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Plexxi Pulse – Socks and Gartner

This week Plexxi attended the Gartner Data Center Summit in Las Vegas. The conference highlighted a variety of topics, such as cloud strategies and DevOps and IT operational excellence. Plexxi enjoyed hearing unique perspectives from industry leaders and sharing our favorite #socksofplexxi with other attendees. In our video of the week, Dan Backman explains why it’s so important that Plexxi’s Switch 2 features 3 LightRail ports. Here is the video of the week and a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse – enjoy!



Dan Pitt Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation contributed his 2014 predictions for SDN in InformationWeek. He says while SDN has been a huge topic of focus in 2013, 2014 will bring more concrete results into play. For example, Dan believes that all switches will have OpenFlow client support in 2014. While I agree with the point that deployments will serve as references for other deployments, the question is whether you measure penetration by number of deployments, by size of deployment, or some combination. SDN is most easily deployed in green field opportunities, because you can build from scratch and reduce the dependency on legacy interoperability. This opens up more potential solutions. These opportunities will be smaller and the types of applications that are seeing traction will be simpler. When people bridge from a small, starter deployment to something larger, both the customer and the vendor learn something on the operational side. Those operational issues need to be addressed before deployments get bigger. I don’t mean to suggest we won’t see success in 2014. I just don’t think it will be of the massive or heterogeneous varieties. There is still a lot to be gained for companies, and the seed deployments will be very important so we should still exit the year with hope.

CIO’s Sharon Florentine says one of the biggest tech stories in 2013 was the rise of SDN. She refers to Gartner analyst, Joe Skorupa’s argument that it’s no longer a matter of “if” but “when” for SDN deployments. I think Joe is right about the need for agility and automation to get started, and he is right that there are new interfaces being created. I would add, however, a nuance to the API discussion. The objective isn’t to turn everyone into programmers. The real goal is to provide abstractions that allow applications and infrastructure to express requirements in familiar terms. Those abstractions will ultimately be expressed via APIs, but it’s the abstraction and not the API that the applications will care about. The abstractions then get translated into networking behavior (or other infrastructure behavior). The real end game is to treat the infra like a set of resources that can be dynamically allocated based on workload requirements. This is indeed a new way of thinking about the network.


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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."