Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan, Craig Lowell, AppNeta Blog, Jonathan Fries

Blog Feed Post

Plexxi Pulse – Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Abstractions

One month from today, Plexxi’s Nils Swart and Derick Winkworth will participate in SDNCentral’s DemoFriday to illustrate application abstraction using OpenDaylight. We encourage you to register here and check out the demo on March 14 at 10 a.m. PDT.  In our video of the week, Dan Bachman discusses how the Plexxi switching solution makes use of a fabric control protocol and explains whether there are any changes to how this works in a pod architecture. Here is our video of the week and a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse – enjoy!

 

 

This week Jason Edelman expanded on a prior post on the Cisco Nexus 3000 and its built-in Python interpreter and discussed an example that integrates Python with the native Linux operating system. I like how this post provides examples of real-world automation. As SDN emerged, many industry analysts and networking personnel started looking at what it meant for the future, but there is a lot of work to be done before SDN is widespread and successful. There are immediate practical changes that can happen within current architectures. This type of work is often more approachable and it helps network engineers add new skills to their repertoire.

CRN contributor Ashish Dhawan evaluates the SDN trend from the CIO’s perspective. He says CIOs are debating whether betting on SDN will impact their operations and the bottom-line. Ashish notes that SDN brings networking into the age of the cloud and Web 2.0 companies like Facebook are already embracing it. I would add that on the service provider side, SDN should be broader than just protocols like OpenFlow. Some of the protocols that are available to providers go well beyond simply turning up new services more quickly and with more automation. Providers should look at Path Computation Element (PCE), BGP-TE, and ALTO, and tracking emerging ideas like I2RS. These help make bidirectional communication between applications and the network more possible. If this happens, it’s not just that services are turned up faster but also that new classes of capabilities will be available. The path to new revenue streams (long an issue on the SP side) is not just doing the same thing more cheaply.

Larry Dignan at ZDNet  evaluates Cisco’s latest products prior to the earnings announcement made this week. Larry says while Cisco is making efforts to stay relevant in the networking space, big changes take time. Analysts recently observed that the threat of white box or bare metal switching will impact CapEx. This will pressure Cisco and all networking vendors to keep prices in line, but there are two things to consider:

  • The longer term cost bogie needs to be OpEx. It is by far the major driver of cost and competition will be on merits of the solution. Automation frameworks will also become increasingly important.
  • Pricing is the primary differentiator when two solutions are equivalent. The question is whether Cisco can maintain premium pricing because they offer a catalog of features no one else supports. The real threat of SDN is that architectures are becoming simpler and the catalog will be less relevant over time. So what does Cisco add to their portfolio to maintain differentiation? If ACI is any indication, they will say that it is integration with other infrastructure to provide better performing and more application-centric solutions.

Network World’s Jim Duffy reviews Big Switch’s change of course toward the orchestration of physical and virtual networks. Now Big Switch is following Cisco’s strategy of application centric infrastructure. There appears to be three network OS companies now: Cumulus, Big Switch and Pica8. They all cite customers like Google and Facebook. It will be interesting to see if those companies choose a single software vendor or if they maintain a dual-vendor strategy. It seems difficult for all three to make it with the same customers. More technically-savvy and demanding customers like Google require vendors to quickly ramp up support staff, which may be difficult for these companies initially.

Steve Evans at ComputerWeekly wrote about Dell’s open-networking initiative that involves a decoupling of networking hardware and software. Customers will be able to choose between Dell’s proprietary OS and a Linux-based OS offered by Cumulus. I don’t really connect Dell running Cumulus software on their switches to SDN. Whether your OS and hardware are tightly integrated or distributed separately is related to packaging, not to SDN. Just because the word “software” shows up in both doesn’t make them inherently connected. SDN is about separating control for the purpose of intelligent decision making and to automate workflows. The reason adoption is lagging is because the industry continues to confuse people. Vendor marketing around SDN is going to inhibit making money on SDN.

Brian Prince at Network Computing  says security is the major topic missing from SDN discussions in the networking industry. The real change here is that coordination across industry groups today is largely manual and governed by process. When you take out the human bottleneck, the pace of change accelerates. This exposes the human interaction bottleneck. I would think that moving to more deployment automation (as with DevOps) would be a natural evolution to tighten the processes and provide a layer of validation. This of course does nothing to add security. It just makes the security that exists a bit more tightly linked and verifiable.

InformationWeek contributor Bill Kleyman provides an overview of SDN’s three biggest benefits, which include complete cloud abstraction, intelligent global connections, and near-flawless content delivery. I think SDN primarily addresses workflow automation. Because we manage networks through pinpoint control on a device-by-device basis, things like edge policy are very manual and extremely costly. SDN’s major objective is to provide a central point for management, effectively automating a lot of the manual parts of managing a network today. Beyond that, the controller can add intelligence because it has a global view of the network. This means that the actual behavior can be tuned to application requirements. SDN allows the network to optimize based on what applications need. This happens through abstraction, but not just cloud abstraction.

Forbes contributor Ben Kepes writes about OpenDaylight’s recent Hydrogen release and asks whether it has any substance, arguing “fascinating does not equate to adoption.” At Plexxi, we think the inaugural OpenDaylight release is notable for two reasons: it represents working code, and it was done in 10 months. Many of the standards bodies and consortiums produce recommendations. ODP is producing code and it’s a big deal. The best way to bring nascent technology to market is through experimentation. We cannot debate endlessly in professorial exchanges and hope to really learn and iterate. Second, it would take most startups 2-3 years to get from inception to version 1.0 of their product and OpenDaylight did it in 10 months. What does this mean for the long-term trajectory? I think ODP represents a bright spot in the industry, and one that will ultimately prove successful.

The post Plexxi Pulse – Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Abstractions appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.