When I set out to plan a once in a lifetime US coast-to-coast round trip with a buddy of mine in a 40-year old single engine Cessna 172 aircraft under visual flight rules (VFR), it quickly became apparent to me that I was creating my very own personal big data project with a well-defined outcome.
Read on. I will explain what I mean by outcome.
The sheer amount of data I was collecting resulted in many spreadsheets with destination airport codes, elevations, traffic pattern altitudes and directions, runway lengths and configurations, radio frequencies and taxi procedures.
Just one of many data rich spreadsheets
It did not stop there: route planning included avoiding high terrain that I knew the aircraft – and pilot for that matter – would not muster, military operating areas and restricted airspace.
I researched seasonal weather trends along the planned route and destinations so I was well informed of what type of weather we could be confronted with along the way. Aircraft performance considerations were made: weight & balance, estimated time en-route, fuel consumption and cost, climb speeds, density and cruising altitudes, etc.
Finally, I spent countless hours on YouTube watching videos posted by like-minded general aviation pilots flying to the destination airports in my plan. I took notes and committed their shared experiences to memory. It was time well invested: I had a pretty good idea what to expect and what to avoid. It lifted any doubt or anxiety low-time pilots like myself often experience when flying to unfamiliar airports.
I organized all that data in a way that would allow me to make informed decisions about each flight.
On the ground I used the data to file flight plans, get updated weather briefings and quickly make informed ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ decisions.
In the air the, data I needed was easily accessible. It exponentially reduced my workload as pilot-in-command during all phases of flight, allowing me to focus on the fun stuff: aviating, navigating, and communicating with air-traffic control.
And that brings me back to the well-defined outcome for this trip: all this data – and more importantly – how I chose to use it gave me peace of mind that the outcome of each flight would result in a safe landing at each destination airport – one that my travel buddy and I could walk away from with smiles on our faces.
And smile we did
The result was an unforgettable experience: seeing the entire country from a unique perspective that only an airborne aircraft can deliver.
Flying over the Big Apple
Big Data, Big Opportunities
So here is my point: when it comes to big data projects, my personal big data journey pales in comparison to the amount of data an organization can collect and analyze to gain valuable insights to deliver better business outcomes or unique customer experiences.
The sky is the limit. But deciding on what data to collect, where, and how to store it – how to organize, manage and analyze all that data coming from an ever-increasing variety of sources requires careful consideration:
What insights are you expecting to gain from that data?
Where is that data coming from? Is it structured or unstructured data?
How do you manage that data securely in real-time?
How does it support game changing decision-making, add value to the business or create a unique experience for the customer that will have them coming back for more?
All that can no doubt be overwhelming, and unfortunately there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
But big data is real – it has become a business imperative. An absolute must if your business wants to remain relevant in your industry.
Statistics suggest that organizations and companies that successfully invest in, and execute on, a well-planned big data strategy will have a competitive edge over their industry peers. In some cases they will out perform them by 20%. Don’t take my word for it – just read the Gartner reports.
Or better yet, download the latest Unleashing IT Big Data edition. It is loaded with expert advice from leading Hadoop and analytics vendors that Cisco has partnered with to deliver custom tailored, validated, and secure big data solutions that easily scale as your business grows. It discusses strategies to help unlock that competitive edge. And it profiles organizations that are turning big data into big value today.
Jim McHugh recently posted this blog about a three-part virtual conference series on big data and analytics hosted jointly with Intel and several hadoop vendors. I think it’s worth a read and hope to see you attend our first session on June 17th. Check out the compelling agenda.
Big data and analytics are not just buzzwords—they have become business imperatives. There are examples in just about every industry and vertical where organizations extracting valuable insight from their data and innovating faster, enhancing customer experiences, and becoming more relevant in the market. Organizations that don’t have a data strategy are starting to fall behind – fast.
To help you develop an impactful big data strategy we are doing a series of 3Big Data Virtual Conferences. These complimentary events give you a chance to get the insider perspective on how to capitalize on the data your organization is already gathering, without even leaving your desk.
The first event, coming up on June 17, focuses on data warehouse optimization. Parts two and three, focused on operational analytics and business analytics respectively, will follow on September 9 and October 7.
Why you should attend
These events will provide you with the opportunity to virtually interact directly with subject matter experts and engage with our big data solution partners by attending their sessions. Each session will feature interactive chats so you can get answers to tough questions, discuss challenges, and gain valuable insights that can help shape your big data strategy.
You’ll get a chance to hang out in the various booths located in the expo hall and download valuable assets to read through at your leisure, as well as join in some fun games.
The first conference in the series – focused on data warehouse optimization – will cover the following topics:
Boosting data warehousing cost-efficiency with Hadoop solutions and virtualization
Effectively managing your infrastructure amongst the constant influx of data
Increasing security through data warehousing best practices
Optimizing your data warehousing to easily create actionable analytics
The best part is that you won’t need to leave your desk, battle traffic and find a parking spot only to realize that you parked 15 minutes away from the venue and there is not a coffee shop in sight for that much needed caffeine boost.
On January 28, 2008, Cisco made headlines with the introduction of the market’s first Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Switch, the Nexus 5000. Cisco also reached out to ecosystem partners and demonstrated FCoE capabilities with them at various industry conferences. When we introduced FCoE, we knew that it would revolutionize and transform the LAN/SAN connectivity landscape and lay the foundation for end-to end-convergence in the data center. A unified data center was possible for the first time. Flash forward seven years, and FCoE is now thriving, growing and is supported throughout the data center portfolio.
