From a news perspective, a year is defined by the stories that make
headlines. But markets are frequently moved more by subtext than overt story.
Its sometimes the less sexy and more subtle happenings at the fringe of media
interest that determine how industries will evolve and ultimately who will
win and lose. This past year was certainly the year of software-defined
networking, but what important supporting bits played out just out of the
The Launch. Given the amount of industry build-up, including rumors, a couple
of head fakes, at least one aborted launch, and a competitive response that
included rushing another launch, Insieme’s coming-out party will from here
on after be known simply as The Launch. When the Big Dog invests north of
$850M, heads will turn. But amidst all the product talk and industry
dynamics, the bigger story seems to have been mi... (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
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
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)
Sports fan strategists like to throw around the famous Wayne Gretzky quote: I
skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. The corporate
implications of the quote are self-evident: plot your strategic course to
where you think the market is going. Setting your sights based primarily on
the current State of the Union is a surefire way to get passed in high tech.
So where is the puck going to be?
The current dialogue is all about software-defined everything. A couple of
years ago, it was all about OpenFlow. This year, the conversation broadened
somewhat to include... (more)
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)