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Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Latest Blogs from Michael Bushong
If you’ve been following our blog and/or keeping up with Plexxi on social media, you may have noticed that there is a lot going on here. We recently introduced new product starter kits, began construction on our new office expansion, are working on some exciting projects, and have grow...
Recently Arista released a white paper surrounding the idea that having deeper buffers running within the network can help to alleviate the incast congestion patterns that can present when a large number of many-to-one connections are happening within a network. Also known as the TCP i...
This week, we announced new product starter kits that will make it easier for companies to adopt software-defined networking in a way that fits their unique networking environments. The kits are designed for three distinct uses — agile datacenters, distributed cloud environments and Bi...
2014 was a busy year in networking, and our friend Marcia Savage did a great job of summarizing the industry highs and lows – from ACI to white box switches – this week in a slideshow for Network Computing. It’s definitely worth a read before you head out for the weekend. Check out Mar...
The internet has been buzzing about Facebook’s redesigned datacenter architecture. Facebook, which is used by more than 1.35 billion people, recently restructured their infrastructure to increase flexibility and agility to rapidly adjust to application requirements. Our own Marten Terp...
A few weeks ago Facebook announced their new datacenter architecture in a post on their network engineering blog. Facebook is one of the few large web scale companies that is fairly open about their network architecture and designs and it gives many others the opportunity to see how a ...
I always enjoy reading the IPspace blog and as Ivan has stated about our blog, I don’t always agree with his opinion, but they are informative and cover just about everything networking. So this may come as a surprise, but in response to his “Do we have too many knobs” post from about ...
Bubble 2.0? I recently received a note from a colleague from ZeroHedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-21/not-so-fab-1-billion-valuation-15-million-year) that was officially calling the beginning of the bubble bursting based on the untimely (or timely depending on your perspecti...
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 ...
As many of you know, it’s been a busy month here at Plexxi. It’s hard to believe that November is coming to a close and that Thanksgiving is next week. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, particularly our new CEO Rich Napolitano and for the support of our skilled and dynamic [&...
A few weeks ago I read this article from Craig Matsumoto on SDN Central. At first I read it with a bit of a smile, but for some reason it has actually started to bother me a little. In this article, Craig summarizes a talk by Scott Shenker about SDN and a proposal for an […] The ...
My entire career has been spent finding disruption and cultivating the technologies needed to convert that disruption into real business value for customers. It is with that objective in mind that I am thrilled to join the Plexxi team as Chief Executive Officer, alongside my good frien...
As humans, we are predisposed to finding order out of otherwise random data. When we look at clouds or even a mountain ridge, we find shapes that are familiar to us. When we see data, we instinctively search for patterns to help make sense of what might appear to be random information....
There was an interesting Twitter thread over the weekend initiated by Ethan Banks (@ecbanks). He commented that there was too much technique churn in SDN and NetOps (the networking equivalent of DevOps). His point was that in the face of all the change in how to do things, it left user...
Early in life, we are all made acutely aware of the power of peer pressure. Most of us probably attribute it to a deep need for belonging. But what if that deep sense of belonging is less about social acceptance and more about how we are psychologically wired? In fact, the pursuit of c...
The major IT trends are all being driven by what can probably best be summarized as more. Some of the stats are actually fairly eye-popping: 40% of the world’s 7 billion people connected in 2014 3 devices per person by 2018 Traffic will triple by 2018 100 hours of Youtube video are upl...
In psychology, there is a phenomenon called Outcome Bias, which basically means that we tend to judge the efficacy of a decision based primarily on how things turn out. After a decision is made, we rarely examine the conditions that existed at the time of the decision, choosing instead...
In April 2013, Plexxi teamed up with SDNCentral to take a look at how the SDN market might emerge. The original post along with supporting info graphic and written analysis can be found here. At a high level, the major takeaway was that we predicted that between 30 and 40 percent of th...
There has been a recurrent debate over the last few years on the future of CCIEs, or more broadly network engineers as we know (and love) them today. While certainly calls for the “death of the CCIE” are certain to grab eyeballs, as always the more probably truth is more nuanced and tr...
