Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Patrick Hubbard, Elizabeth White, Sven Olav Lund, 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
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
The session is centered around the tracing of systems on cloud using technologies like ebpf. The goal is to talk about what this technology is all about and what purpose it serves. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Shashank Jain, Development Architect at SAP, will touch upon concepts of observability in the cloud and also some of the challenges we have. Generally most cloud-based monitoring tools capture details at a very granular level. To troubleshoot problems this might not be good enough.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
First generation hyperconverged solutions have taken the data center by storm, rapidly proliferating in pockets everywhere to provide further consolidation of floor space and workloads. These first generation solutions are not without challenges, however. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Wes Talbert, a Principal Architect and results-driven enterprise sales leader at NetApp, will discuss how the HCI solution of tomorrow will integrate with the public cloud to deliver a quality hybrid cloud e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.