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Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

With the blurring of technology lines, the rise of competitive companies, and a shift in buying models all before us, it would appear we are at the cusp of ushering in the next era in IT — the Third Platform Era. But as with the other transitions, it is not the technology or the vendors that trigger a change in buying patterns. There must be fundamental shifts in buying behavior driven by business objectives. The IT industry at large is in the midst of a massive rewrite of key business applications in response to two technology trends: the proliferation of data (read: Big Data) and the need for additional performance and scale. In many regards, the first begets the second. As data becomes more available—via traditional datacenters, and both public and private cloud environments — applications look to use that data, which means the applications themselves have to go... (more)

Network Operating Systems and White Box Switching

The white box switching movement appears to be gaining some momentum. For some, it is a fait accompli that hardware and software will be meaningfully separated, allowing users to procure each independently in a model that more closely resembles what happens on the server side. The fires are fueled by projects like Facebook’s Open Compute Project, an effort to open source compute reference platforms. I don’t actually want to debate the merits of a decoupled hardware/software model. The strategic implications are far more interesting, and how that might shape vendor activity over ... (more)

Abstracting vs Ignoring

There’s a running meme in networking that has caught a lot of momentum with SDN: abstraction. Just about every vendor these days has bold ambitions to abstract out the complexity. There are APIs, abstraction layers, and architectural shims that all aim to hide complexity from the user. But what does that really mean? The primary goal of abstraction is to break something down into its most essential elements. You then expose only those parts that require end-user participation (think: configuration knobs, for example). Ideally, a small set of relatively well-understood parameters... (more)

UX Is the New Orange

If LinkedIn profiles are any indication, User Experience (frequently shortened to UX) is the new orange. Indeed, across all manners of technology, there is an increasing focus on improving user experience. Driven in part by Apple’s success on the consumer side, it would appear that IT infrastructure vendors are getting in on the action. In the quest to simplify our collective lives and differentiate in a space more defined by cost than capability, the user is taking a more prominent role. As it should be. Networking and UX This is especially true in networking. The truth about a... (more)

Leading Disruption By @PlexxiInc [#SDN #BigData]

by Rich Napolitano, CEO of Plexxi My entire career has been spent finding disruption and cultivating the technologies needed to convert that disruption into real business value for customers. It is with that objective in mind that I am thrilled to join the Plexxi team as Chief Executive Officer, alongside my good friend and colleague Dave Husak, who will lead our product development efforts. We are in a unique moment in time, with massive technological and business model changes underway in parallel. Everything we know about compute, storage, networking, and applications is in tr... (more)