Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

A little while ago I wrote about the differences between routing and switching, or probably more the difference between ethernet and IP forwarding. The focus of that article was very much on the differences between the two from a forwarding hardware perspective. This article last week from Brent Salisbury triggered a bunch of additional thoughts around scale and size. As some sense of disclosure, in my previous job at Nortel/Avaya I was part of the team that pushed Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) spearheaded by Paul Unbehagen. I am a fan of SPB, I believe it is an extremely well thought out mechanism to provide network based virtualized ethernet networks with many real life practical roots in the learnings from MPLS and early more static solutions like PBB and PBT. One of the questions I have been asked many times with respect to SPB is: "how big can I scale my SPB m... (more)

Plexxi Pulse – Great #SDN Content on Twitter

Last week was a busy week for us at Plexxi, as you could see from last week’s Plexxi Pulse. Now that the networking community has had a few days to digest after a whirlwind week, they have responded with some fantastic articles, videos and photos, which we’ve included below. Highlights include articles on Plexxi’s DSE from Ivan Pepelnjak and Tom Hollingsworth. There are also a few #SocksofPlexxi cameos, and photos of our Lego prize giveaway from NFD6. We anticipate much more to come in the next few weeks, so stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy the Tweets below. ... (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)

Where the Puck Is Going: Analytics

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)