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Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

Anyone who has ever delivered a presentation or even listened to one knows that the key to an effective presentation is telling a story. If you peruse even a few pages of any of the books about how to deliver a solid presentation, you will find references to storytelling and its role in passing along information throughout history. Yes, we must tell stories. But not all stories work. So how do you pick a story or a framework for a presentation that will be effective? Stories vs frameworks Let me start off by saying that you need both stories and frameworks. When you think about the structure of the points you want to convey, think about frameworks. When you want to make a point real, use a story. When you are delivering a technical presentation especially, you are very unlikely to find a single story that can weave in all the points you want to make. You are, afte... (more)

Data Center Architecture: Together and Apart

The challenge in architecting, building, and managing data centers is one of balance. There are forces competing to both push together and pull apart datacenter resources. Finding an equilibrium point that is technological sustainable, operationally viable, and business friendly is challenging. The result is frequently a set of compromises that outweigh the advantages. Logically together The datacenter represents a diverse set of orchestrated resources bound together by the applications they serve. At its most simplest, these resources are physically co-located. At its extreme, t... (more)

High availability in horizontally-scaled applications

The networking industry has a somewhat unique relationship with high availability. For compute, storage, and applications, failures are somewhat tolerable because they tend to be more isolated (a single server going down rarely impacts the rest of the servers). However, the network’s central role in connecting resources makes it harder to contain failures. Because of this, availability has been an exercise in driving uptime to near 100 percent. It is absolutely good to minimize unnecessary downtime, but is the pursuit of perfect availability the right endeavor? Device uptime vs... (more)

It’s the Applications, Stupid (Part 3 of 3)!

If you missed the first 2 parts of this series, you can catch them here and here. The short version is that there are Enterprise customers that are actively seeking to automate the production deployment of their workloads, which leads them to discover that capturing business policy as part of the process is critical. We’ve arrived here at the point that once policy can be encapsulated in the process of application workload orchestration, it is then necessary to have infrastructure that understands how to enact and enforce that policy. This is largely a networking discussion, and ... (more)

It’s the Applications, Stupid (Part 2 of 3)!

In part 1 of this series, I mentioned a customer that was starting to understand how to build application policy into their deployment processes and in turn was building new infrastructure that could understand those policies. That’s a lot of usage of the word “policy” so it’s probably a good idea to go into a bit more detail on what that means. In this context, policy refers to how specific IT resources are used in accordance with a business’s rules or practices. A much more detailed discussion of policy in the data center is covered in this most excellent networkheresy blog po... (more)