|By Michael Bushong||
|February 28, 2014 01:49 PM EST||
The OpenStack Summit session voting is officially open, and Plexxi has two sessions in the running. Check out sessions from Nils Swart, The Future of OpenStack Networking, and Derick Winkworth, Group Policies for Neutron and evolving the abstraction model to merge with OpenDaylight, and get your votes in. In our video of the week, Dan Backman explains how the Plexxi Pod Switch Interconnect has increased the size of our product portfolio and looks at the differences between the switching platforms. Check out our video of the week and a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse – enjoy!
Eric Krapf, contributor to No Jitter, discusses how the communications industry is embracing SDN more and more as evident by Microsoft and HP’s use of a Lync API that can connect the communications servers with the controllers in an SDN architecture. This article has a great discussion, even though it’s not surprising that SDN is relevant in communications. If you think of communications as just another application of the network, then the idea that SDN will enable app-network exchanges is a natural extension of the technology. The issue is that people don’t frequently think of SDN as enabling app-network collaboration. It has gotten a fairly narrow definition around controllers and OpenFlow, which misses the point of abstractions and workload delegation. This article provides a very practical example of what can be done and highlights how SDN doesn’t need another 3 years to make an impact.
Jude Chao, editor at Enterprise Networking Planet, says more mergers and acquisitions will occur in the networking industry in 2014 according to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) this week. Jude says SDN is a major factor driving this industry shift. I agree with the underlying premise – that there will be consolidation. A small number of networking hardware and software players will get acquired and several startups will fail to pick up traction and lose out on subsequent rounds of funding. I also believe a few smaller vendors will break out as independent players. Interestingly, the action will be in the periphery as well. Analytics, monitoring tools, data collection, DevOps, and even point solutions for niche applications will do well, and a round of change for the VARs will occur. Deploying SDN will mean a shift in business models, and not all VARs will make the leap. Much of this industry shift is not necessarily tied to commodity hardware, because the underlying being hardware cheap is not that big of a driver for industry consolidation. Differentiation already exists in the software today, even if pricing favors hardware.
The Register’s Jack Clark discusses the “seismic shifts” in networking and focuses on a quote from AT&T’s head of technology and network operations, John Donovan, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, saying that the telco’s Supplier Domain Program 2.0 saves money. The networking industry has had good margins for a long time. This isn’t because of the hardware being intelligent or not. It’s because there hasn’t been much competition. The thousands of features that get deployed mean that the number of functionally equivalent devices for a particular spot in the network is small. With little competition, pricing stays high. Things like SDN are important for two reasons: first, they reset the architecture to some extent, which reduces the power of all those legacy features, and second, it helps automate workflow. The first point increases competition and drives prices down. The second addresses the bigger cost issue: managing all the devices. Ultimately, Cisco will drop their prices as competition heats up. They will be a player in the future of AT&T, just maybe not to the same extent they are today. But the real battle is going to be over long-term OpEx reduction. Merely making a cheaper switch doesn’t address that. If AT&T just wanted the same network they have today at lower prices, they would put pricing pressure on Cisco. This is about something much larger.
Blogger Ethan Banks contributed an article in Network Computing about how Ethernet switches and the purchasing process have changed in the last few years. He says buyers today “must learn a variety of technical nuances that set switches apart from one another, match those capabilities to their organization’s needs, and then move ahead to a purchase.” After reading this post, I wonder what the role of off-box capabilities will be in Ethernet switch selection in the future. SDN is about workflow automation. People interested in that will also key in on things like orchestration and DevOps. It could be that on-box support for what ultimately ends up being off-box functionality will matter more. I only mention this because I suspect that people will need to broaden their selection criteria beyond the box to include things like Puppet or Chef integration or even OpenDaylight support. It will take a confusing process and make it potentially even tougher in the short term. Those customers with a more solid grasp of current and future strategy will be in a better position to make these types of decisions.
