What does Data Unstored mean?  

It begins with connecting the unconnected. That the world is undergoing digital transformation is without question. Billions of devices are connected to the internet, and billions
more will be connected by 2020.
Over three and a half billion people have internet access today with another billion and a half coming online by 2020. Let’s not forget that when you bring something online it’s not just connected to the Internet – it is connected to everything else.

2020This is connecting the unconnected and it is an implacable, unstoppable force that shows no mercy and takes no prisoners. With these connections comes an unprecedented volume of data that successful companies are leveraging in innovative ways.

Clearly, you can’t analyze data you haven’t stored. But there’s more. Increasingly, companies are faced with the realization that they can’t analyze data they have stored but have archived. They have to ‘unstore’ it first. Actually, first they have to find it, then restore it, then analyze it. All the while the clock’s ticking.

And so as we move ahead connecting the unconnected, we find we also need to store the unstored. This includes new data arriving in volumes never before seen, and data we already have and must have immediate access to. It’s no longer about simply accumulating data but constantly analyzing it, transforming it and creating value with it in new ways.

When we store the unstored, we can:

  • Make the world a safer place: schools, the workplace and public spaces can all benefit from video surveillance and analytics
  • Create smarter cities with optimized traffic flow and more efficient parking
  • Help the environment by using energy more efficiently: in business, in our homes, in our schools, everywhere
  • Make better, more informed decisions regarding health care, education and safety
  • Serve customers better by knowing them better. More data means deeper insights into customer behavior and better inputs to recommendation engines.
  • Manage partners more efficiently through supply chain optimization and improved asset management
  • Improve information technology operational costs and efficiency by storing more for less
  • Even create entire new lines of business


Why the S-Series? 

Digital transformation demands higher capacity storage at lower cost. Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart sensors, connected machines and connected automobiles, mobile phones and social media, e-commerce and video surveillance systems, etc. are all generating data at an unprecedented scale. Data storage requirements are increasing in line with Moore’s law (in some cases faster) but the S3260 its time todata center footprint, IT staff and funding are not – a lot of optimization is required. So higher storage capacity at lower cost is a must have.

Traditional storage arrays are expensive and have limited scalability. The vision of Cisco’s S-series is to address the every growing demand for dense, high performance and highly scaleable storage systems. The first server in this series, the S3260, is specifically addressing these requirements:

  • Modular design enables independent upgrades of key server components enabling long term investment protection
  • High storage density to accommodate data growth without data center expansion
  • Lowest dollar per terabyte enabling data ‘unstore’ economical
  • Flexibility in the number of servers and disk drives, and third party adapter options to meet a variety of workload demands
  • Advanced manageability as a single entity in a scale-out cluster environments even at 10’s of petabytes
  • High performance network connectivity, currently 4 x 40 GbE, and it’s 100 GbE-ready, massive scalability with Cisco ACI
  • High I/O Bandwidth per server. Perfect for data intensive workloads.
  • Data protection through advanced RAID options and global hot spares, and  support for leading software defined storage software stacks


Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server

The Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server is a modular platform designed for applications that need to store and process large amounts of data and scale effortlessly as the applications demand. The system adds several innovations to the Cisco Unified Computing System improving
on the server, fabric and advanced management.

  • Protect your Investment: The Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server helps you significantly reduce total cost of ownership and long term investment protection. The design allows you to upgrade individual components as technology advances. Network, storage and computing components can all be independently S3260upgraded. Never scrap a server again.
  • Unparalleled Flexibility: The Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server is flexible enough to handle any workload. It can be configured with one server node for capacity-intensive workloads, or two server nodes when high performance is needed. Designed for high performance and capacity, each server supports 8 GBytes/sec of I/O bandwidth, two Intel Xeon E5-2600 series processors per server node, two server nodes per chassis, and up to 600 terabytes of storage, all in a 4RU form factor and a 32-inch depth innovative design.
  • More Cost-Effective than Cloud Storage: A recent analysis of the S3260 by Bill Shields shows it is less than half the cost of equivalent public cloud storage. Not discussed in that analysis but equally important, is the cloud is only storage, no processing. If you want to analyze your data you have to pay even more. With the S3260 you get the same storage as the cloud for half the price and the processing capability to analyze the data.
  • A Lot Denser than Traditional Rack Servers: A single 4RU chassis is equivalent to four 2RU servers in storage capacity, and each server is equipped with dual port 40 Gbps ethernet, employing a balanced, one-to-one core-to-spindle ratio delivering superior computing performance and less server based software licenses, and management points. Also compare 80 Gbps/28 disks (2.8) to 20 Gbps/24 disks (0.83) of a traditional 2RU systems which is critical for data inject, data replication and recovery in scale-out solutions.

On November 17th we’ll be holding a joint webinar with Intel where we’ll discuss the challenges of data intensive applications and the applications and hardware to address them. Click here to register 


Workloads for S3260

The Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server employs a modular design making it flexible enough to handle a wide variety of workloads.

1. Big Data and Analytics big data

Big data is a big market. IDC estimates the big data technology and services market will exceed $48 billion in 2019. Business intelligence used to mean collecting data, warehousing it and reporting on it periodically. Now data in huge volume is moving from source to consumer at lightning speed, streamed in real-time and analyzed for immediate use. Let me give you few examples.

