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)
It is no surprise to anyone that everything in IT these days is very cost
conscious. It could be that your IT organization is run as a cost center, in
which case the primary metrics all revolve around cost and schedule. Or it
could be that IT is a direct part of your revenue stream, in which case you
have to operate at scale, which involves getting a handle on costs. Whatever
the model, you are very likely involved in more than one cost conversation
This dynamic is not unique to networking. On the server side, we have already
digested a few transitional changes that have ... (more)
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)
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
The challenge in architecting, building, and managing data centers is one of
balance. There are forces competing to both push together and pull apart
datacenter resources. Finding an equilibrium point that is technological
sustainable, operationally viable, and business friendly is challenging. The
result is frequently a set of compromises that outweigh the advantages.
The datacenter represents a diverse set of orchestrated resources bound
together by the applications they serve. At its most simplest, these
resources are physically co-located. At its extreme, t... (more)