|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.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 483
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 348
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 416
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 423
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 525
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 324
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 451
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 344
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 29, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 218
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 all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 29, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 271
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 29, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 499
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:45 AM EST Reads: 742
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 555
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 375
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 29, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 460
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 29, 2015 04:30 AM EST Reads: 484
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 377
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 597
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 339
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Nov. 29, 2015 02:45 AM EST Reads: 427