Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

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 it difficult to anchor to anything substantial. And when change does occur along multiple fronts at the same time, the task of determining causation for new found results is challenging at best. Understanding that business underlies much of the change, the best that the industry can collect... (more)

UX Is the New Orange

If LinkedIn profiles are any indication, User Experience (frequently shortened to UX) is the new orange. Indeed, across all manners of technology, there is an increasing focus on improving user experience. Driven in part by Apple’s success on the consumer side, it would appear that IT infrastructure vendors are getting in on the action. In the quest to simplify our collective lives and differentiate in a space more defined by cost than capability, the user is taking a more prominent role. As it should be. Networking and UX This is especially true in networking. The truth about a... (more)

The Role of Open Source in Orchestration

The most challenging part of managing a complex IT infrastructure is not in the silos but the boundaries between those silos. Tools, processes, and even people have to be particularly flexible at the points where workflows intersect. And once these intersection points are codified (through tooling infrastructure, specific procedures, or training), they are exceedingly difficult to change. The truth is that in most data centers today, orchestrating workflows across disparate IT systems is more dream than reality. For far too many people, automation means writing a Perl script tha... (more)

Is an SDN App Store Viable?

When it comes to API frameworks, there seems to be a Field-of-Dreams-esque view that If you build it, they will come. And as our industry dives headfirst into SDN waters, there will be people who advocate the proliferation of developer programs under the premise that networking needs an App Store. The question these people need to be asking is whether an SDN App Store is actually a strategically viable end state. Before I get into whether the networking industry can support an app store, I need to outline the strategy behind these developer programs. All developer programs are e... (more)

Plexxi Pulse – Looking Back and Ahead

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 ... (more)