Networking becomes more relevant. I refer to this as my Theory of Network Relevancy.
We sometimes see predictions of potential news items this time of the year, but those can be hard to act upon. In a prior post, I discussed major trends, and I now complement that with a list of things to do (i.e., a suggested New Year's resolutions list).
Get up to speed on SD-WAN, cloud connectivity, and network automation.
Networking is a conservative area, but it has been undergoing many changes in the last few years. Here are some of my thoughts for 2018. I include an obligatory discussion of SD-WAN since I like to cover it, but who can avoid talking about the cloud (and the cloud is a major driver for SD-WAN)?
I will focus on what you ought to look at and perhaps it will affect your purchase, architecture or deployment decisions.
Dan Conde, on Dec 21, 2017
Citrix has always been a company that provides the glue between disparate enterprise resources. This goes back many years. From app virtualization and VDI, application delivery controllers, or file sync and share, it served as glue to fill in areas where other companies lacked an adequate solution, or provided a multi-vendor solution where other companies, due to a single vendor focus, failed to provide an adequate answer.
As traditional vendors opened to interoperate in a multi-vendor environment, Citrix’s DNA allowed it to stay innovative, even as other firms introduced competing products, such as in remote desktop access.
I attended their Industry Analyst Meeting in Santa Clara, CA, and came away with a view to try to put a framework around their offerings.
Dan Conde, on Dec 20, 2017
Juniper held its NXTWORK conference in San Francisco last week. There were some announcements that showed this firm's continued evolution to be cloud-centric and to integrate security into its offerings.
Dan Conde, on Dec 8, 2017
It’s time for Juniper NXTWORK in San Francisco next week. At this time of the year between Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year, it’s the tail end of the conference season and announcements.
What presents may be in store from Juniper? It’s hard to say, but some earlier announcements on bots provide a hint on how their vision of Self-Driving Networks may start to get realized.
Their trio of new bot-apps: The AppFormix HealthBot for telemetry, Contrail TestBot for auditing, and PeerBot for peering monitoring were recently announced for beta, for availability in the first half of 2018. This may be a hint of things to come.
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.
This year was my first re:Invent and it was an impressive event. There were over forty-three thousand people in attendance and the show occupied a number of hotels along the Vegas strip. It wasn’t just that there were a lot of people there, it was that there were a lot of people who wanted to be there – after attending hundreds of trade shows and user group events you get to know the difference. There was a buzz and excitement at the show that reminded me of early VMworld and TechEd shows. Sessions were sold out and queues were long as people waited for the doors to open. All the attendees I spoke to had specific reasons for attending; many were in the process of moving to a cloud first strategy and were there to learn.
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.
Dan Conde, on Nov 2, 2017
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.