Click here to close now.

Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Adam Vincent, Roger Strukhoff

Blog Feed Post

Unused networking capabilities are useless networking capabilities

Stop me if you have heard this before: “We have had the ability to do that for 10 years. It’s called MPLS.”

For whatever reason, the networking industry seems more open to innovation these days than for much of the past 15 years. We see the rise of important technologies like SDN, NFV, network virtualization, DevOps, and photonic switching. Every new technology threatens to disrupt some existing technology. And along with it, whatever business or personal interests have accumulated alongside.

Take SDN for example. A centralized control plane does a couple of things. At its most basic, it makes things like edge policy provisioning more straightforward. Taken a bit further, it provides a point from which the network can be viewed as a single resource, which makes things like monitoring meaningfully different. Beyond that, a global network view allows for intelligent allocation of network resources.

Some networking diehards scoff at the notion that SDN is innovative. They proclaim proudly, “We have had policy controllers for ages!” They point to OSS/BSS systems and declare, “Monitoring has been done for decades. How do you think service providers stay in business?” If you mention anything about intelligent network pathing, they might ask, “Have you not heard of BGP or MPLS?”

First, let me concede that most of what SDN (and the other disruptive technologies, by the way) is trying to do has been done before. But that doesn’t mean that we should all become pointy-headed academics who say things like “Everything that is old is new again.” Doing so would ignore the very nature of change.

It is true that almost everything that is invented is a derivative piece of work. There have been a number of pieces written about the myth of the a-ha moment. Most epiphanies are the result of dutiful experimentation that yields a meaningful conclusion. That there is a conclusion provides an a-ha moment, but the experimentation that precedes it is where all the work takes place.

As we look at SDN, simply discarding it as a reimagining of things we have already done is ignoring the value of years of real-world experimentation with networking technologies. A more meaningful response is to ask: what have we learned through the years?

What we should take away is that the presence of advanced technologies is not sufficient. While it might be true that MPLS or BGP extensions are enough to make the network do whatever people want it to do, at what point do the diehards relent and ask the question: if the answers are so clear, why do 99% of networks not use these tools?

It is tempting to blame the users. There is this rather condescending viewpoint in some circles that people who manage some of the smaller or less sophisticated networks are somehow incapable. But riddle me this Batman: isn’t the measure of technology greatness at least somewhat dependent on how easy it is to use?

Said another way, there are really two sides of every technology: what it does, and how it plugs into what people do. No matter how elegant the solution, if it goes unused, it is in fact useless. As an industry, we have driven networking technologies forward paying careful attention to only half of this equation. In doing so, we have created the kind of inequality that we see in other aspects of society. We have in fact left behind networking’s 99%.

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether this is the right path forward. Does the fact that most people do not deploy sophisticated MPLS networks mean that the average network simply shouldn’t get access to the benefits of a well-traffic-engineered environment? Or does the absence of deep programming expertise mean that network operators shouldn’t enjoy a workflow-optimized experience?

The answer here has to be an emphatic no. We simply have to make some of these benefits more accessible to networks that extend beyond the major service providers, web-scale companies, and Fortune 100. Collectively, we need to be looking beyond just the capability. We need to consider how those capabilities are used in context. And then we need to make the associated workflow (everything from provisioning to validation to troubleshooting) much simpler to use.

If, when we are done, our networks are still unwieldy and fragile, then we need to keep working. The “problem” is not the people managing networks. The customer is never the problem. The real problem is that the networking industry has built half of some of the most powerful stuff imaginable. We need to build the other half.

[Today’s fun fact: The world’s oldest piece of chewing gum is over 9,000 years old. I think I sat at the restaurant table it is stuck to once.]

The post Unused networking capabilities are useless networking capabilities 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
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed...
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a “Make or Buy” decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud busi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Proven by the world’s most demanding enterprises, including AAA NCNU, Constant Contact, Falck, Hootsuite, Pitney Bowes, Telekom Denmark, and VMware, Aria helps enterprises grow their recurring revenue businesses. With Aria’s end-to-end active monetization platform, g...
Businesses are looking to empower employees and departments to do more, go faster, and streamline their processes. For all workers – but mobile workers especially – utilizing the cloud to reconnect documents and improve processes without destructing existing workflows can have a dramatic impact on productivity. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Mark Grilli, vice president of Acrobat Solutions marketing at Adobe Systems Incorporated, will outline new ways that the cloud is changing the way peo...
Sonus Networks introduced the Sonus WebRTC Services Solution, a virtualized Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) offer, purpose-built for the Cloud. The WebRTC Services Solution provides signaling from WebRTC-to-WebRTC applications and interworking from WebRTC-to-Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), delivering advanced real-time communications capabilities on mobile applications and on websites, which are accessible via a browser.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes ...
Are your applications getting in the way of your business strategy? It’s time to rethink your IT approach. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Madhukar Kumar, Vice President, Product Management at Liaison Technologies, will discuss a new data-centric approach to IT that allows your data, not applications, to inform business strategy. By moving away from an application-centric IT model where data integration and analysis are subservient to the constraints of applications, your organization will b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akana, formerly SOA Software, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Akana’s comprehensive suite of API Management, API Security, Integrated SOA Governance, and Cloud Integration solutions helps businesses accelerate digital transformation by securely extending their reach across multiple channels – mobile, cloud and Internet of Thi...
WSM International has launched a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of the organization. According to a recent press release from Gartner, "By 2016, DevOps will evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that QTS Realty Trust, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing providers of data center facilities and cloud services and a leader in security and compliance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading national provider of data center solutions and fully managed services, and a leader in security and compliance...
SYS-CON Events announced today that WSM International (WSM), the world’s leading cloud and server migration services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. WSM is a solutions integrator with a core focus on cloud and server migration, transformation and DevOps services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make sm...
What’s inside the cloud? Hard work. Cloud operators know the world inside the datacenter is gritty. Vendor marketing speak and cloudwashing quickly melt in the heat of SLAs, uptime guarantees, and users who want it now. In his session at DevOps Summit, Hernan Alvarez, Chief Product Officer at Blue Box Group, will deliver an unvarnished look inside the world of cloud operators, from the perspective of someone who lives it. Attendees get a front-row look into the toolkits and processes that enabl...
The WebRTC Summit 2014 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...