Dell: Can you please introduce yourself?

Dave Jaffe: I’m a solutions architect on the Dell | Intel Cloud Acceleration Program within the Dell Solution Centers. I’ve been with Dell for over 16 years, having worked previously in performance and several other solution-oriented teams.

Q: Can you tell us about Dell Solution Centers?

A: The Dell Solution Centers are global centers where customers come in to learn about the whole range of Dell solutions – servers, storage, networking, security, software. During the visit (which may occur remotely through videoconferencing) the customer may receive a briefing on a particular topic, participate in a day-long architectural design session where different Dell experts will whiteboard solutions to the customer’s IT pain points, or test drive the Dell solutions in a one- to two-week proof of concept.

Q: What is the Dell | Intel Cloud Acceleration Program?

A: This is a program within the Dell Solution Centers, jointly funded with Intel, to demonstrate Dell solutions around Cloud and Big Data. In Cloud, the primary solution is based on the open source OpenStack cloud software. In Big Data, the focus is on Hadoop and its ecosystem of tools such as HBase, Hive, Pig, etc. The Dell | Intel Cloud Acceleration Program (DICAP) manages a lab in the Round Rock, TX campus with several hundred servers for Cloud and Big Data clusters for customer proof-of-concepts.

Q: What expertise does Dell provide specifically around big data?

A: In addition to the DICAP solution architects, the Enterprise Systems Group Revolutionary Cloud and Big Data team develops solutions with Hadoop and OpenStack as well as a bare-metal deployment tool called Crowbar. Dell Professional Services has a data analytics team that works with customers to analyze their data needs and then design and build appropriate Big Data solutions. Finally our Dell Software Group has a set of tools to help manage and analyze Big Data such as Kitenga.

Q: Can you tell us about Dell’s collaboration with Stack IQ?

A: StackIQ provides Dell’s customers with cluster deployment and management tools that complement the Dell Big Data solutions. StackIQ Cluster Manager enables users to rapidly deploy and manage large clusters for many different Big Data applications.

Q: How do customers benefit from this Proof of Concept?

A: In the POC documented in the white paper Dell and StackIQ worked together to solve a key need for a mutual customer in the financial data arena. The customer wished to compare the functionality and performance of two different key-value pair databases, HBase and Cassandra, running on a 60-datanode Dell Big Data cluster. StackIQ Cluster Manager was used to install one application and then the second application on the data nodes. When a change to the disk caching policy was requested by the customer Cluster Manager was used to rapidly reconfigure the nodes already in the cluster. New nodes being added to the cluster automatically received the new policy.

Q: Which industries/use cases are you targeting?

A: The Dell/StackIQ solution is a horizontal technology that can be used for all the different industries that are looking to take advantage of the mountain of data they are collecting: finance, healthcare, oil and gas, energy, web, etc.

Q: Thank you very much!

A: You’re welcome.

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