Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan

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
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, 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. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
Puppet Labs on Wednesday released the DevOps Salary Report, based on salary data gathered from Puppet Labs' industry-recognized State of DevOps Report. The data confirms that market demand for DevOps skills is growing, and that DevOps engineers are among the highest paid IT practitioners today. That's because IT organizations today are grappling with how to be more agile and responsive to the business, while maintaining the stability of their infrastructure. DevOps practices, such as continuous ...
In a world of ever-accelerating business cycles and fast-changing client expectations, the cloud increasingly serves as a growth engine and a path to new business models. Dynamic clouds enable businesses to continuously reinvent themselves, adapting their business processes, their service and software delivery and their operations to achieve speed-to-market and quick response to customer feedback. As the cloud evolves, the industry has multiple competing cloud technologies, offering on-premises ...
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developmen...
While Docker continues to be the darling of startups, enterprises and IT innovators around the world, networking continues to be a real mess. Indeed, managing the interaction between Docker containers and networks has always been fraught with complications. Without automation in networking, the vision of running Docker at scale and letting IT run the same apps unchanged on the laptop and in the data center or for any cloud cannot be realized.
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
Application metrics, logs, and business KPIs are a goldmine. It’s easy to get started with the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana) – you can see lots of people coming up with impressive dashboards, in less than a day, with no previous experience. Going from proof-of-concept to production tends to be a bit more difficult, unfortunately, and it tends to gobble up our attention, time, and money. In his session at DevOps Summit, Otis Gospodnetić, co-author of Lucene in Action and founder...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“We are a managed services company. We have taken the key aspects of the cloud and the purposed data center and merged the two together and launched the Purposed Cloud about 18–24 months ago," explained Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CenturyLink, Inc., a leader in the network services market, has been named “Platinum 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 City, NY. CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and ...
Database apps on mobile devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate for IBM Cloudant, will discuss how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again), whenever an Internet connection is available. He will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with mobile devices in order to build offline-enabled mobile apps that can provide a better,...
In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist of Cloud Services at VMware, will review the changes that the cloud computing industry has gone through over the last five years and share insights into what the next five will bring. He will chronicle the challenges enterprise companies are facing as they move to the public cloud. He will delve into the “Hybrid Cloud” space and explain why every CIO should consider ‘hybrid cloud’ as part of their future strategy to a...
Docker is becoming very popular--we are seeing every major private and public cloud vendor racing to adopt it. It promises portability and interoperability, and is quickly becoming the currency of the Cloud. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bart Copeland, CEO of ActiveState, discussed why Docker is so important to the future of the cloud, but will also take a step back and show that Docker is actually only one piece of the puzzle. Copeland will outline the bigger picture of where Docker fits a...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around...
In his session at DevOps Summit, Andrei Yurkevich, CTO at Altoros, provided an overview of all the benefits and opportunities, as well as drawbacks of deploying Cloud Foundry PaaS with Juju and compared it to BOSH. Discover the features that overlap, and understand what Juju Charm is, what it is not, where you use one or the other or where you use both BOSH and Juju Charms together. Andrei Yurkevich is Cloud Foundry protagonist and CTO at Altoros. Under his supervision, the Altoros engineering ...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises a...