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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

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Plexxi Pulse— Innovation and Openness Remain at the Core of Networking

As we noted last week, the SDN ecosystem has gained strength and the industry is predicted to change dramatically in the coming months. In an interesting piece this week in Network WorldArt Fewell urges network professionals to shift their concentration from the competitive landscape of the industry to the end result, or the ‘why’, of SDN. Fewell believes that the true purpose of SDN is to “create a truly open ecosystem for networking and a core innovation engine for our industry that will keep it healthy, diverse and innovative going forward.” It is easy to become wrapped up in industry chatter and forget to appreciate the power and innovation we hold at our fingertips.

Our very own Dan Backman indicates when it is appropriate to use the Plexxi Pod over a traditional ring in this week’s PlexxiTube. To determine which architecture to use, it is essential to consider whether you are interested in building out your connectivity in fixed blocks or organically.

Making Things Simpler

Cox Communications executive Jeff Finkelstein discussed simplifying the network this week in a contributed piece for Light Reading. The need for abstraction is a great way to simplify things going forward. But, we should be aware that these abstractions will eventually serve as the lingua franca between infrastructure that current exists in separate silos. This begs for some real thought to be put into anything that resembles a policy abstraction. Should things be expressed in terms of networking constructs? Or in terms of storage or compute requirements? Maybe we need to be presenting policy as a derivative of applications SLAs.

The point is not to advocate one or the other here, but rather to suggest that even abstraction needs to be thought about. Because it is being done within the context of networking today, we could very well end up with a reimagining of VLANs and ACLs, a good step for sure but certainly not a long-lasting evolutionary step.

SDN Careers

Marcia Savage and Ethan Banks at Network Computing have put together an interesting series on careers in networking. The eBook explains what qualities network engineers will need to retain to stay competitive as software defined networking becomes a reality. Ethan Banks’ piece, “Don’t Be A Networking Dinosaur,” encourages network engineers to abandon the “plumber syndrome” by broadening their skill sets and learning new “tricks.” Most importantly, however, Banks reminds us that “Networking should never just be about the network. Rather, networking should always be about the level of service the network is delivering to the applications that ride on top of it.”  My colleague Marten Terpstra wrote a similar blog post recently on qualities of successful network engineers.

If you think you have what it takes to be an SDN superstar, Plexxi is always looking for qualified individuals. Be sure to check out our careers page for up to date postings.

The post Plexxi Pulse— Innovation and Openness Remain at the Core of Networking appeared first on Plexxi.

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More Stories By Mat Mathews

Visionary solutions are built by visionary leaders. Plexxi co-founder and Vice President of Product Management Mat Mathews has spent 20 years in the networking industry observing, experimenting and ultimately honing his technology vision. The resulting product — a combination of traditional networking, software-defined networking and photonic switching — represents the best of Mat's career experiences. Prior to Plexxi, Mat held VP of Product Management roles at Arbor Networks and Crossbeam Systems. Mat began his career as a software engineer for Wellfleet Communications, building high speed Frame Relay Switches for the carrier market. Mat holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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