Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

When people talk about Big Data, the emphasis is usually on the Big. Certainly, Big Data applications are distributed largely because the size of the data on which computations are executed warrants more than a typical application can handle. But scaling the network that provides connectivity between Big Data nodes is not just about creating massive interconnects. In fact, the size of the network might be the least interesting aspect of scaling Big Data fabrics. Just how big is Big Data? Not that long ago, I asked the question: how large is a typical Big Data deployment? I was expecting, as I suspect many people are, that the Big in the title meant that the deployments would be, in a word, big. But the average Big Data deployment is actually far smaller than most people realize. I grabbed a list from HadoopWizard in an article dating back to last year. What is rema... (more)

Automation through workflow state

The benefits of automation are well understood: more agile service provisioning, faster time to insight when there are issues, and a reduction in human error as manual interaction is reduced. Much of the premise behind long-term SDN architectural advantages is steeped in the hope that SDN will help enable and ultimately promote automation. But while centralizing control has significant operational advantages, by itself, it doesn’t actually address the most important requirement for automation. If automation is going to be more than just reducing keystrokes, there will have to be... (more)

At the office, are you a doctor or a patient?

Everyone experiences challenges at work. Whether it’s an individual contributor or the CEO, everyone has to go through the same basic set of issues that plague virtually all workers everywhere. But not everyone handles those problems the same way. Conversation is the usual outlet for most people. But how you conduct those conversations says a lot about you. The question during these conversations is: Are you a doctor or a patient? Doctors and patients We have all been a patient at some point or another. Regardless of how smart or rich or powerful we are, we walk into that little e... (more)

Where are we in the roll out of SDN?

[This post was originally written for and published on The Rayno Report.] Software Defined Networking (SDN) has quickly spawned what appears in some respects to be a cottage industry of would-be disruptors to the more traditional networking approaches. With hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital flowing into the space and dozens of infrastructure companies now vying to be the preeminent SDN vendor, how can anyone — customers or investors — predict who the breakout players will be?  SDN is a How, Not a What The most basic thing that potential customers and investors need... (more)

The Re-Emergence of the Operating System

Compute started its major architectural transition several years ago with the introduction of virtualization. If you pay attention to any of the IT noise today, it should be clear that storage and networking are going through their own architectural evolutions as well. But another shift is also underway: applications are fundamentally changing as well. An interesting dynamic in all of this is that it is near impossible for each of the four major IT areas to undergo simultaneous, coordinated evolution. Change is hard enough on its own, but changing multiple variable at once makes... (more)