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Aptira Big Data Elephant

One of Australia’s largest and well-known organisations has an internal Big Data team who are managing their system in a static and traditional way. But this makes it difficult for them to expand the system. So we designed a solution they can use to upgrade their Big Data system from static infrastructure onto a flexible OpenStack Cloud.

The Challenge

The customer is running an internal Big Data system, which collects data from various internal data sources, providing a static view of this data to the management team. They are using a Hadoop-based system and have been experiencing issues with scalability. As such, they want to explore a Cloud-based hosting platform, which will give them more flexibility and scalability. They’d also like to migrate their existing production system onto the new hosting platform once it is proven to be stable and production ready.

The design of the Cloud platform had to balance short term specific goals against long term objectives. The Customer’s future vision for the platform included minimisation of the total cost of operational ownership, by designing the platform to require minimal operational intervention, and by maximising the use of automation in all stages of the operations lifecycle.

The challenge was even greater because Aptira was brought into the project relatively late in its development cycle, and therefore many decisions had already been made. Examples include a hardware and networking platforms having been selected, the rack placement of these machines being already defined, and the general approach to management of virtual and physical machines already having been determined.

The Aptira Solution

We may be a little biased when it comes to OpenStack, but there really is no better system for requirements such as these. As such, we’ve offered to build an OpenStack cloud to host their Big Data system.

This OpenStack will be integrated with their existing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) in order to provide a complete end-to-end Software Defined Networking (SDN) solution.

Aptira ACI Fabric Diagram

A complication that Aptira had to design around was the version compatibilities across the integrated subsystem. For example, Cisco ACI was only supported on OpenStack Ocata, which was rapidly approaching end of support. The integration design required painstaking attention to detail to enable functionality while at the same time honouring the design decisions made by the customer.

We have produced a complete design document which they can use to guide their OpenStack and upgrade their Big Data system from static infrastructure onto a flexible OpenStack Cloud solution.

The Result

This project is still in development – stay tuned for updates!

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