For a while, Nexus 5K was the only platform that could support FCoE, and some of our progressive customers (like Coca Cola Bottling Company), who deployed FCoE with Nexus 5K, in the access layer immediately reaped the benefits of convergence (See below for FCoE customer references). Our customer feedback was that FCoE benefits were extremely tangible, but they wanted even more. Could Cisco extend FCoE beyond access layer? Could Cisco extend it to the core and to the storage array?
Cisco continued to innovate on FCoE and currently FCoE is supported across all the Nexus (2K, 5K and 7K), MDS and UCS platforms, with a future roadmap for the Nexus 9K. Fast forward to May 21st 2015, – Cisco announced the support of 40G FCoE across the Nexus 7000 and Nexus 7700 family, along with support for Spine and Leaf architecture. FCoE is growing, is in great demand and we are investing in it to support customer requirements.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts turned to the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®), Nexus® Data Center Switches, and innovative technologies such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to save money on power, cooling, cabling, and network infrastructure.
FCoE is being rapidly adopted in the storage area networking (SAN) category as well.! Proof is in the customer adoption rate, customer case studies and the awards we received(IT Brand Pulse Award ). Cisco is technology agnostic and we keep on investing and innovating in multi-protocol SAN. We believe Fibre Channel will continue to exist, and it is not about FC or FCoE: it is about providing customer choices for their specific infrastructure needs. Strong support of FCoE across all data center platforms is a long term strategy to provide the right solutions to all customers, whether you are a small medium business, large enterprise or cloud provider. Cisco provides all types of customers end to end server and storage connectivity, with a brand you can trust.
Our last but not least guest blog on “Why I Love Big Data Partner Series” is up! If you are on your way back home from Cisco Live, this would be a great read for your commute. Rob Rosen from Platfora will take us through how easy it is to uncover previously hidden threats with an integrated big data solution that dynamically analyzes large volumes of disparate security data from Cisco’s security portfolio. If you missed Cisco Live this year, Rob also did a great job summarizing some of the key highlights.
Rob Rosen, Sr. Director Partner Solutions at Platfora, is responsible for developing Big Data solutions within Platfora’s partner community including Cisco, Hadoop distribution providers and Platfora’s growing channel partner team. Rob has worked in leadership capacities with technology leaders in the infrastructure and Big Data space including MapR Technologies, NetApp, Check Point Software and Sun Microsystems.
Highlights from Cisco Live: Top Insights from Platfora
It was a jam-packed week at Cisco Live and I had the opportunity to dive into the latest developments around big data analytics and security. It’s well known that as IT infrastructure has transferred to virtual cloud-based applications and storage, organizations need visibility and security to keep their assets and data safe. I saw a lot of impressive presentations and I was able to share our own technology in partnership with Cisco.
Highlights from this week’s conference:
John Chambers’ keynote:Everyone’s talking about it—and for good reason. As he welcomed the crowd to Cisco Live, Chambers focused on exactly how businesses get disrupted in the digital age. He urged attendees and organizations to not hesitate to scrutinize their IT infrastructure and adopt the new technologies they’d see at the conference.
Collaboration across companies: There was a huge ecosystem of technology companies that partnered with Cisco for a presence at the event. It’s encouraging to see that these tech giants across all industries are collaborating with one another to develop more comprehensive solutions for customers. Cisco’s leading the pack as it models an inclusive approach built on partnerships—which is better for everyone in the long run.
Cisco Intercloud announcement: This is a particularly exciting partnership announcement for Platfora. Cisco’s Intercloud Ecosystem could be described as a hybrid “cloud of clouds.” For anyone looking to pull value from their stored data, manage files or do a huge variety of other vital business tasks, this development is huge.
This guest blog is written by Nathan Pearce of F5 Networks.
Nathan Pearce draws from over 20 years experience across numerous technologies and verticals, has held positions managing enterprise infrastructure, in vendor engineering, consulting, product management and marketing strategy. Pearce joined F5 Networks in 2006, is currently focused on Cloud and SDN go-to-market, is an experienced speaker, evangelist and technology enthusiast. You can find him on Twitter at @PearceNathan.
We have entered a time that is demanding of the networking innovators that we connect the unconnected, deliver of the agile and unpredictable, secure the ever-changing, and that all this be done quicker than ever before. Organizational expectations are driving increased workload with the expectation of reduced lead times. Few would argue that achieving such requires massive change, not only to an organizations architectural approach but, to how we conduct business.
Synonymous with great change is accelerated innovation–the force behind the almost-electric atmosphere throughout Silicon Valley. For a long time, much of technology innovation has been in the form of, or within, specific devices–improved performance, management or consolidation. Consequently, the results have been within the silos those competencies exist–faster firewalls, improved virtual-server density, and more granular access technology, for example. However, unlike in the past, today’s innovation drivers are focused on faster, more agile business, and not just improvements to specific devices.
Delivering on the business expectation of managing exponential increase in agility is a feat no single vendor can solve. Consequently, those leading the trends are embracing the era of the partnership to best meet these expectations, and Cisco and F5 are no strangers to this practice of partnering to achieve a better customer outcome.
What’s in a partnership?
Successful partnerships run much deeper than a press release. F5 and Cisco are working together across many different avenues including regular product development sync ups, sales and marketing strategy, consulting services, and training. Is this necessary, you might ask? According to our customers it is integral.
Take Pulsant, for example:
Through our partnership and aligned commitment to better serve customers we are helping out customers:
Faster time to value for the deployment of new applications and services.
Faster time to react towards situation affecting existing applications and services.
Reduced complexity and operational risk in the management of Cisco’s Layer 2/3 networking services and F5’s Layer 4 – 7 application services.
Remaining competitive in today’s era of accelerated change can’t be achieved with the right tools, alone. Success comes from choosing partners with aligned vision.