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 telco cloud

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 Amazon 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 RCS

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

Box is a Platform, Not a Storage Provider

One of the quandaries of a company so well associated with one solution is that it obscures all the innovation they are working on to evolve. At Box’s BoxWorks, they continue to add to the platform with capabilities that take them away from being identified as a storage provider. It’s now fundamentally an enterprise content management and governance system. They are also a cloud platform, but not in the sense that AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft are. They are a cloud platform for aggregating the resources from other providers and providing structure to the content.

Topics: Cloud Computing Cloud Platforms & Services

Focus on the Right Thing about Containers: What the Workloads Perform, not How They Do It

Much attention has been placed on modern applications and containers, and perhaps to excess. People wrote and worried about the choice of container orchestration systems—whether it’s Kubernetes, Marathon, or Swarm.

Also silly are comparisons of containers as a replacement for virtual machines, or whether serverless systems, such as AWS Lambda, are the new replacement for containers. Much of that was due to misconceptions, a desire to see a horse race where none exists, or a side effect of in-fighting in the open source community, with sponsoring organizations or vendors in the sidelines.

Topics: Cloud Computing Networking containers

Nothing in IT Really Ends - Capisce? (Video)

I recently spent a little time in Italy, where I realized that whether in life or IT, nothing ever really goes away.

Topics: Cloud Computing Server Virtualization containers

Is the "Silver Lining" of Clouds Just Free Money for Some [of Your] Vendors!? (Video)


The video below pretty much says it all: while the value of public clouds - most often as a part of the growing 'hybrid IT' model - is indisputable for the majority of IT organizations, there are some vendors that have seen the opportunity to capitalize at users' expense. Those wanting to make a quick buck are likely driven by a desire to make the cloud look artificially more expensive than it is, as much as a desire to protect revenues....but either way it is insidious. It is insidious for two reasons: obviously it is just wrong, but also it is another example (like the bad kid that gets the whole class detention!) of the minority spoiling things for the majority.

Anyhow, take a look at the video first, and then take a look at your invoices too....just to be cautious and sensible.

Topics: Cloud Computing Storage

What Users Tell Infrastructure Vendors In Recent ESG Research (Part 1 of 2)

Every year, ESG’s IT spending intentions survey provides a broad look at the key themes and tides in the contemporary IT world. Its sheer breadth is certainly fascinating for practitioners and purveyors of IT alike. Anyone can access the abstract here while ESG subscription clients can obviously enjoy the entire report.

Topics: Cloud Computing Storage Cybersecurity IT Infrastructure