Click here to close now.


SDN Journal Authors: Stefan Dietrich, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Pat Romanski, Don MacVittie

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
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, 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 ...
We are rapidly moving to a brave new world of interconnected smart homes, cars, offices and factories known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors and monitoring devices will touch every part of our lives. Let's take a closer look at the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a worldwide network of objects and devices connected to the Internet. They are electronics, sensors, software and more. These objects connect to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via apps and programs. ...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...