Starview Adds Analytics and Business Value to Cisco ONE

Cisco onePK dev partner working on SDN analytics application to provide real-time intelligence for application-centric architecture.

 By Jude Chao
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As Software Defined Networking (SDN) continues its march from trendy phrase to enterprise reality, emerging solutions promise to extract tangible business value from the concept. San Jose, CA-based operational intelligence software developer Starview Inc. aims to provide one of those solutions. As one of the dev partners selected by Cisco to build applications using Cisco's onePK (one Platform Kit), Starview has leveraged the onePK tools and APIs to aggregate real-time application and network intelligence. The resulting SDN analytics solution could provide extensive value to SDN deployments.

Challenges of application-centric SDN architecture

The application-centric architecture Cisco envisions as SDN's future will create new challenges. Applications will become ever easier to build and deploy, and ever more flexible in the environments in which they can run, but with that ease and flexibility come "the need to monitor, analyze, and ensure security across IT operations infrastructure," according to Lauren Cooney, senior director of software strategy and planning at Cisco. And top decision-makers in the enterprise will take notice.

"In general, most of your C-suite don't know how the control plane and the data plane work, nor do they care. What's key to them is to optimize their investment in the network and their existing application infrastructure," Tugrul Firatli, VP of business development at Starview, said. Optimization requires intelligence, which Starview has provided for nearly a decade.

Real-time SDN data analytics

Starview's software focuses on real-time data analytics, as opposed to what Firatli calls the "store first, analyze later" paradigm more common to current big data analytics solutions. Immediate analysis and rapid response differentiate business leaders from those left behind. He explained, "With 'store first, analyze later,' by the time you've analyzed what's happened in your business, it's typically too late, especially in cases of large threats and large opportunities. The opportunity has passed, the threat has turned into a disaster, and all you can do is recover." That's particularly true of network intelligence.

Instead of "store first, analyze later," Starview provides a platform whose in-memory architecture allows for real-time processing and analysis of vast amounts of data. It was this real-time capability that attracted Cisco's attention, Firatli added, telling me that Starview's background made the company a "natural partner to provide real-time analytics capabilities around the Cisco ONE initiative."

Following collaboration between the two companies' engineering teams, a collaboration which dates back to last year, Starview unveiled their solution at Cisco Live last week. The company is positioning their software as the glue between the network infrastructure and the application world in an application-centric SDN architecture.

Starview provides an interface that accesses all the network information within a Cisco ONE SDN infrastructure, correlates it with information coming from the applications layer of the network, and enables real-time analytics, orchestration, and control all the way down from the top of the stack to the bottom. Brendon Whateley, Starview's principal solutions architect, walked me through some key elements of the interface.

Next: A demonstration of Starview's SDN analytics software

This article was originally published on Jul 3, 2013
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