured and unstructured data.  Virtually every field is leveraging a data-driven strategy as people, process, data and things are increasing being connected (Internet of Everything). New tools and techniques are being developed that can mine vast stores of data to inform decision making in ways that were previously unimagined.   The fact that we can derive more knowledge by joining related information and recognizing correlations can inform and enrich numerous aspects of every day life.  There’s a good reason why Big Data is so hot!

Hadoop Summit

 

This year at Hadoop Summit, Cisco invites you to learn how to unlock the value of Big Data. Unprecedented data creation opens the door to responsive applications and emerging analytics techniques and businesses need a better way to analyze data.  Cisco will be showcasing Infrastructure Innovations from both Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Cisco Applications Centric Infrastructure (ACI).  Cisco’s solution for deploying big data applications can help customers make informed decisions, act quickly, and achieve better business outcomes.

Cisco is partnering with leading software providers to offer a comprehensive infrastructure and management solution, based on Cisco UCS, to support our customers’ big data initiatives.   Taking advantage of Cisco UCS’s Fabric based infrastructure, Cisco can apply significant advantage to big data workloads.

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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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Cisco UCS Management

As Cisco UCS enters a new phase of growth with Cisco’s entry into the top 5-server vendors list, let’s step back and take a look at how we manage infrastructure in the world of Unified Computing. UCS Management is a key ingredient of Cisco’s Unified Data Center, which unifies physical and virtual infrastructures across data centers. The architecture delivers IT services through a holistic fabric-based approach, and has proven to lower the cost of computing and enable real IT innovation.    Customers are reporting an 84% reduction in provisioning times and 61% reduction of ongoing administrative/management costs.  In this post we’ll examine some of the drivers for that.  More recently, UCS Director has bolstered the portfolio and provided significant capabilities to reduce data center operational expenses.  Since there are many questions about how the portfolio products complement each other, I hope to clarify it.

UCSM_portfolio

The UCS management portfolio includes:

  • UCS Manager for individual UCS domains
    • Provides embedded, unified, policy based management of Cisco UCS blade and rack servers and all fabric components within the system Read More »

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Cisco UCS in an application centric world

Over the past few months I have been blogging about Cisco UCS in the context of various trends in the IT industry.

  1. Cisco UCS in an industrialized world
  2. Cisco UCS in a world with lotsa data
  3. Cisco UCS in the world of open source computing
  4. Cisco UCS in a world with windows
  5. Cisco UCS in a converged world
  6. Cisco UCS is a cloudy world
  7. Cisco UCS in a social world
  8. Cisco UCS in a mobile world

One thing is clear – IT world is changing and at a pace much faster than we have ever known.  It seems appropriate to culminate the series in the world of applications.  All entities, big and small ultimately want their data center infrastructure to run applications.  They could be collaboration applications for internal use or with partners.  The applications could be developed in house or could be commercial off the shelf (COTS). Some of the applications can provide the firm a competitive edge in the market – think recommendation engine used by Amazon.  At the end of the day the application is providing a valuable service.  With the advent of the Internet of Everything (IOE), there are many sources of data and connections that applications have to consider while delivering the service.

Imagine the Amazon recommendation engine taking into account your location and the temperature from a gauge near you.  Assuming that application services are delivered from a data center, the application must also be cognizant of the different access mechanisms, desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones. The rate of change in these new technologies is brisk.  As these rapid changes take place, Cisco offers Application centric infrastructure to ease the transitions.  Read Cisco CTO, Padmasree Warrior’s blog on this.

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Just what we need on Cyber Monday – Cisco UCS Central

Total (consumer) spending for the (Thanksgiving 2012) weekend reached an estimated $59.1 billion, a 13% increase from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation.  Online spending on Friday alone topped $1 billion for the first time, according to the data-analysis firm comScore Inc.

We can analyze the seasonal patterns of traffic by studying the Alexa reports such as the one below for different retailers.  In the case of walmart.com the holiday traffic is 400% the average during the year.  It remains to be seen how much more the traffic would spike today – Cyber Monday 2012. It is clear that retailers like Walmart need the ability to scale up the e-commerce infrastructure during the holiday season.

A retailer’s e-commerce infrastructure would include software applications, middleware, server, network and storage resources.  Virtualization technology has made scaling of e-commerce applications easier.  However, virtual machines can only start on physical servers after they are racked, stacked and necessary network and storage access components have been properly configured.  The preparation of the physical infrastructure is still mostly a manual task, unless they are using something like the Cisco UCS.  The Cisco UCS Manager embedded in the system, handles the simplified configuration.  With large environments (thousands of servers) infrastructure management software such as Cisco UCS Central becomes increasingly important. Cisco UCS Central, which simplifies compute infrastructure scaling, became generally available last week.   With it, physical compute infrastructure management can now be policy based and automated.  This in turn can increase the velocity of changes and reduce the possibility of errors while scaling rapidly.  This blog by Steve Kaplan and the short video below give a nice overview of Cisco UCS Central software.

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