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Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

Big Data is quickly overtaking SDN as a key phrase in today’s networking lingo. And overused already as it may be, it actually has a lot more meaning and definition compared to SDN. Big Data solutions are designed to work on lots of data as the name suggests. Of course they have been around forever, talk to any large bank, credit card company, airline or logistics company and all of them have had applications running on extremely large databases and data sets forever. But this is the new Big Data, the one inspired by Hadoop, MapReduce and friends. High performance compute clusters specifically created to analyze large amounts of data and reduce it to a form and quantity that human brains can use in decision making. What makes today’s Big Data solutions different than its more traditional large database based applications, beyond the sheer datasets being analyzed, i... (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)

Plexxi Pulse – SDN, Big Data and the Cloud

Plexxi is gearing up for the 13th Cloud Expo on November 4-7 in Santa Clara, CA. We’re looking forward to discussing the two major IT trends that will be the conference focus: cloud computing and big data. Plexxi’s Mike Bushong recently wrote a post for InfoWorld about the inevitable intersection of Big Data and SDN, and how Plexxi SDN is already being deployed to the cloud. We can’t wait to explore these topics and more at the Cloud Expo and look forward to seeing you all there. In the meantime, watch Plexxi’s Dan Backman and Nils Swart describe the relationship between Plexxi c... (more)

SDN: Capability or Context?

Why is it that the definition of SDN continues to get debated? I think the definition of SDN remains a bit squishy. And while I am not entirely certain that it matters (people shouldn’t be buying SDN; they should be building networks), it is an interesting phenomenon, and understanding it better could help with the education process. When most people talk about what SDN is, they tend to fall into two camps: principles and protocols. You will frequently hear SDN described as the separation of control and forwarding planes. You probably hear people talking about SDN needing to be “... (more)

SDN and Innovation Base Camps

SDN is almost universally associated with disruption; the general consensus being that it is a significant departure from the way networking has been handled for decades. Insofar as SDN marks a major architectural shift, it absolutely should be considered a disruption. But how does disruption relate to innovation in general? And how do customers navigate an environment that is subject to disruption? It certainly is not the case that all innovation is disruptive. In the general case, an existing architecture serves as the starting point for innovation. From that starting point, t... (more)