In many companies—both large and small—getting staffing right is a challenge. Critical teams are always starved for resources, and the common peanut butter approach to distributing headcount rarely maps to an explicit strategy. In fact, over time, some teams will grow disproportionatel...
For those of you into expanding your experience through reading, there is a foundational reference at the core of many MBA programs. The book, Eliyahu Goldratt’s The Goal, introduces a concept called the Theory of Constraints. Put simply, the Theory of Constraints is the premise that s...
If the future of IT is about integrated infrastructure, where will this integration take place? Most people will naturally tend to integrate systems and tools that occupy adjacent spaces in common workflows. That is to say that where two systems must interact (typically through some ma...
In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias is the tendency to view decisions you have made in the most favorable light. Essentially, we are all hardwired to subconsciously reinforce decisions we have made. We tend to retroactively ascribe positive characteristics to our selections, a...
Software-defined networking is fundamentally about two things: the centralization of network intelligence to make smarter decisions, and the creation of a single (or smaller number of) administrative touch points to allow for streamlined operations and to promote workflow automation. T...
The concept of resource fragmentation is common in the IT world. In the simplest of contexts, resource fragmentation occurs when blocks of capacity (compute, storage, whatever) are allocated, freed, and ultimately re-allocated to create noncontiguous blocks. While the most familiar set...
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 i...
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 c...
If you listen to the chatter around the network industry, you are starting to see a lot more discussion about integration. While particularly clueful individuals have been hip to the fact for awhile, it seems the industry at large is just awakening to the idea that the network does not...
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington was a British astronomer, physicist, and mathematician who once wrote: The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement...
If you take an informal survey about the characteristics of dysfunctional organizations, you will probably hear the word politics rise to the top of most peoples’ lists. In fact, many large companies are portrayed as bumbling oafs perpetually weighed down by the weight of a giant polit...
There are two major technology trends that have the potential to move the networking industry away from managing discrete devices and instead thinking of the network as a single distributed system. Software-defined networking (SDN) aspires to manage through centralized control, and Dev...
Obviously when you hire, you want to find a good mix of experience and talent. But a perfectly balanced straddle between the two is impossible. So when forced to choose between them, which do you choose: experience or talent? The case for experience The primary case for experience is r...
For folks accustomed to the original blogs we post daily, our industry is in the throes of VMworld bliss, so we will be running the Best of Plexxi this week. Of course, if you haven’t read this one yet, it’s new for you! Stop by Booth 747 if you are in San Francisco this we...
For folks accustomed to the original blogs we post daily, our industry is in the throes of VMworld bliss, so we will be running the Best of Plexxi this week. Of course, if you haven’t read this one yet, it’s new for you! Stop by Booth 747 if you are in San Francisco this we...
For folks accustomed to the original blogs we post daily, our industry is in the throes of VMworld bliss, so we will be running the Best of Plexxi this week. Of course, if you haven’t read this one yet, it’s new for you! Stop by Booth 747 if you are in San Francisco this we...
Big Data is quickly overtaking SDN as a key phrase in today’s networking lingo. And overused already as it may be, it actually has a lot more meaning and definition compared to SDN. Big Data solutions are designed to work on lots of data as the name suggests. Of course they have been a...
Major industry events are a great venue for companies to make announcements and communicate important market and product information. As the 2014 version of VMWorld fast approaches, what might we hear more about? Here are five predictions. NSX customers will be on display Industry chat...
The existence of silos in large companies is fairly common. Employees frequently bemoan the misalignment that exists across functional teams and organizational entities whose primary connection seems limited to the logo under which they exist. The larger the company, the looser the cou...
As we head through earnings season, we get the opportunity to learn a bit about the state of the networking industry. Each data point gives us a bit more information about how the competitive landscape is unfolding, and ultimately how this will shape the market. So what do we know so f...
When most people think about their careers, they tend to think 5 years out and picture the job they would like to have. From there, they back into the things that need to happen, and use that as a bit of a roadmap to get to where they want to be. This works well when you know with prec...