Cisco to Offer Hadoop Distributions With UCS Infrastructure

The company is expanding its big data expertise with resale deals with top Hadoop distributors Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR.


Cisco Systems officials are continuing on their push to make the tech vendor a one-stop shop for organizations that are looking for ways to make sense of the tsunami of data that is coming their way.

The company has been building up its big data capabilities, most recently with the rollout in December 2014 of a suite of analytics tools—the Connected Analytics for the Internet of Everything portfolio—that is designed to run atop Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) converged infrastructure solution.

Now Cisco is broadening what it can offer in analytics via resale agreements with Hadoop distributors Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR Technologies. Adding the Hadoop distributions to its list of hardware and software products enables Cisco and its channel partners to offer a wide array of options for organizations that are trying to put their arms around the huge amounts of data being generated.

"Achieving the business outcomes of big data requires an analytics-ready infrastructure that enables a broad range of joint solutions with ecosystem partners," Jim McHugh, vice president of marketing for UCS and data center solutions at Cisco, said in a statement.

Company officials are predicting that the Internet of everything (IoE)—which they have said includes not only the Internet of things, but also applications and people—will grow from 25 billion devices last year to more than 50 billion by 2020, and all those connections are going to generate massive amounts of data. Businesses are now trying to find ways to collect, analyze and act on that data as quickly as possible to increase their own efficiencies and develop new products and services for their customers.

Cisco wants to offer businesses analytics solutions built atop UCS data center infrastructures that include any of the Hadoop distributions along with other software, virtualization and services. UCS, which was announced in 2009 and has since enabled Cisco to become a top server vendor—the company was the fourth-largest server maker in the world in 2014, according to IDC analysts—offers a tightly integrated environment that includes compute, networking, storage and virtualization resources as well as management software.

Having an integrated hardware and software solution for their big data needs will help businesses more easily scale their Hadoop clusters, Cisco officials said. In addition, organizations can leverage the Cisco Data Virtualization tool to virtualize the data before sending it into the Hadoop cluster, which officials said will make data processing and management easier and more cost-efficient.

"Apache Hadoop has become a strategic data platform as it offers the fastest path for businesses to unlock value in big data while maximizing existing investments," Cecile Poyet, alliance marketing manager at Hortonworks, wrote in a post on the company blog. "The combination of the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Cisco UCS allows IT departments and business decisions makers to adopt a new, massively scalable, secure and considerably more efficient approach to data within the enterprise."

In addition to announcing the resale agreements with Cloudera, MapR and Hortonworks, Cisco officials also announced that its UCS Director Express for Big Data software—which offers single-touch deployment and management for the Hadoop distributions and centralized management of hardware and software—is now generally available.

The resale agreements include marketing, sales and training for Cisco sales groups. The hardware-and-software Hadoop solutions are available now.