This post was co-authored by Rajesh Shroff 

66 years in the making!

It sounds like a long time, but first we had to wait for a few milestones to precede us:

  • 1951 – UNIVAC pioneers use of magnetic tape for storage
  • 1993 – Severe Tire Damage is the first band to live stream
  • 2007 – Netflix launches their streaming media business

and finally,

  • 2017Cisco & MapR achieve a SPEC SFS world record for streaming workloads


The Data Age

That’s some pretty impressive company.  Why is this particular benchmark result so significant?

Because data is the lifeblood of business.  According to IDC, we’ve entered the Data Age: The world’s data will double every two years for the next decade.  How companies store, manage, access, and deliver hypercritical data will determine winners and losers.

But such volume of data cannot be easily managed with conventional systems.  As data-driven businesses gain prominence, demand is growing for integrated solutions encompassing high-density storage, powerful compute, and improved scalability:

  • Enterprises are collecting and storing more data for longer periods to support predictive analytics.
  • Data is classified by “temperatures” (hot/warm/cold) for dynamic data tiering.
  • Decision makers want to access and analyze data for real time insights.
  • But traditional storage arrays are expensive and don’t easily support large scale-out landscapes.


A New Approach to Software Defined Storage

That’s why Cisco developed the UCS S3260 Storage Server, a modular architecture designed to deliver efficient, industry-leading storage for data-intensive workloads.   And that’s why we’re partnering with MapR to provide a complete end-to-end software defined storage solution.

Our S3260 Storage Server offers the industry’s best performance in a compact 4RU form factor.  It supports either Scale Up (expandable to 28 drives/node), or Scale Out (easily adding multiple nodes to your integrated infrastructure), and is a proven Hadoop platform.   MapR-XD provides a highly reliable distributed data fabric with enterprise-grade features such as Global Namespace and Multi-temperature store.


We Blew It Away

Our SPEC SFS world record demonstrates the performance of the S3260 with MapR-XD.

SPEC’s benchmark suite is the standardized method for evaluating performance using file server throughput and response time.  We ran the Video Data Acquisition (VDA) streaming workload because it simulates applications that store data acquired from temporally volatile sources such as surveillance cameras.

Cisco and MapR have been setting records since we published the industry’s first Big Data benchmark in 2015.    But this was the first SPEC SFS benchmark on a HDFS (Hadoop file system) compatible platform.  Together, Cisco and MapR blew away all previously published SPEC SFS benchmarks:

2070 streams with an overall response time of just 12.94 msecs!

You can read the complete, audited benchmark report here.


Back in the Real World

But companies don’t run benchmarks for a living.   What’s this mean for our customers?

Referring back to our data delivery milestones, the UCS S3260 Storage Server is perfect for modern data-intensive workloads like big data and video steaming.  Analytics and content distribution applications require both simultaneous scalability and high performance.  This need is ubiquitous in industries as different as video surveillance and entertainment.

Remember the frustrating mid-movie buffering we put up with back in 2007?  Yesterday I watched Sunday Night Football’s live stream on my laptop connected to the Cisco network without so much as a hiccup.

Nor did I expect one.  We’ve become accustomed to a right-now world.  We generate and consume more data in real time today than ever before in history.  As our demand for storage capacity and performance in this Data Age continues to increase, we’ll want greater density and higher performance at lower costs.

Cisco and MapR deliver on those expectations.   The innovative, modular design of our UCS S3260 Storage Server allows independent refresh of compute, storage, and network.  And it scales to over ½ PB.   Like the rest of Cisco’s Intent-based Data Center portfolio, the S3260 benefits from profile-based management, 40gE speed, and best-in-class Security to create the most flexible, programmable, cost effective infrastructure you can deploy.

Click here to learn more about how the UCS 3260 Storage Server can benefit your Data Center.