SDN Journal Authors: Hollis Tibbetts, TJ Randall, Elizabeth White, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Plexxi Pulse—SDN Edges into Federal Agencies

As SDN gains traction within the private sector we are also seeing federal agencies adopt it as they identify the need for network infrastructure changes. While it may be instinctual to say ‘yes’  to upgrading the network to include every new additional feature offered, especially when managing large amounts of traffic, focusing on simplicity and instinctiveness is often the better option. We revisit this in-depth more below – let us know if you agree with our points. Enjoy!

In this week’s PlexxiTube of the week, Dan Bachman explains how Plexxi’s big data fabric solution is managed in comparison to more traditional tiered architectures.

Federal IT Networks: Simpler Is Better

In an article for Information Week, Elena Malykhina cites network complexity as a challenge amongst federal agencies. The biggest reason that complexity grows unchecked in situations like this is that people typically add to their IT infrastructure with more frequency than they subtract from it. As a result, you end up constantly adding things. When something doesn’t work quite right, you add a workaround rather than digging into the actual problem and identifying the best solution. Alternatively, when you’re in need of a new capability, it’s instinctive just to add a new feature. This incremental growth leads to IT sprawl. We need to be removing things as frequently as we add them (and arguably more frequently since we have accumulated architectural debt).

With additional complexity, interoperability ends up suffering. For example, if you deploy 600 features, even if both solutions support 599 of them, number 600 can prevent seamless interoperability. Part of the hope of SDN is that it levels the architectural playing field. It removes the reliance on these features. SDN, however, does require a rethinking of architecture and procurement practices.

So, what’s a good first step? Consider starting from scratch rather than just adding SDN as a new section to an already-overloaded document.

Refresh Cycles Lag As Enterprises Retain More Legacy Network Gear

Jessica Scarpati reported that nearly half of existing network devices are aging or obsolete in an article this week for SearchNetworking. Jessica’s point in this article isn’t terribly surprising. In my opinion, failures happen when things change, not necessarily just because of age. When people find a configuration or architecture that works, they don’t touch it. Interestingly, this is why the most stable time of year is Christmas – when employees go home and don’t touch anything.

Some of the refresh cycle delays that Jessica comments on are tied at least in part to SDN, just not in the way that people think. In my opinion, these decisions get delayed when there are more options. This is why fast food restaurants typically go with more limited menus; people move faster when they have fewer choices. SDN brought a lot of new players into the space, which actually increases choice. This will necessarily lengthen the evaluation cycle, even if people are only considering one or two additional players beyond their incumbent.

Internet of Overwhelming Things

In an opinion piece for Network World, Pete Bartolik referenced SDN as a vehicle to generate openness in the datacenter. While I agree that SDN can generate openness, I think there are two other major things that SDN provides: Improved intelligence through central control and automated workflows.

The former is actually only interesting in cases where the underlying shuffling of packets is different than today. Having more intelligence but using the same basic forwarding constructs does not result in significant change. Part of the appeal of fabrics (and why Brocade sponsored this post no doubt) is that you can do intelligent things within the fabric to better deal with how traffic is shunted. Legacy networks are built around protocols that are more than 50 years old (literally!). The future cannot be built entirely of the current set of building blocks.

Secondly, the question for users will be what to automate. Too many people view automation as scripts and keystroke removal. Automation really ought to be about smoothing out the boundaries between systems. The biggest gains will not happen if it is confined to just the network. Automation needs to reach out into compute and storage and applications in the fullness of time.

Agencies Set Building Blocks of the Software-Defined Enterprise

John Moore notes that government agencies are experimenting with SDN and converged infrastructure systems in a recent article for GCN. The software part of software-defined anything is interesting, but it not so much as the capabilities that come as a result. It is these capabilities that are driving interest among federal agencies.

Specifically, software-defined networking provides superior intelligence. To offer a metaphor, imagine that you are driving across a crowded metro area. You see brake lights and you roll to a stop. You might try a surface road, but the reality is that you don’t actually know if it will be any faster. You face a decision with unknown variables and maybe you play the odds. Now imagine that your best friend is in a helicopter and he has the capability to tell you where to go. That’s what an SDN controller can do. It provides a global view of the network, and that’s what these agencies are looking for. The intelligence is what the difference-maker will be.


The post Plexxi Pulse—SDN Edges into Federal Agencies appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

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.

@CloudExpo Stories
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Successful transition from traditional IT to cloud computing requires three key ingredients: an IT architecture that allows companies to extend their internal best practices to the cloud, a cost point that allows economies of scale, and automated processes that manage risk exposure and maintain regulatory compliance with industry regulations (FFIEC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA). The unique combination of VMware, the IBM Cloud, and Cloud Raxak, a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a co...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cemware will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Use MATLAB functions by just visiting website mathfreeon.com. MATLAB compatible, freely usable, online platform services. As of October 2016, 80,000 users from 180 countries are enjoying our platform service.
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service.