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Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

As we embrace 2014, it’s important to focus on emerging trends to predict any industry changes this year and in the coming years. Mike Bushong reviewed 2013 on the Plexxi blog and noted important events that will likely carry into this year, including how 2013 initiated SDN deployments and marked the year Cisco moved beyond networking. We will see what happens in 2014, but it is crucial to reflect before looking ahead. In our Plexxi video of the week, Dan Backman explains optics integration with electrical mediums like Ethernet, and how this transition from optical to electrical back to optical is called OEO. He discusses the significance of this translation and how Plexxi’s solution differs. Here is the video of the week and a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse – enjoy!   Cisco’s and VMware’s Networking Tech Win Analyst Points but Little Revenue Jordan Novet at... (more)

Silicon: Merchant vs. Outsourced

If you talk to folks in the networking industry about switching hardware, you probably don't get more than a few sentences in before you hear the words merchant silicon, typically followed closely by commodity hardware. There is some confusion in the dialogue about these topics, and I think it stems from a lack of clarity around why this matters and how silicon development actually works. Let's start with why merchant silicon matters. When people talk about merchant silicon, most of the time they fail to really clearly specify what it is they want. There are basically two reasons... (more)

Chicken or Egg: Abstraction and Automation

For many SDN and DevOps enthusiasts, the natural outcome of this wave of technological change is a highly-automated network that is well-orchestrated with surrounding systems and applications. One of the prevailing thoughts is that this level of automation is a well-formed abstraction layer. With the abstractions in place, the army of network engineers will be unencumbered by device configuration, and automation will ensure. Or will it? First off, let me say that abstraction is absolutely necessary. There is no doubt that networking will only advance if we can both remove unneces... (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)

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)