Finance: Financial institutions around the world are under pressure to both prevent financial crime, and meet regulatory and compliance requirements. This includes fraud detection, money laundering, terrorist financing, identifying sanctioned entities and maintaining high quality data lineage. The industry is struggling to handle the volume, velocity and variety of data that is fragmented across many silos.fraud

Big data technology allows financial institutions to consolidate their data from different systems across different lines of business in a more efficient and cost effective way, providing a consolidated 360-degree view of their customer information and transactions. The storage and use of this data varies widely from real-time, low-latency fraud detection to long-term archive storage for compliance purposes.

The Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server is uniquely positioned to aid financial institutions with its combination of high-density storage and high-performance architecture. The modular design gives IT departments the flexibility to match the configuration to the need.

Manufacturing: Many manufacturing industries employ very complex processes to create their products. For example, pharmaceutical companies and semiconductor manufacturers both monitor manufhundreds of dependent and independent variables as the material moves through the production line. Even small variations in the raw material and equipment processing can create very large changes in the final yieldScreen Shot 2016-11-11 at 7.48.05 AM and the quality of the product.

Increasingly, companies are turning to big data to address these issues, both preventing manufacturing excursions using real-time processing, and in the identification of important relationships between variables to improve quality and yield. The S3260’s ability to effortlessly store huge volumes of unstructured data, process it live while the data is in-motion, and analyze it after the fact when it’s at-rest, makes it the perfect choice to improve quality, increase yield and lower cost in complex manufacturing environments.

Health Care: Big data technology is quietly revolutionizing health care. Using applications built on big data, people are able to live healthier lives and get the right care by the right provider at the right time.

healthOne provider implemented a system that stores and shares data across all facilities and promotes the use of up-to-date electronic health records. The integrated system has improved outcomes in cardiovascular disease and achieved an estimated $1 billion in savings from reduced office visits and lab tests. Another provider developed an integrated system that delivers evidence-based care by coordinating doctors, hospitals and health plans using personalized data.

Others are conducting real world studies of chronic illnesses and common diseases, then combining the results with clinical trial data for analysis to determine the most effective treatments. The same data is also used to guide R&D investment decisions.

Hospitals are using real-time data processing in concert with predictive analytics tools to enable highly advanced, forward-looking and customized treatment plans for patients. Patient records aren’t just being digitized and stored. Diagnostic imaging data is being analyzed in real time for faster and better outcomescvd

All of these initiatives are driven by the large scale storage and processing of structured and unstructured data. The volume of data requires dense storage to be cost-effective and high-performance to be timely. These are two features where the S3260 shines.

Cisco has published validated designs with major ISVs including Cloudera, Hortonworks, IBM, MapR, SAP, Splunk and others  consisting of systems and solutions that have been designed, tested, and documented to facilitate faster, more reliable, and more predictable customer deployments and significantly lower the cost of ownership.

2. Collaboration and Data Protection

Data volumes are growing dramatically. Even mundane systems like email and file sharing are growing at an alarming rate. Traditionally, high-end proprietary (and expensive) systems are used for data protection. The new trend is scale out at a significantly lower cost per terabyte.

The need for data protection solutions is obvious. They are insurance for the business, reducing risk by storing and safeguarding the business data, making it readily available when needed. This includes recovery from failure, both spot failures and disaster recovery, but also the increasingly important need to meet regulatory and compliance requirements by retaining data for a specified retention period.bura

Cisco provides tested data protection solutions partnered with leading software vendors. These solutions are offered across the entire data center infrastructure: bare-metal, converged and hyper converged solutions. The flexibility, high density storage with exceptional I/O, along with the state-of-the-art network bandwidth (4×40 Gbps) make the S3260 ideal platform for data protection solutions.

3. Content Distribution and Video Analytics

Digital video used to be solely a capacity problem but is changing to a compute processing challenge. Video surveillance now routinely collects and stores terabytes of footage. These systems also share the video across the network providing the ability to actively access events like crimes or accidents. They enable safer schools, cities and workplaces. Other uses include traffic control and crowd control, with an emerging set of systems processing facial recognition and motion event triggers in real-time.VSS

Digital video analytics needs high density storage and high performance computing and networking. The S3260 is uniquely positioned to handle this workload with high density storage per RU, the latest Intel processors, 8 GBytes/sec I/O and 4 x 40 Gbps network bandwidth. A single S3260 chassis with 600 TB of storage can hold a full year’s worth of high quality HD video for 23 cameras (1280 x 1024 x 30 fps, H.264).

Cisco Video Surveillance Manager with Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server provide a comprehensive video surveillance solution, making it easy for your security staff to remotely monitor, investigate and respond to incidents. This solution combines high-performance computing systems, high-density storage and video surveillance and remote management software.

4. Software Defined and Object Store

Traditional storage systems are limited in their ability to easily and cost-effectively scale to support massive amounts of unstructured data. Object storage is an approach that can handle both the lack of structure in the data and the volume of data. With about 80% of today’s data being unstructured the need for a scalable solution is paramount. The Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server is an excellent choice for the variety of different workloads required by object storage solutions, including: web-scale applications, media storage, file-based storage and backup.sds

Managing data that’s constantly flowing into your company requires combining capacity, performance and economics. Even more, creating insight from that data quickly and reliably requires a server optimized for both high-density storage and high-performance. The Cisco UCS S3260 Storage Server meets these requirements at the lowest cost while integrating seamlessly with Cisco UCS and its unparalleled ease of management.

Cisco provides comprehensive tested and validated solutions for software defined storage and object storage solutions.


Click HERE to learn more about the UCS-S Series


Raghunath Nambiar

No Longer with Cisco