Guest Blog by Ron Graham Ron_graham[1]

Ron Graham had served as a Data Center Architect and Systems Engineer for some of the largest IT companies in the U.S. including Cisco Systems, NetApp, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle. He is currently working for Cisco Systems as a Big Data Analytics Engineer.

What is Data Virtualization? Our definition is: Agile data integration software that makes it easy to access all your data no matter where it’s managed, and query it across the network as if it were in a single place. I like to say it differently – the real value lies in its ability to provide business users with a single high-level view of data that is spread across their infrastructure.

Data Virtualization is essentially middleware software that leverages a high-performance query engine and can utilize advanced computer architectures such as Cisco UCS. It’s a virtual data integration layer that can deliver data from multiple sources that are loosely coupled or have little or no knowledge of the other components. Of course this is done in a logically organized manner as show by the diagram below.


This is all nice but where is the beef, or the sex appeal? The sexy part is in the front-end business intelligence platforms and data visualization tools that can access and analyze data such as Tableau. Tableau can simply access data through the Cisco Data Virtualization with an ODBC driver. From here, business users can query data on demand from a single point of access (i.e. a common data model) without having to understand the different schemas or SQL dialects of the original data sources.

As you can see Cisco is not just another elegant hardware player in the “Hadoop foundation,” and can provide end to end solutions. “Data Virtualization” by Judith R. Davis and Robert Eve will provide a wealth of information on this topic.

Please join us at Strata+Hadoop World on September 29–October 1 at the Javits Center in New York. Stop by Cisco Booth 425 and introduce yourself to Bob Eve, Data Virtualization BU Marketing, and Bill Kellett, Data Virtualization BU Solutions Engineer, to learn more about Data Virtualization.

Todd Talkington , Tableau Partner Manager, will be talking about Improved Insights Save Lives with Tableau, Cloudera, and Cisco on Wed 9/30 1:00pm in our theater. Also stop by for some free chachkies and a quick demo on how Tableau, Cloudera, and Cisco together use data-driven, predictive insights to improve quality of care and healthcare outcomes.


Renee Yao

No longer at Cisco