|By Mat Mathews||
|September 3, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
A good friend and business colleague once regaled me with his definition of a good corporate lawyer: “A good lawyer never says ‘no’; she says ‘here’s how’.” I thought this was an interesting and telling description – not because it conjured up creative interpretations of the law and loop-hole sleuthing corporate counsels – but that it imagined a seasoned practioner who understood the plasticity of her infrastructure (in this case the law) and the end goals of her client and therefore would often find innovative solutions that yielded business advantage. Plasticity in this context means that a seemingly rigid structure, like the law, can be deformed to meet a new need. Examples of this range from the mundane structuring of contracts to limit the downside of risky deals to the industry redefining methods of companies like Uber that challenge conventional practices and laws.
The law and the network – both meant to be broken?
A similar notion can be applied to networking infrastructure. It is often repeated that networking infrastructure is ‘rigid’ and ‘complex’. Other than just being evocative marketing terms, these words signify a level of resistance to adaption. Marketeering aside, business leaders are in fact expressing that what they want or need to do cannot be done – either feasibly, in a timely manner, or with an appropriate risk profile due to infrastructure obstacles. Every time connectivity needs change (think mainframe networks to multi-protocol client/server networks to IP routers/switches to remote access VPNs to high density data center switches, etc.) a new set of technologies, platforms, protocols, and ultimately infrastructure is put in place. For many years this may have been ok, and possibly even expected. Yet, for probably the past decade, the increasing pace of change of business needs and the continuous uncertainty of competitive environments have forced businesses to push harder on the aspects of their organization that prevent rapid change, that don’t exhibit plasticity.
SDN, the movement
Enter networking infrastructure, and more specifically SDN. While the canonical definition of SDN is accepted to be something about a decoupled control plane, there is also the notion of SDN the movement. This notion of SDN bears not an architectural definition, but rather embodies a user-led reaction to this lack of plasticity in their infrastructure. How are network engineers expected to say “here’s how” when their infrastructure requires generational shifts or years of standardization to catch up to yesterday’s demands? In many ways, SDN is nothing more than the desire of users to bring a level of adaptability to the uncertainty and change they experience in their business to the infrastructure.
Haven’t we heard this before?
Network plasticity is most likely not a new idea (either that or it’s naïve and unachievable.) Many a marketer has talked about the coming age of infrastructure that is fluid, dynamic, software-defined, change-ready, yada yada yada. Yet most of what is described by this fluid, dynamic, software-defined infrastructure is generally related to the shrinking, scaling, or movement of physical resources to match a desired processing need, ultimately to meet a utility cost objective. What network plasticity is about, however, is a more fundamental notion that connectivity needs will change ahead of generational or architecture product lifetimes, and that the answer cannot be to put the business needs on hold until the products catch up. What plasticity affords is a fundamental deformation of the primary design use-case into one that was a priori unforeseen – a set of carefully planned escape valves that prevent their operators from having to say, “no, we cannot.”
Will current networks bend and snap?
Many networks conceived for the world of client-server computing are being tested and stretched for the needs of highly distributed, edge-processing, no-central data store, scale-out applications. While the industry attempts to move the architectural needle forward with new encapsulations to remove restrictions of L3 boundaries, bigger buffers to accommodate the predominance of server-to-server flows, new chipsets, new interface technology, better Ethernet storage traffic handling, etc, it is still not assessing the fundamental desire to prevent the need for this catch-up game in the first place. At some point, applications will decide for themselves how they would like their various components to be connected and will be able to express policy, SLA, risk profiles, and other constraints and objectives that ultimately translate into a set of network behaviors and topologies. Will the underlying infrastructure be capable of handling the resulting permutations of requirements without deriving an exhaustive and limited set of supported behaviors? Will it be able to grow with the increasingly sophisticated demands of these applications to achieve what may previously have been thought to be unfeasible? This largely depends on how we as an industry approach plasticity as an inherent infrastructure trait – perhaps the only one that really matters anymore.
[Today’s fun fact: GE's Living Environment Concept House, aka the "Plastic House" in Pittsfield, MA (pictured here) was built using 45,000 lbs of various plastics throughout much of the construction including the roof, windows, siding, plumbing, foundation, electrical, and mechanical systems. I'm guessing its not BPA free.]
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 30, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,187
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
Apr. 30, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,078
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 29, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,773
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,594
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 29, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,738
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,633
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 29, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,435
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Apr. 29, 2017 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,278
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Apr. 29, 2017 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,555
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Apr. 29, 2017 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,563
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up 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. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Apr. 29, 2017 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,454
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
Apr. 29, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,100
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
Apr. 29, 2017 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 831
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Apr. 29, 2017 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,359
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Apr. 29, 2017 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,557
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,311
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,595
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Apr. 29, 2017 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,659
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Apr. 29, 2017 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,383
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
Apr. 29, 2017 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,851