Posts Tagged Networking

Two Views on the Future of Networking: Cumulus Networks and Insieme Networks

It is Wikibon’s belief that the trends put forth by hyperscale companies are starting to push into the enterprise to create a software-led datacenter. While SDN fits into this trend, there is an even greater opportunity to truly transform the way that the network is managed and potentially disrupt the current industry structure, which is dominated by Cisco. While customers may complain about high prices, networking has traditionally been bought on risk-avoidance and changing vendors can cause a lot of angst and internal resistance. Cisco has done a great job of keeping up with customer requirements over the last 15 years and despite industry consolidation – both acquisition and challengers in the channel – has managed to maintain a long lead, especially in L2/L3 switching. There are rumors that Cisco’s latest spin-in – Insieme Networks – will make some announcements at Cisco Live next week. Whether that happens or not, with Cumulus Networks coming out of stealth today, let’s take a look at some competing visions for where networking is heading.

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Is the SDN Network of the Future in Your Data Center Today

Software Defined Networking (SDN) dominates networking industry conversation today. The $1B+ acquisition of Nicira by VMware got everyone’s attention. Big Switch also received good buzz at the launch of its open ecosystem. While it is Wikibon’s advice that enterprise CIOs shouldn’t wait for the market to mature more before trying to jump into an SDN solution, one of the underpinnings of future solutions is available today. OpenFlow (which is only a piece of the SDN story) requires a controller and OpenFlow enabled switches. According to the SDN Central website, the following vendors are currently shipping OpenFlow-enabled switches:

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Making the case for Network Security

As we continue this journey into the age of big data, cloud, mobility, social media and so forth, vast amounts of data are being generated daily.  The volume of digital information continues to grow with no end in sight.  More and more, personal and company information are becoming more and more digitized, both in storage and transfer.  Securing this information is a growing challenge, and is becoming more complex by the day.  Protecting digital assets means utilizing the best of available technologies and methodologies to achieve security goals.  Not only must they ensure that the quality and performance of the solution is maintained, they must also assure undoubtedly that the information they seek to protect stays uncompromised.


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The Beauty of Fiber Optics

Everyone knows fiber optics completely revolutionized the world of communication networks by delivering massive amounts of data almost instantly across great distances. Today, fiber optics are used in virtually every network ranging from massive data centers, to satellites in space, to transportation systems involving smart highways and traffic lights.

Using fiber optics has many benefits over other types of data transfer cables.  They have a high carrying capacity while still delivering high speed, they degrade less, have no interference, require less power, are lightweight, safe, and they are flexible.  But most importantly, fiber optic cables are visually stunning!  We have comprised a gallery of pictures honoring original non-data transmitting, very pretty, uses for fiber optics.

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Untangle This! The World’s Worst Cable Clutters

A couple of weeks ago, we showed you pictures of some of the most artfully organized cables we could find. Today, we’re taking the opposite approach. We’ve all been guilty of the disorganized cable and wire heap, and frankly, it is a crime to be ashamed of. Most of us respectful citizens will clean up our act sooner or later, however, some others don’t. These serial tanglers have earned a notorious reputation because of their unrivaled skill at creating clutter. We’ve tracked down some of the worst cases of cable abuse and narrowed it down to the ten worst. Think you have cable clutter worse than these? Let us know in the comments!

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The Art of Cable Organization

In past blog posts, we’ve shown you some of the largest data centers and some of the most energy efficient data centers.  Today, we’re going to look at a different aspect of data centers, the network cabling.  As you’ll see in the first picture, Ethernet cables can be a nightmare if they aren’t carefully organized.  However, when they are organized, they can transform into clever pieces of modern art.  That’s exactly what we’re going to show you, a list of ten of the most artfully organized cabling systems we could find! At the end, be sure to let us know which are your favorites in the comments!

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Virtualization Requirements Driving Ethernet Fabric Architectures

Word cloud of this article, by

Over a year ago, I posed the question, “Does 10Gb Ethernet change the Competitive landscape?” Cisco has been the dominant player in networking, for over a decade no competitor ever captured even ten percent of the market. While Ethernet is continuing its march into new markets and new applications, the market landscape has definitely changed. Fresh off of VMworld, there is a buzz in the networking world around new opportunities and architectures.

The Big Trends

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Everybody is a Networking Winner at Interop in Vegas

Scalable Fabrics and Big Buffets Collide at Interop in Las Vegas

Optimism was abundant at Interop in Las Vegas this week. Attendance and energy was up from the more economically subdued shows of the last two years. While I only got to spin through the event for a few hours, I did get to talk to a bunch of the companies and bloggers at the show. While cloud (and the fabric networking that enable scalable architectures) may have been the big theme, but the undertone in the networking space was attacking Cisco while they are believed to be vulnerable due to some soft financial results and restructuring.

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Cisco is Ready for the Next-Generation Network, Are You?

The networking space is in the midst of significant changes. The starting point is the transition to higher speeds, with most customers finally moving to 10Gb Ethernet (almost a decade after the standard was ratified), and 40Gb and 100Gb solutions starting to become available. But the real drivers that make networking strategic to IT are the trends of virtualization, convergence and cloud. As has been the case for the last decade, the conversation of the marketplace starts with Cisco. Cisco has been talking about “Data Center 3.0” for over three years; today’s Cisco announcement (here’s the PR) is delivering on a number of pieces of the vision. As Cisco pushes into adjacent server market, it finds the networking marketplace more competitive than it has been in many years.

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Accelerating the Industry Towards Converged Networking

Buzzword Bingo by F5's Lori MacVittie

In the storage networking space, convergence has been the hot topic for the last four years. I will be attending SNW in 2 weeks and a quick look at the agenda shows that  “converged” or “unified” trail only “cloud” in buzzword bingo. I wrote recently about how FCoE sales are doing well in embedded and rack-based solutions. While the move to Ethernet based storage networks is growing, there are many things that customers and vendors can do to accelerate this transition. The storage industry is notoriously slow to change and this is about more than just a protocol transition (which always take much longer than anticipated). The imperative for companies to adopt converged infrastructure is that CIOs are under tremendous pressures to lower costs, IT must compete with cloud pricing models and staffs are increasingly moving from specialists to generalists. While some customers will wait until FCoE ships as part of a standard configuration (expect more LOM solutions when Intel’s Sandy Bridge servers roll out), here are my recommendations for the industry on accelerating convergence.

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