Preparing your infrastructure foundation for big data

SN blogs: This week, analysts discuss how to prepare your network infrastructure to handle big data, the cost benefits of 3-D printing and what it means to have a hyper-converged network.

Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Analyst Jon Oltsik says that in most of his discussions with security professionals and vendors, people are curious about how big data analytics work. Oltsik says that the better question to ask is how to set up the IT infrastructure foundation to support big data analytics. To do that, Oltsik says to prepare your network by doing a little "plumbing." To start, he suggests using packet capture appliances and appliance distribution networks. After all, there is nothing worse than not being able to collect the data you plan to analyze because you don't have the network support system in place.

Read the other plumbing steps that Oltsik suggests making before collecting big data.

How necessary is the new 25 GbE single-lane standard?

Current Analysis blogger Steven Hill responds to the creation of the 25 G Ethernet Consortium. The group, backed by among others Arista, Broadcom, Google, Mellanox and Microsoft, supports a 25 Gibabit Ethernet (GbE) single-lane and 50 GbE dual-lane standard aimed at server-to-top-of-rack switching. While Hill understands the consumer demand for open standards, he's not too sure that the industry needs a new Ethernet standard. Hill explains that the current 10 GbE standard is only 10 years old and that 10 GbE usage is still spotty, at best.  Adopting new standards is usually a long process so Hill wonders how necessary the creation of the 25 GbE and 50 GbE really is.

Read more of Hill's thoughts about the creation of the new 25 GbE standard.

3-D printing, a good option for mid-size and enterprise business

Gartner Research Director Pete Basiliere recaps a recent Gartner Hype Cycle report detailing the growth of 3-D printing, the new manufacturing process that builds layers to create a 3-D solid object from a digital model. For enterprise and mid-size companies, 3-D printing is allowing businesses to insource a lot of prototype production, thus eliminating the need to contract others to do the job. Basiliere says that Garnter's 3-D printing clients encompass technology providers, end users, government agencies and educational institutions. Most notably, he says, is the way the healthcare industry is using this technology. Medical device 3-D printing, for example, can fabricate objects that can replace or control functions of the body -- a development Basiliere labels as life changing.

Read what Basiliere says to think about if your organization is planning to invest in 3D printing.

What does it mean to be truly 'hyper-converged'?

According to Virtualized Geek blogger Keith Townsend, for a network infrastructure to be considered hyper-converged; storage, compute and networking must all be combined. And of the leading switch vendors, Townsend describes Arista as a vendor that has best embraced hyper-convergence in its product roadmap.

By leveraging software from both VMWare and Coho Data, Townsend says Arista has enabled next-generation infrastructure services. In fact, he writes, "They seem to get the future vision of infrastructures today."

Next up: the development of so-called infrastructure bricks, which will allow data centers to add modules that may include storage or physical network ports. The enabler will be a management layer that allows converged services.

Read more of Townsend's hyper-convergence future predictions.

This was first published in July 2014

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