|By Mat Mathews||
|August 15, 2014 04:05 PM EDT||
There is no doubt that software defined networking has the power to improve network performance on college campuses. University networks demand flexible and reliable solutions and many institutions are turning to SDN to save time, increase efficiency and reduce IT costs. A few of the articles below analyze this very opportunity.
In this week’s PlexxiTube of the week, Dan Bachman answers the commonly asked question: “Is Plexxi’s Big Data fabric for Hadoop only?”
Mitch Wagner wrote a piece on the strategy behind Cisco and VMware’s data center partnerships this week in Light Reading. For the better part of two decades, we have seen the “Best of Breed” era in IT. Solutions have been cobbled together by companies (or integrators) after picking the best of breed solutions for each point component within the broader solution. What VCE and Exadata teach us is that companies will succeed if they handle the integrations for the customer. The first step is to partner, but more consolidation within the in the industry will follow. Over time, we will end up with pre-integrated solutions that are offered by a smaller number of large players. This re-verticalization of IT will fundamentally change how we buy and deploy infrastructure, which will remove some constraints and create additional requirements on the underlying platforms. I don’t think this will play out immediately, but we likely will see a different competitive landscape five years from now after a long period of relative stability.
In a contributed article for EdTech Magazine, Aletha Noonan identified that software defined networking has potential in higher education settings. In my opinion, university environments frequently have a diverse set of traffic types that tend to vary fairly predictably with time of day. During the day, someone in the life sciences department might be doing genome mapping, and then at night all of the students come back to stream content. From a university perspective, not all of this traffic is equal, and an SDN environment allows for dynamic treatment of different types of payloads. Additionally, with fiber connecting buildings, there is a lot of opportunity to do more interesting treatment of traffic between buildings (or in the case of I2, between cooperating campuses). The sweet spot in the .edu space will be how SDN gets married to high-bandwidth transport—together they seem to be a potent combination.
In a post on the Barron’s TechTraderDaily blog, Tiernan Ray covered Cisco’s software defined networking solution. I think that talk like this about SDN, especially as it relates to margins, is a little bit imprecise. Software defined networking is not the reduction of margin because there is functionality in software. The truth is that even the hardware-driven networks that have existed forever get the lion’s share of their functionality via software already. A typical R&D split is on the order of 90-10, with software taking up most of the investment. What we really have is a pricing imbalance. As SDN takes off and hardware becomes less differentiated, we will see a shift in pricing from hardware to software. APIC is notable because it is a software product that gives CSCO another point of monetization. The real threat is not software. What SDN represents is an architectural shift that levels the playing field to some extent. Cisco has built a stronghold with very high barriers to entry because no one can catch up to 30 years of feature development. If there is an architectural reset, competition gets stronger. And competition will drive price down (and likely margin as newer companies could have a lower margin threshold to gain market entry). The question is how will Cisco compete in a more price-sensitive environment? My guess—they squeeze the supply chain first, then go after their resellers. Cisco will pull more of that business in-house, seeing VCE as a successful GTM experiment. When the EMC relationship erodes completely, they replace it with their own business. This leaves partners in a lurch. The biggest resellers will gobble up the smaller resellers at lower margin. Cisco recoups some of that, and they can keep margins buoyed to some extent. There is disruption here. There will be share moves, and the resellers are perhaps in the most vulnerable position.
Peter Burrows covered Cisco’s recent earnings report in a piece for Bloomberg this week. This seems to happen every year, and with a company this large, you kind of expect it. It is not uncommon to place bets, see what works, trim, and then double down on the bets that panned out. The comments about margin pressure because of software are probably a bit imprecise. The vast majority of R&D expense is on the software side already—it’s just that the pricing mix favors the hardware. SDN will drive a change in pricing mix. That by itself doesn’t necessarily hurt margins; think of it more as a shell game of where money goes. SDN represents a new way of doing things, which means that Cisco’s strength from 30 years of feature development doesn’t mean as much. It opens the playing field some, and that brings competition. Competition will drive pricing pressure, and with that comes margin pressure. Cisco will combat that by squeezing the supply chain and then gobbling up their resellers’ business. Small and medium-sized resellers will be at risk as Cisco claws some of that business back, using VCE as a blueprint for how to go more direct. Large resellers will consolidate business (at lower margin), and Cisco will mitigate the margin pressure some. The real shift is competition.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Dec. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 481
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.
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 251
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.
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 395
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Dec. 1, 2015 06:30 AM EST Reads: 515
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.
Dec. 1, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 272
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 620
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Dec. 1, 2015 04:45 AM EST Reads: 458
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
Dec. 1, 2015 04:15 AM EST
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Dec. 1, 2015 03:30 AM EST Reads: 533
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 470
The revocation of Safe Harbor has radically affected data sovereignty strategy in the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Jeff Miller, Product Management at Cavirin Systems, discussed how to assess these changes across your own cloud strategy, and how you can mitigate risks previously covered under the agreement.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 112
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...
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 469
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Dec. 1, 2015 01:15 AM EST Reads: 127
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...
Dec. 1, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 437
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company Logz.io. In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:00 PM EST Reads: 289
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EST Reads: 116
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...
Nov. 30, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 497
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.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 375
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...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 439
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...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 442