Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

With the blurring of technology lines, the rise of competitive companies, and a shift in buying models all before us, it would appear we are at the cusp of ushering in the next era in IT — the Third Platform Era. But as with the other transitions, it is not the technology or the vendors that trigger a change in buying patterns. There must be fundamental shifts in buying behavior driven by business objectives. The IT industry at large is in the midst of a massive rewrite of key business applications in response to two technology trends: the proliferation of data (read: Big Data) and the need for additional performance and scale. In many regards, the first begets the second. As data becomes more available—via traditional datacenters, and both public and private cloud environments — applications look to use that data, which means the applications themselves have to go... (more)

Closing the Bio Gaps in Networking

It is no surprise to anyone that everything in IT these days is very cost conscious. It could be that your IT organization is run as a cost center, in which case the primary metrics all revolve around cost and schedule. Or it could be that IT is a direct part of your revenue stream, in which case you have to operate at scale, which involves getting a handle on costs. Whatever the model, you are very likely involved in more than one cost conversation today. This dynamic is not unique to networking. On the server side, we have already digested a few transitional changes that have ... (more)

Controller Federations: Cluster by Proximity or Service?

As SDN moves closer to large-scale deployments, the issue of controller scaling is becoming a hotter topic. The consensus seems to favor some form of distributed cluster environment, likely in the form of federated clusters. But how should these federations be formed? The first thing to think about is the blast radius for controllers. Even if a controller could scale to manage every node in the network, it is unlikely that you would want that to be the design. It simply creates too large a maintenance and failure domain. Even with a redundant controller, the issues with expansiv... (more)

The Re-Emergence of the Operating System

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... (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)