Welcome!

Server Monitoring Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Ken Schwaber, JP Morgenthal, Pat Romanski

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
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
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 settle...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
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. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...