Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Amitabh Sinha

Blog Feed Post

Plexxi Pulse – Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Abstractions

One month from today, Plexxi’s Nils Swart and Derick Winkworth will participate in SDNCentral’s DemoFriday to illustrate application abstraction using OpenDaylight. We encourage you to register here and check out the demo on March 14 at 10 a.m. PDT.  In our video of the week, Dan Bachman discusses how the Plexxi switching solution makes use of a fabric control protocol and explains whether there are any changes to how this works in a pod architecture. Here is our video of the week and a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse – enjoy!

 

 

This week Jason Edelman expanded on a prior post on the Cisco Nexus 3000 and its built-in Python interpreter and discussed an example that integrates Python with the native Linux operating system. I like how this post provides examples of real-world automation. As SDN emerged, many industry analysts and networking personnel started looking at what it meant for the future, but there is a lot of work to be done before SDN is widespread and successful. There are immediate practical changes that can happen within current architectures. This type of work is often more approachable and it helps network engineers add new skills to their repertoire.

CRN contributor Ashish Dhawan evaluates the SDN trend from the CIO’s perspective. He says CIOs are debating whether betting on SDN will impact their operations and the bottom-line. Ashish notes that SDN brings networking into the age of the cloud and Web 2.0 companies like Facebook are already embracing it. I would add that on the service provider side, SDN should be broader than just protocols like OpenFlow. Some of the protocols that are available to providers go well beyond simply turning up new services more quickly and with more automation. Providers should look at Path Computation Element (PCE), BGP-TE, and ALTO, and tracking emerging ideas like I2RS. These help make bidirectional communication between applications and the network more possible. If this happens, it’s not just that services are turned up faster but also that new classes of capabilities will be available. The path to new revenue streams (long an issue on the SP side) is not just doing the same thing more cheaply.

Larry Dignan at ZDNet  evaluates Cisco’s latest products prior to the earnings announcement made this week. Larry says while Cisco is making efforts to stay relevant in the networking space, big changes take time. Analysts recently observed that the threat of white box or bare metal switching will impact CapEx. This will pressure Cisco and all networking vendors to keep prices in line, but there are two things to consider:

  • The longer term cost bogie needs to be OpEx. It is by far the major driver of cost and competition will be on merits of the solution. Automation frameworks will also become increasingly important.
  • Pricing is the primary differentiator when two solutions are equivalent. The question is whether Cisco can maintain premium pricing because they offer a catalog of features no one else supports. The real threat of SDN is that architectures are becoming simpler and the catalog will be less relevant over time. So what does Cisco add to their portfolio to maintain differentiation? If ACI is any indication, they will say that it is integration with other infrastructure to provide better performing and more application-centric solutions.

Network World’s Jim Duffy reviews Big Switch’s change of course toward the orchestration of physical and virtual networks. Now Big Switch is following Cisco’s strategy of application centric infrastructure. There appears to be three network OS companies now: Cumulus, Big Switch and Pica8. They all cite customers like Google and Facebook. It will be interesting to see if those companies choose a single software vendor or if they maintain a dual-vendor strategy. It seems difficult for all three to make it with the same customers. More technically-savvy and demanding customers like Google require vendors to quickly ramp up support staff, which may be difficult for these companies initially.

Steve Evans at ComputerWeekly wrote about Dell’s open-networking initiative that involves a decoupling of networking hardware and software. Customers will be able to choose between Dell’s proprietary OS and a Linux-based OS offered by Cumulus. I don’t really connect Dell running Cumulus software on their switches to SDN. Whether your OS and hardware are tightly integrated or distributed separately is related to packaging, not to SDN. Just because the word “software” shows up in both doesn’t make them inherently connected. SDN is about separating control for the purpose of intelligent decision making and to automate workflows. The reason adoption is lagging is because the industry continues to confuse people. Vendor marketing around SDN is going to inhibit making money on SDN.

Brian Prince at Network Computing  says security is the major topic missing from SDN discussions in the networking industry. The real change here is that coordination across industry groups today is largely manual and governed by process. When you take out the human bottleneck, the pace of change accelerates. This exposes the human interaction bottleneck. I would think that moving to more deployment automation (as with DevOps) would be a natural evolution to tighten the processes and provide a layer of validation. This of course does nothing to add security. It just makes the security that exists a bit more tightly linked and verifiable.

InformationWeek contributor Bill Kleyman provides an overview of SDN’s three biggest benefits, which include complete cloud abstraction, intelligent global connections, and near-flawless content delivery. I think SDN primarily addresses workflow automation. Because we manage networks through pinpoint control on a device-by-device basis, things like edge policy are very manual and extremely costly. SDN’s major objective is to provide a central point for management, effectively automating a lot of the manual parts of managing a network today. Beyond that, the controller can add intelligence because it has a global view of the network. This means that the actual behavior can be tuned to application requirements. SDN allows the network to optimize based on what applications need. This happens through abstraction, but not just cloud abstraction.

Forbes contributor Ben Kepes writes about OpenDaylight’s recent Hydrogen release and asks whether it has any substance, arguing “fascinating does not equate to adoption.” At Plexxi, we think the inaugural OpenDaylight release is notable for two reasons: it represents working code, and it was done in 10 months. Many of the standards bodies and consortiums produce recommendations. ODP is producing code and it’s a big deal. The best way to bring nascent technology to market is through experimentation. We cannot debate endlessly in professorial exchanges and hope to really learn and iterate. Second, it would take most startups 2-3 years to get from inception to version 1.0 of their product and OpenDaylight did it in 10 months. What does this mean for the long-term trajectory? I think ODP represents a bright spot in the industry, and one that will ultimately prove successful.

The post Plexxi Pulse – Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Abstractions appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

@CloudExpo Stories
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
You know you need the cloud, but you're hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You're looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you're concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies. What do you do?
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...