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ACI, Big Data, and DataTorrent

(This blog has been developed in association with Farid Jiandani, Product Manager with Cisco’s Insieme Networks Business Unit)

If you work for an enterprise that’s looking to hit its digital sweet spot, then you’re scrutinizing your sales, marketing and operations to see where you should make digital investments to innovate and improve productivity. Super-fast data processing at scale is being used to obtain real-time insights for digital business and Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives.

According to Gartner Group, one of the cool vendors in this area of providing super- fast big data analysis using in-memory streaming analytics is called DataTorrent, a startup founded by long-time ex-Yahoo! veterans with vast experience managing big data for leading edge applications and infrastructure at massive scale. Their goal is to empower today’s enterprises to experience the full potential and business impact of big data with a platform that processes and analyzes data in real-time.

DataTorrent RTS

DataTorrent RTS is an open-DataTorrent RTS provides a single, unified batch and stream processing platform that enables organizations to reduce time to market, development costs and operational expenditures for big data analytics applications. source, enterprise-grade unified platform for stream and batch processing on Hadoop.

DataTorrent RTS Integration with ACI

A member of the Cisco ACI ecosystem, DataTorrent announced on September 29th DataTorrent RTS integration with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) through the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) to help create more efficient IT operations, bringing together network operations management and big data application management and development: DataTorrent Integrates with Cisco ACI to Help Secure Big Data Processing Through a Unified Data and Network Fabric.

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Life in the Fast Lane – The New Cisco UCS C3260 Rack Server

HeroC3260co-written with Richard Jacobik

Cisco recently started shipping the newest member to the UCS family – the storage-optimized UCS C3260 Rack Server. Data centers these days are bursting at the seams with unstructured data from new emerging applications and services. According to IDC, 80% of data is unstructured and continues to grow at a 16.2% CAGR. The ability for data centers to economically and rapidly ingest, index, analyze, and archive all this data is top of mind.

Cisco first introduced the C3000 family of storage optimized UCS rack servers in 2014 with the launch of the UCS C3160 rack server last fall. While on the surface the two servers models may look Read More »

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Cisco @ Strata-Hadoop World Wrap-Up: If we can make it there, we’ll make it anywhere…



We made it…another successful Strata-Hadoop World show for Cisco’s Big Data & Analytics team. This year we had a few unique challenges – the Pope was leaving town when we arrived; then the UN General Assembly made traffic a bit more difficult than normal; finally towards week’s end the threat of ‘The Hurricane’ for the East Coast…

Cisco had an active presence at Strata this year with several newsworthy and interesting highlights:

• Introducing Cisco Data Preparation. Cisco Data Preparation (Data Prep) makes it easy for non-technical business analysts to gather, explore, cleanse, combine and enrich the data that fuels analytics. Read Kevin Ott’s Data Prep blog here. Read More »

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Unleash Your Business Analysts Cisco Data Preparation

As the leader of Cisco’s Data Virtualization and Analytics Business Units, it is my pleasure to announce Cisco Data Preparation, a new big data and analytics offering for business analysts and IT.

What is Cisco Data Preparation?

Driven by Business’s accelerating demand for analytics, Cisco Data Preparation (Data Prep) makes it easy for non-technical business analysts to gather, explore, cleanse, combine and enrich the data that fuels these analytics.DataPrepDiagram1

Primarily designed as a self-service application for business analysts, Data Prep is also a valuable new capability for IT data developers and even data scientists, helping these teams collaborate to achieve the following benefits:

  • Faster Insights: New data sets available in minutes, not weeks.
  • More Comprehensive Insights: Gain advantage from all your data sources.
  • Better Business Outcomes at Scale: Supports hundred of data preparation projects at big data scale.
  • Higher Productivity, with Greater Governance: Both Business and IT gain from stronger collaboration.

Why will Business Analysts like Cisco Data Preparation?

Business Analysts can use Data Prep to address the significant data integration challenges they face when preparing analytic data sets using with a self-service approach.

  • Every analytic project is different making every data exploration effort unique. Cisco Data Prep’s Excel-like interface and machine learning lets analysts explore data freely.
  • Data is messy and everywhere. This results in analysts spending as much as 80% of their time preparing data before analysis can begin. Cisco Data Prep dramatically reduces time required to prepare data.
  • Too few Data Scientists and too long IT backlogs puts the onus on the Business adopt self-service. Cisco Data Preps empowers Business Analysts to do this work themselves.

Why will IT like Cisco Data Preparation?

IT can use Data Prep to work in concert with the business to intelligently balance self-service needs with governance constraints, while optimizing infrastructure.

