Cisco is adding an extensive portfolio of big data analytics capabilities to its Internet-of-Things strategy (or Internet of Everything, as Cisco calls it). The company is pushing these capabilities, however, to edge routers rather than the data center.
At a press conference in San Jose, California, Thursday Cisco executives unveiled an entire portfolio of edge analytics software solutions, each targeted at an individual industry vertical. The solutions are enabled by IOx, the software framework for Cisco’s edge routers built using the company’s IOS router operating system and Linux. IOx provides the IOS, a way to deploy an application on the router, access to an app store, and an app management interface.
Because there are so many network-connected devices generating data, bringing all data into a central traditional enterprise data warehouse is not economically viable, Edzard Overbeek, senior vice president of services at Cisco, said. “The core of your data analytics strategy needs to be at the edge,” he said.
An oil pump at an extraction site, for example, may be monitored and controlled by a router at the site it is attached to and lots of decisions about its operation may be made by software on that router rather than sending the data to the company’s data center for analysis. A router at a store may use edge analytics software help decide in real time how many cash registers to keep staffed based on the amount of people in the store at any given moment.
The edge devices are not separated from the data center, however. Everything is interconnected in Cisco’s vision, including edge devices, data centers, and a multitude of clouds. Overbeek talked about an entire architecture that spans all of these elements.
Intercloud, the distributed network of OpenStack-based clouds operated by Cisco and partners that buy into Cisco’s cloud architecture, plays a role in Cisco’s analytics plans as well. The company envisions analytics solutions that can run queries across databases in all partner data centers that make up the Intercloud, Overbeek said.
Cisco has partnered with numerous vendors to build its analytics capabilities, including stalwarts like Oracle, IBM, SAP, and Microsoft, and rising-star newcomers like MapR, Hortonworks, Cloudera, Pivotal, MongoDB, Tableau, and Elasticsearch.
Here is the full list of Cisco’s new edge analytics software packages:
- Connected Analytics for Events: Uses insights from Wi-Fi and device usage reporting to provide immediate visibility. For example, it can be used to evaluate sports fan behavior.
- Connected Analytics for Retail: Correlates in-store video camera feeds and Wi-Fi data with existing operational data such as inventory.
- Connected Analytics for Service Providers: Provides intelligence based on patterns in networks, operations, and customer data.
- Connected Analytics for IT: Provides business intelligence and insights to help align IT capabilities such as data management and data governance with business objectives.
- Connected Analytics for Network Deployment: Analyzes the network for operational efficiencies, resolution of incidents and visibility into network deployment.
- Connected Analytics for Mobility: Uses location analytics to analyze wireless networks and provide insights about Cisco Service Provider Wi-Fi solution customers.
- Connected Analytics for Collaboration: Measures the adoption of collaboration technologies internally so a company can analyze Cisco Collaboration applications.
- Connected Analytics for Contact Center: Provides visibility across an organization’s entire call center services to deliver actionable recommendations that help organizations understand their customers.