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Plexxi Pulse – Gartner’s Coolest Vendors in Enterprise Communications

This week, Gartner analysts Andrew Lerner, Tim Zimmerman and Joe Skorupa named Plexxi one of four “Cool” Vendors in Enterprise Communications. In Lerner’s own words, cool is defined as “the ability to help customers address challenges in new and innovative ways. These challenges could be in terms of cost, management, agility, operations, etc.” He specifically points to how Plexxi “provides a programmable and self-learning switching fabric that dynamically configures inter-connectivity via an optical backbone ring.” See Lerner’s full summary of the report here.

In this week’s PlexxiTube video of the week, our own Dan Backman analyzes what happens to the network if a central SDN controller breaks or is unreachable.

Check out our best SDN reads of the week below:

Service Assurance Is Critical for NFV & SDN

Light Reading analyst Ari Banerjee comments on why service assurance is critical to NFV and SDN technological success. In my opinion, this point is actually a big deal. The implication here is not just that connectivity is no longer the bar but also that IT environments have to be sufficiently instrumented to measure the appropriate experience. This could mean anything from completion time to jitter to reliability. There will undoubtedly be a few buckets, so users shouldn’t have to specify in gory detail for every application, but this does muddy the waters some. You can’t just declare five nines reliability and call it a day. These metrics will then roll up into the rest of the business, which means a tightening of the link between the business and IT – a good thing in my opinion.

SDN & the Programming Pushback

Andrew Conry-Murray of InformationWeek highlights the growing pushback against the theory that network engineers must become programmers as SDN becomes more prominent.

I think the debate about whether everyone needs to become a programmer is pretty lazy at times. We tend to think about everything as binary. But the reality is that even with a programmable layer on top of (or alongside or wherever) the network, you still need people to make the network work.

There will be an increase in people working closer to the applications. The end goal of the network is not to connect everything so much as to deliver some useful experience. This will gradually mean that the network and applications become a little tighter in terms of collaboration. This isn’t necessarily through direct programming, mind you. Abstraction makes all of this a bit easier. Express intent (what do you need from the network, in terms you understand), and then have programmatic layers translate intent into behavior.

Does Thinking about a Networking Lifecycle Make Sense?

Dan Kusnetsky of ZDNet answers the question, “Does thinking about a networking lifecycle make sense?” He points to the industry standard to assign routine cycles to systems, storage and applications, and weighs whether we should do the same with networks and network equipment.

Here’s my take. The biggest reason people leave networking gear in so long is that it is prohibitively expensive to buy. The pricing structure of the networking industry at large has been skewed because there is a virtual monopoly. With little competition, Cisco has been able to keep demand high (and hence prices and margins).

SDN is interesting, but not just because of the technology. It is leveling the architectural playing field, which lowers the barriers to entry for new players. This creates more competition, which will exert downward pressure on pricing and margins.

If devices are cheaper, they don’t have to stay in place quite so long to justify the expense. Sure, the switching costs matter too, but even if replacing a box was easy, it wouldn’t happen previously because it was too expensive to rip out.

The biggest thing to change going forward is the organizational inertia around buying patterns. People need to get emotionally and intellectually prepared to handle a different way of buying and refreshing gear.

The post Plexxi Pulse – Gartner’s Coolest Vendors in Enterprise Communications appeared first on Plexxi.

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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."

Cloud Expo Breaking News
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
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Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
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The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
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Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.
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SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare Corporation, a leading enabler of smart connected systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Bsquare is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NuoDB, Inc., the leader in webscale distributed database technology, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NuoDB was launched in 2010 by industry-renowned database architect Jim Starkey and accomplished software CEO Barry Morris to deliver a webscale distributed database management system that is specifically designed for the cloud and the modern datacenter.