No More Dealing with Infrastructure (Kind of, for Developers)

The most exciting announcement during AWS re:Invent for cloud computing infrastructure foundation was Fargate. There were a slew of new announcements and I don't want to de-emphasize the other ones too much, but this one was the most interesting to me.

First, a bit of background. There's lot of confusion on VMs, containers, and functions. Here are the differences:

The key thing is that the VMs allow a server to run as one big piece (OS + whatever apps are installed), containers allow applications (which includes providing microservices, but no OS, but the underlying system beneath the container layer provides the Linux interface) to run, and serverless is a place to run code (or functions). Each stage enables slicing a workload into smaller pieces.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking AWS re:Invent

AWS & Cloud Networking Design Patterns

I attended a session at AWS re:Invent titled “Planning for your advanced AWS networking architectures” that was held by Matt Lehwess and Nick Matthews, who were rightfully dressed as networking wizards.

Without going into the details of the presentation, I have a few “meta” comments:

It’s so easy to set up networking in a public clouds (you set up VPCs and elastic load balancers without the need to purchase and configure hardware) that we are tempted to experiment with different architectures to see what happens.

However, one needs to still plan appropriately. There are several issues that cannot be ignored.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking AWS re:Invent

AWS Is Not Slowing Down at re:Invent (with Video)

AWS, as an established public cloud leader, can afford to rest on its laurels, but with competitors sprinting behind it, it is not slowing down in any way. During the Global Partner Summit at the re:Invent trade show, there were numerous announcements, including the Networking Competency for AWS Partners and the availability of PrivateLink for customer and partner network services.

Are there any patterns I see?

Topics: Cloud Computing AWS re:Invent

Facing the Hybrid Cloud Reality

Public cloud has its pros and cons, but enterprises today can't afford to be anti-cloud.

After I moderated a panel discussion at Interop ITX titled "Cloud Adoption Experiences: Backlash or Goodness?" some attendees said they were disappointed that all three panelists were enthusiastic about using a public cloud provider. Were they expecting a spirited debate or even fight on stage, or were they looking for a way to justify their existing systems? Ultimately, the feedback indicated that attendees need to understand the pros and cons of public cloud to make their IT decisions. They’re looking to do the right thing for their organizations.

Read the rest on Network Computing.

Topics: Cloud Computing

VMware’s Intention to Acquire VeloCloud: What does it mean?

The announcement of VMware’s intention to acquire VeloCloud signals the broadening of the NSX Everywhere story. SD-WAN is a solution that offers agility, security, orchestration, and other business outcomes for remote and branch offices. It should not be considered just an MPLS replacement for the WAN with savings on bandwidth costs. 

At a core level, both NSX and VeloCloud’s products are based on an overlay network, which offers the flexibility to treat a logical network separately from the physical network, and this core concept has been popularized for many years via MPLS. Ironically, it’s the perceived lack of flexibility and costs of MPLS that have become the initial drivers for the popularization of SD-WAN, which promised to modernize the branch networks and WAN.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking

Enterprise Networks and Telco Clouds on a Collision Course

The Internet of Things will move more processing to telecom suppliers' facilities.

Network engineers have traditionally treated networks managed by their telecom suppliers as outside their immediate domain of concern. The telco network was brought into the data center, appropriate routes or peering set up, and that was it.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking IoT

What I Expect from AWS re:Invent 2017

AWS (Amazon Web Services) re:Invent is a large show. So large, in fact, that it won't fit into one venue. While not a crazy event like some consumer-oriented technology shows in Las Vegas, it has a key enterprise-oriented cloud show forum for understanding the scope of cloud computing solutions and integrated solutions from partners. While Microsoft has its main Ignite conference and splits off developers into Build, and Google has different conferences focused on cloud or developers, in this case, AWS puts it all in one venue. What do we expect here? Here's my snarky answer:

Topics: Cloud Computing AWS AWS re:Invent

SD-WAN Should Not Be a Scary Thought

Despite the hoopla related to SD-WAN, the concept is still alien and scary to many network service providers.

At a panel discussing SD-WAN at INCOMPAS 2017 (speakers by Multiapplied Communications, TPx Communications, VeloCloud, and Windstream; chaired by Dave Malfara, CEO, ETC Group), the speakers asked the audience "Who here is very familiar with SD-WAN?" Only a few hands went up. 

The issue is that many of the people in the audience have businesses selling the older technologies that are being supplanted by SD-WAN, such as MPLS circuits. 

But they know that changes are afoot. The title of the panel was "SD-WAN: Killer App in the Making." Are they resisting change, embracing change, or just plain confused?

I have a feeling that it's the "confusion" part since SD-WAN is so ill-defined. Is it software, devices, or the network? Or all of the above?

I bet you know the answer.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking

RCS and Universal Communications - This Time, It May Work

An annoying fact of modern inter-personal messaging is that there are many methods. A glance at any smartphone may show many apps for messaging, video conferencing or teleconferencing such as Allo, Duo & Meet (from Google), Messenger & WhatsApp (from Facebook), Signal, Cisco WebEx, built-in Dialer & SMS text messaging, Zoom, Skype, LinkedIn, LINE, Twitter, Facetime, Messages & Facetime (from Apple), GoToMeeting, WeChat (prominent in China), and Join.me. Plus, there are many many more.

Extending to the desktop, we might find SIP softphones such as Bria, RingCentral  and cousins of the above apps that allow for multi-endpoint logins. These apps provide voice, screen sharing, and text messaging but in this blog, we're talking about the need for universal messaging.

Thus, if you want to send a quick note to someone, it’s hard to figure out what to use. Many young people don’t use voice calls anymore, so they resort to messaging. Phones do a reasonable job of associating contacts with different platforms, but you never know if they are properly logged-in to a particular system. So, messages will fail to get delivered, or auto-converted to emails that get delivered later.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking Cloud Platforms & Services

SDN and Network Virtualization Revisited

The concept of SDN evolves over time. At the beginning, it was all about OpenFlow and many switch vendors adopted OpenFlow support in their devices. Later on, network virtualization overlays became popular, and characterized by products such as Cisco ACI, Juniper Contrail (and OpenContrail), Nuage Networks VSP, and VMware NSX, and open source projects such as OVN.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking