Will Software-defined Networking Bring a Change For The Better in 2015?

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, Turn and face the strange, Ch-ch-changes
  -David Bowie

Change may be an enduring theme in 2015. Geopolitically, economically, and of course, technologically. A quick scan of the day’s headlines only serves to confirm that changes (some quite scary) are rapidly taking place in each of these three areas. On a more personal level, 2015 has ushered in some very exciting changes as I joined the very talented ranks of the ESG team. As their newest IT infrastructure analyst, I’ll be focusing on how the software-defined data center (with a concentration on software-defined networking [SDN]) can help organizations transform or effect “change” to improve the vitality and health of their businesses.

Topics: Networking software-defined networking

Video Blog: The Impact of Software-defined Networking (SDN) on the Channel

Topics: channel IT Infrastructure Networking channel partners software-defined networking SDN

Buy or Build Your Own SDN?

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking software-defined networking SDN Interop

Video Blog: 2014 Interop Impressions

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure software-defined networking SDN Interop ESG Lab

Post Interop Musings

Now that a few days have passed since returning from Interop and Las Vegas, it seems like a good time to recap my visit. As expected, there was a lot going on, and not just new product announcements. There were announcements from both Aerohive and Arista stating their intentions to go public with IPOs. Both companies have reported tremendous growth and are now looking to get to the next level.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Networking software-defined networking SDN transformation Interop

Looking Forward to Interop 2014

Only a few days ‘til I head out to the glittering lights of Vegas to attend Interop. If you are interested in networking, this is one of the highlights of the year for you as it marks one of the major events for announcements. So many in fact that you may have a hard time keeping up with all of them! Keep in mind that is a good thing.

As one might expect, SDN will continue to be a major theme. However, as the market matures, expect to hear about how many of the SDN announcements of 2013 are materializing into working products with actual customers testing them. So, most likely this means that 2014 will be a really busy year for proof of concept testing and pilots. Not only are the building blocks for SDN materializing, but we are also witnessing more SDN “applications” coming to market as well – for the data center, campus and branch. A big part of some of the announcements last year in SDN related to ecosystems and how the collection of vendors would work together to develop end-to-end solutions – this is a good check in point to find out how those are developing. To use an iPhone analogy, this allows us essentially to find out how many SDN apps are in the app store. The SDN finalists include Cisco’s ACI APIC, VMware’s NSX and the OpenDaylight Project Hydrogen release. HP has an SDN app – a network optimizer for Microsoft Lync, as a finalist in the network category.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking software-defined networking SDN Interop

Impressions from ONS 2014

Last week I attended the Open Networking Summit and was able to listen in on a few keynotes, talk to a number of end-users and vendors, and even manage to host one of the panels. Overall the time was well spent as industry buzz is still very high around SDN and this show provided some good examples of how organizations were evaluating, testing, or even deploying SDN solutions. Here are some of my takeaways.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking ONS Open Networking Summit software-defined networking SDN

Time to Stop Creating Aggregation Points. Everywhere.

I complained recently about how great it was that servers could scale out ad infinitum these days, but why was it that we still keep edging down and down until we are forced to traverse ONE single RAID controller in order to get to the 8000 disks with the data behind it? It makes no sense. Sooner or later, we need to scale RAID controllers linearly just like we do servers – after all, each is really the same thing running different applications.

The same holds true in networking. To get from point A to point B, we have to traverse a zillion ports until we get to a CORE (think RAID controller) to get back out to what it is we really want, which is on another port(s) somewhere else. Why not just have everything connected to everything and take a direct path?

Topics: Cisco IT Infrastructure Networking Plexxi scale-out storage software-defined networking

Mobile Data + Wi-Fi = f (SDN+Policy+Apps + NFV); a formula for convergence

Although asked in many different ways, questions about integration of mobile and Wi-Fi keep popping up from end-users, enterprises, service providers, and regulators. Mobile device users mostly ask about apps to avoid exceeding mobile data caps or the relative security of mobile vs. Wi-Fi networks. Enterprises want to know if they should consider adding small cells when upgrading access points for unified wireless communications or rather explore distributed antennae system (DAS) providers for in-building mobile coverage. Wire-line service providers building out public Wi-Fi are interested in monetizing mobile offload and ask, what's up with FMC, VoLTE, VoWi-Fi, and HD voice? Wireless spectrum regulators are concerned about for-profits "hijacking" Wi-Fi based free public Internet access but acknowledge the need to fund build-outs. And technology disruptor Google is exploring flying blimps with wirless gear over emerging nations to bring the next billion people online. Quite a few tough but interesting questions and issues for a wireless analyst to opine on!

Topics: End-User Computing IT Infrastructure Networking mobile software-defined networking

The Amazon Effect....Continued

This article was posted on Computerworld this AM (by me). It made me think about other crazy business models that aren't overtly logical - and how our behavior makes them take shape.

Topics: Cisco IT Infrastructure Networking Amazon software-defined networking SDN