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Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

With the launch of Cisco’s software-defined networking startup Insieme expected tomorrow, our industry is about to hear a lot about “application-centric” everything. So what does “application-centric infrastructure” mean? First, some basics: Networking is about connecting computing devices and systems so they can share data. Networking infrastructures are built with a combination of hardware such as gateways, routers, and switches that manage the movement of the data as well as software applications that enable you to do things like access the Internet and send email. As you could probably guess, application-centric infrastructure is a type of networking that is based on the application. In an application-centric network, the network administrator manages a system for a specific application rather than managing individual servers and ro... (more)

Plexxi Pulse – Tune into the Plexxi Channel

This week the SDN buzz was about the new executive director for the OpenDaylight Project (ODP). The Linux Foundation announced Tuesday that former VMware executive Nicolas "Neela" Jacques is now the first ODP Executive Director. Jacques hopes to serve as a facilitator of the project, and as a member of ODP, Plexxi thinks this will only benefit the project and accelerate the results. We look forward to seeing what Jacques contributes to this role. In other news, Plexxi has a new channel on SDNCentral, which you can follow for the latest news and videos from us. In Plexxi's own fea... (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)

Plexxi on Cisco on Arista

[This post is intended to examine potential strategic implications. I am not trying to evaluate products or determine the relative value of competing solutions.] John Chambers was quoted in a Barron's blog last week talking about Arista. The entire article is worth reading (it covers a lot more than just Arista), but I want to highlight his comments specific to Arista: When I pose to Chambers that Arista Networks, the Santa Clara, California startup that is storming the data center with very successful products, is the “most serious competitor” the company has, he replies “Not ev... (more)

What Is Application-Centric Infrastructure?

With the launch of Cisco's software-defined networking startup Insieme expected tomorrow, our industry is about to hear a lot about "application-centric" everything. So what does "application-centric infrastructure" mean? First, some basics: Networking is about connecting computing devices and systems so they can share data. Networking infrastructures are built with a combination of hardware such as gateways, routers, and switches that manage the movement of the data as well as software applications that enable you to do things like access the Internet and send email. As you co... (more)