Big Data for Business Analysts: How IT Can Deliver With Hadoop and Platfora

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Today Platfora announced their first GA release of their in-memory BI platform built over Hadoop. If you’ve been thinking about how to leverage big data in your company – how to deliver and support business analysts with big data analysis capabilities – this may be a fast, effective route to some big value.

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Converged Infrastructure, or ‘Where Did All the Silos Go?’

An IT industry analyst article published by Virtualization Review.

Quite a few companies are mashing up server, storage, networking and even the hypervisor into turnkey solutions that can scale up or down as data center needs dictate.

article_converged-infrastructureOnce upon a time as IT shops grew and matured, infrastructure subgroups would form to focus on complex domain-specific technologies. Servers, storage and networking all required deep subject matter expertise and a single-minded focus to keep up with the varying intricacies of implementation, operations and management. In large enterprises, fully staffed silos working in concert could leverage mountains of technology to great effect. But inevitably, turf battles, budget tightening and the fact that smaller organizations might not reach critical mass can make the silo approach costly and inefficient.

Virtualization solutions at first helped the silo model by abstracting the user of idealized IT from its physical implementation. Increasingly independent silos of underlying infrastructure could then be designed and managed very differently, and hopefully optimally, from what the end client sees. And in fact, virtualization became its own new IT domain, adding yet another layer of IT silo complexity.

But here at Taneja Group, we’ve noted several trends that are coming together to break down the traditional IT silo model. The virtual admin originally in charge of the hypervisor and server cluster is now on the verge of subsuming storage and networking too. New generations of “software defined” and cloud-provisionable technologies enable virtual admins to dynamically allocate increasingly enterprise-class resources to clients. And on the infrastructure side, converged infrastructure solutions make the physical implementation as simple as snapping Lego-like building blocks together.

For a while there have been bundled solutions that pre-package infrastructure into nice racks. Buying IT in pallets can be attractive in many growth or transformation scenarios, but at the end of the day they are still composed of racks of traditional enterprise infrastructure. In most cases, these solutions are adopted by customers that probably have the silo expertise to build their own, but are looking for a cost-effective shortcut.

What we are really excited about are the new “hyper-converged” infrastructure solutions that are designed from the ground up as scale-out units of IT. Server, storage, networking, and even the hypervisor may have been integrated as a single racked unit. Deployment and growth are simply handled by racking and stacking more identical (or similar as needed) units. They plug together and re-pool storage, cluster the servers and share key resources like flash. IT no longer needs deep silo staffing to deploy and operate enterprise quality solutions.

…(read the complete as-published article there)

Deep and Broad – Following IO from VM through SAN with Virtual Instruments

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Recently we had the pleasure to conduct an in-depth field study for Virtual Instruments (VI) in which we got to interview, without interference, six of their large enterprise customers spanning verticals including technology, manufacturing, retail, telecom, financial services and government. The results were both expected and surprising. Expected because we knew that Virtual Instruments is delivering infrastructure performance solutions designed to help identify and troubleshoot IO issues deep down into the protocol level in the SAN and then up and across arrays on one end and physical or virtual machines on the other. No other vendor does what they do (as the clients all testified) to provide critically important management and visibility across the complex SAN environment. Basically these clients advised us that if you have mission-critical services that depend on storage, you’ll find VI indispensable in meeting service levels and optimizing infrastructure.

…(read the full post)