Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

There is probably never going to be a perfect balance in the industry between Do-it-yourself (DIY) and Do-it-for-you (DIFY) networking. It seems exceedingly unlikely that there is a one-size-fits-all type of solution out there. And so we will invariably end up with a bifurcated market that requires multiple solutions for its constituents. But if there is not a perfect balance, which one of these is likely to see the most action? If you were to base your guess on industry chatter, you would have to conclude that DIY has the upper hand. There is a ton of momentum right now with both SDN and bare metal switching. On the SDN front, it is all about orchestration and automation. The ability to streamline customized workflows is attractive, especially for the large IT shops that sink tens of millions of dollars into managing their monstrosities. Once you get into anything... (more)

What Is Application-Centric Infrastructure?

With the launch of Cisco's software-defined networking startup Insieme expected tomorrow, our industry is about to hear a lot about "application-centric" everything. So what does "application-centric infrastructure" mean? First, some basics: Networking is about connecting computing devices and systems so they can share data. Networking infrastructures are built with a combination of hardware such as gateways, routers, and switches that manage the movement of the data as well as software applications that enable you to do things like access the Internet and send email. As you co... (more)

Integration vs. Orchestration

Applications are at the center of the IT universe. As IT shifts its primary goal from connectivity to experience, it will require tighter collaboration between the various infrastructure elements that support application workloads. There are two philosophical approaches to how this orchestration might take place: through a tightly-integrated system, or through a more loose coupling of heterogeneous components. But how should architects make the choice between these approaches? The principles of architecture tend to be most vehemently argued by the vendors competing to sell the u... (more)

Controller Federations: Cluster by Proximity or Service?

As SDN moves closer to large-scale deployments, the issue of controller scaling is becoming a hotter topic. The consensus seems to favor some form of distributed cluster environment, likely in the form of federated clusters. But how should these federations be formed? The first thing to think about is the blast radius for controllers. Even if a controller could scale to manage every node in the network, it is unlikely that you would want that to be the design. It simply creates too large a maintenance and failure domain. Even with a redundant controller, the issues with expansiv... (more)

The Plexxi Pulse – Integrating with SolarWinds

In December Plexxi will be doing another Demo Friday with SDNCentral to show how Plexxi’s SDN solutions integrate with SolarWinds' leading monitoring capabilities. The Demo aims to explain what occurs when infrastructure data is applied across multiple components of the IT infrastructure. You can register for Demo Friday here, and if you want a sneak peak at this exciting integration, Simon McCormack from Plexxi and Francois Caron at SolarWinds give a presentation on thwackCamp 2013. Check out the video to find out more! Here are a few of my reads this week in the Plexxi ... (more)