  • Many requirements are short lived in contrast with IT’s industrial grade orientation. Cisco Data Prep helps IT and Business meet exploratory data needs with the right level investment and when needed even provide working prototypes that IT can quickly reengineer.
  • Independent, ungoverned data prep efforts can lead to duplication of effort, inconsistently transformed data sets of unclear origin, resulting in inaccurate analysis and potentially bad business results. Cisco Data Prep built-in governance and data set sharing increase trust.
  • Rogue data preparation activity in personal sandboxes and myriad tools, prevent IT from delivering scalable, secure infrastructure. Cisco Data Prep’s ability to massively scale allows IT so support thousands of users and multiple terabytes of data with a common, cost-effective infrastructure.

A Complete Data Preparation Solution, Only from Cisco

Cisco Data Preparation is a complete software, hardware and services solution that simplifies adoption and accelerates benefits.

  • Leveraging an easy-to-learn and use Excel-like interface and powerful machine intelligence algorithms from Cisco partner Paxata, Data Prep removes barriers to adoption and elevates business analysts’ skills.
  • Two-way integration with Cisco Data Virtualization helps leverage prior IT investments and closes the loop between the business and IT.
  • Data Prep’s massively scalable Hadoop and Spark-based architecture ensures that Data Prep users won’t be constrained by size of data sets or complexity of analysis.


Plus, a complete set of Cisco and Partner provided “Plan” and “Build” services ensure Data Prep implementation success.

Learn More About Cisco Data Preparation

There are lots of ways you can learn more about Data Prep. You can:

  • Join us at Strata+Hadoop World this week from September 29 through October 1 at the Javits Center in New York. Stop by Cisco Booth 425. There you can get a Data Prep demo from Cisco Sales Engineer Bill Kellett as well as attend with Cisco Data and Analytics Director Bob Eve and Paxata Product VP Nenshad Bardoliwalla.


  • Join us at the 2015 Data and Analytics Conference, October 20-22, at the Hilton Chicago. Register now and join my breakout session, “Data Preparation for Self-Service Analytics.”
  • Review the Cisco Data Preparation data sheet to learn more about Data Prep functionality.
  • Talk to your Cisco or Cisco partner account manager to arrange a conversation with a Cisco Data Preparation product specialist.
  • And look for upcoming blogs relating Cisco Data Preparation with Cisco UCS, Cisco Data Virtualization, Advanced Services and more. Stay tuned!


Join the Conversation

Follow @CicsoDataVirt and @CiscoAnalytics, #CiscoDAC.

Learn More from My Colleagues

Check out the blogs of Mala AnandMike FlannaganBob Eve and Nicola Villa to learn more.

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Thinking Bigger! Cisco + IBM – Collaboration of giants brings industry-leading solution for big data analytics

In December 2014, we announced VersaStack, an integrated infrastructure reference solution for enterprise applications that combines technologies from Cisco and IBM. Further extending this partnership, today we are announcing support for IBM BigInsights for Apache Hadoop on our Cisco UCS Integrated infrastructure for Big Data – an industry-leading platform widely adapted for enterprise big data application deployments. The joint solution encompasses disruptive innovations in Cisco UCS and the robust and industry-compatible Apache Hadoop distribution from IBM. This solution can be installed as a standalone Hadoop cluster with powerful analytical tools or can be integrated into existing VersaStack deployments that will benefit from a common fabric and unified management capabilities to deliver the deepest possible insight into your data to help you gain a sustainable competitive advantage.

We are also announcing the availability of Cisco Validated Design (CVD) that provides step by step design guidelines comprehensively tested and documented to help ensure faster, more reliable and predictable deployments at lower total cost of ownership.


  • Combines innovations from Cisco UCS such as programable infrastructure with best of open source software with enterprise-grade capabilities in IBM BigInsights for Apache Hadoop
  • Designed and optimized for common use cases, pre-tested, pre-validated and fully documented by Cisco and IBM engineers to ensure dependable deployments that can scale from small to very large as workload demands
  • Provides enterprises with extensive platform management and data visualization capabilities and integration of  big data with other information solutions to help enhance data manipulation and management tasks
  • Brings the power of SQL to Hadoop at the performance and scale ever than before accelerating data science and analytics leveraging SQL – arguably the most beautiful programming language – and integration with business applications to access data stored in HDFS and HBase with JDBC and ODBC
  • Deep technical expertise, global resources, and world-class support and services from Cisco, IBM and partners

This solution is built on Cisco UCS infrastructure using Cisco UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects and Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers optimized for IBM BigInsights for Apache Hadoop with scalability to thousands of nodes with Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches:

IBM BigInsightsonUCS

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