Most Recent Blogs

Back in the Saddle Again

Posted: September 18, 2017   /   By: Bob Laliberte   /   Tags: Networking

man_on_horseback.jpgAs the Aerosmith song goes (and to be fair, Gene Autry as well), I am back in the saddle again, the analyst saddle, that is. After a three-year adventure with a PE-backed company selling test solutions and service assurance software to enterprise and global telecommunication providers, I have returned to ESG. I would like to say that now I am older, wiser, and a lot smarter--however, what I can say for sure is that I am older, heavier, and balder! Other than becoming a cliché (old, fat, bald guy), I did have a lot of great experiences over the last few years and got to work with some great co-workers and customers. In my previous jobs, I have worked for privately owned companies based in the US and Japan, as well as VC-backed startups through their ups and downs, and I wanted to gain some experience at a PE-backed company to add to my list.  

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

Posted: September 08, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Cloud Computing, Networking, containers

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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.

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Network Services: Procurement and the Role of Service Providers

Posted: August 15, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Networking, SD-WAN, Mobile World Congress Americas

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This is another piece in the “Road to Mobile World Congress” blogs. First part is here.

 

One of the choices in the move toward deploying solutions “as-a-service” is how something fundamental like network and services will be delivered. Unlike software, it’s obvious that some equipment is necessary at all locations, but as we have seen in the role of virtual CPE (vCPE), it’s possible to have much of the intelligence pushed out to the central office or to the cloud as virtualized services. 

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LTE and 5G: The Role of Wireless in Future SD-WAN

Posted: August 14, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Networking, SD-WAN, Mobile World Congress Americas

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As the debut of Mobile World Congress Americas approaches, I'm writing a series of blogs to describe how the solutions related to mobile carriers affect general enterprise networking.

 

 

SD-WAN has traditionally been a solution for branch networks that involves the combination of landline networks, such as MPLS, broadband, and even DSL. What’s not well appreciated is the participation of mobile networks, specifically LTE, to provide one of the paths for branch networking.

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Cisco Ramps Up Security With Intent-based Networking

Posted: July 07, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Cisco, Networking, SDN, Intent-based networkng

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Encrypted Traffic Analytics and SD-Access integrate security into the enterprise network.

Security is a big part of Cisco's new intent-based networking strategy. The key security pieces are Encrypted Traffic Analytics and Software-Defined Access. The details of hardware support such as the Catalyst 9000 switches aren't as important as how the new architecture provides a new way for enterprises to approach security by integrating it into the network.

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Cisco Intent-Based Networking Brings SDN to the Enterprise

Posted: July 03, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Cisco, Networking, SDN

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Automation platform promises to make software-defined networking a reality for campus networks.

At Cisco Live, networking pros heard a lot about Cisco's new intent-based networking strategy and technologies. On the surface, the technologies look like an evolution of Cisco's existing enterprise network products. Intent-based networking was actually available with Cisco's ACI platform, Digital Network Architecture (DNA). It was announced in March 2016, and the Catalyst 9000 family of switches is a version of the venerable switch. New technologies include software-defined access and encrypted traffic analytics.

However, we need to focus on the bigger picture rather than the individual products. Altogether, they're actually a long-awaited realization of software-defined networking branching out beyond the data center and finding its way into the enterprise.

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First-hand Experience of Incomplete Digital Transformation

Posted: June 30, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Networking, Digital Transformation

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Everyone talks of digital transformation (DX) but it is especially hard to make a direct connection between IT infrastructure and how it supports digital transformation. Let’s look at a first-hand experience where it fails.

Best Buy is one of the retail companies that’s lauded for being a survivor in the retail industry (see Fortune magazine, June 15th, 2017 issue, p. 34, in print and online) by embracing the merging of offline and online shopping, but they still fail in many respects. Here’s how.

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Telemetry and Performance Management in Softwarized Environments

Posted: June 29, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Networking, SDN, telemetry

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Network telemetry and performance management is a challenge in softwarized environments. Unlike traditional hardware-based systems, many assumptions that made conventional measurement and performance management possible start to breakdown and must be revisited. There are issues of capacity, topology, dynamic configurations (ephemeral nature), and intent.

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Cisco’s Future Intents – Subtlety and Importance of What Is Coming

Posted: June 27, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Networking, intelligent networks

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At Cisco Live, Cisco highlighted public announcement of "Network. Intuitive" and the extension of the Cisco-Apple partnership. Those of us who see many announcements and press releases nod our heads and say, “Ok…they are extending Cisco DNA, we see new Catalyst, a bit more analytics, and more closeness with Apple. Oh, it’s interesting that Tim Cook is talking at the keynote." What’s really happening is actually a more fundamental change.

 

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Intelligent Networks - Networking is More than Data Delivery

Posted: June 26, 2017   /   By: Dan Conde   /   Tags: Networking, intelligent networks

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Networks are critical components of IT infrastructure, and a source of value, as well as a source of vulnerabilities. Products and solutions have evolved beyond the basic role of simply delivering packets to a destination reliably. Understanding behavior, policy, and content are critical for operating a network that delivers high value.

I’d like to think of these systems as intelligent networks. The terms have been formally defined before in telephony, but I want to use it in a broader context.

What sort of intelligent insights do networks provide? They will give you views into application behavior and malicious activity, and provide feedback and telemetry to guide the management of workloads and ultimately the delivery of IT and business services.

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