ReadWrite contributor Jonathan Crane explains how the IT department will make important strides toward driving innovation and growth in 2014. Jonathan analyzes a recent Gartner that predicted numerous developments that will greatly impact the IT function across mobile device management, hybrid cloud integration and SDN. One of the things that becomes necessary in an infrastructure environment that is orchestrate as a whole and in support of the applications is the expression of application requirements in application terms. Basically, to operationalize things, someone has to be able to capture what is important across the infrastructure. This cannot be specified in networking language or compute language. It has to be expressed relative to the application. The various infrastructure systems then need to translate the requirements into underlying behavior. I mention this because someone has to own the application abstraction. That would seem to fit with your definition of the OM. And then the OM would translate (or facilitate the translation of) the application requirements into underlying configuration primitives. This obviously has to be done through data models and APIs; a manual translation would leave us where we are today. The question people need to be asking then is: who is defining the abstractions? And what tools do I need to use them? This is where open source projects like OpenStack and OpenDaylight come into play. Anyone who is in an OM role (or wants to be) needs to be looking at these projects very closely to understand how to intersect their IT operations with the availability of management frameworks and controller architectures.
Mitch Wagner at Light Reading says according to a Forrester analyst, Cisco customers can stop purchasing the company’s switches and Cisco will still prosper. There will always be people who predict the demise of the incumbent. That might be hyperbole, but there will certainly be headwinds. I don’t think Cisco is incapable of executing against an SDN strategy. They have proven they can develop products, and when in doubt, they have mastered the strategic acquisition. SDN, however, is a new architecture. The new architecture reduces the need for the tomes of legacy features that have made it exceedingly difficult to get off the Cisco drug. With a new architecture, you get a more level playing field with lower barriers to entry. It’s the increased competition that will whittle away share. Will it be 20 or 30 points? Probably not, but you could see a significant share movement over the next 3-5 years.
Tom Hollingsworth, the Networking Nerd, says SDN vendors are creating an event horizon, which is a boundary beyond which events no longer affect observers or the point of no return for things falling into a black hole. If SDN enables bidirectional communication between the apps and the network, it stands to reason that you would begin to architect each of them differently. Obviously you must start with making it possible; no one will change anything if there is no support for it, but you create applications that take advantage of network information. Imagine massive data replication jobs. If they are not time critical, you could schedule them and create pipes across the network. You could serve content from caches that were less congested. You could do things like variable bit rate for mobile connections that are shifting from 3G to Edge and back to LTE on a train ride. Ultimately, I agree with the premise of this post. I don’t think the future is overlays that are completely agnostic to the underlying network. I think there will be a desire to pin the overlays to the physical infrastructure and allow for the dynamic optimization of the physical transport to suit whatever is happening on the overlay.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
Jan. 18, 2017 09:00 AM EST Reads: 4,389
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Jan. 18, 2017 08:15 AM EST Reads: 5,942
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Jan. 18, 2017 08:00 AM EST Reads: 4,253
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 18, 2017 07:45 AM EST Reads: 4,605
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 @...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:45 AM EST Reads: 2,749
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 4,608
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Jan. 18, 2017 06:30 AM EST Reads: 1,171
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 co...
Jan. 18, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 2,895
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 18, 2017 05:15 AM EST Reads: 3,575
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Jan. 18, 2017 03:45 AM EST Reads: 4,007
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT depl...
Jan. 18, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 1,860
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
Jan. 18, 2017 02:15 AM EST Reads: 3,226
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Jan. 18, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 4,214
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Jan. 18, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 4,928
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jan. 18, 2017 01:00 AM EST Reads: 6,061
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 18, 2017 12:00 AM EST Reads: 2,265
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Jan. 17, 2017 11:00 PM EST Reads: 688
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal ...
Jan. 17, 2017 10:30 PM EST Reads: 2,383
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
Jan. 17, 2017 10:30 PM EST Reads: 768
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Jan. 17, 2017 09:15 PM EST Reads: 7,575