Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

A couple of years ago at the OpenFlow Symposium in San Jose, I talked to Jeremy Stretch (@packetlife) as the event was warming up. I was not really that knowledgeable of tools like Puppet and Opscode at the time. He told me I needed to look at Puppet and integrate it with Junos. And so began my march towards these types of tools and DevOps more generally. Since that time, I have come to appreciate a couple of things: first, the majority of network folks don't know much about these tools. While they are in use at a lot of companies, they tend to be used on the server side more than the networking side. We have a relatively small echo chamber within the networking blogosphere and Twitterverse, but none of us should fool ourselves into thinking that mainstream understanding is high. Second, applying these tools to networking in the same way they are applied to servers i... (more)

The Snowflake Conundrum (aka Why it is Hard to Make Money in Network Management)

Beneath the macro trends (SDN, Big Data, DevOps, Silicon Photonics, whatever), there are more subtle strategic undercurrents that have been driving a lot of the activities in the network industry for the past year or so. One of the most important in terms of competitive landscape, overall industry monetization, and customer impact is Point of Control. But despite its role in so much of what is going on, it isn't getting near enough air time. For the network, the Point of Control is the point of interaction. That is to say that operations teams experience the network through thei... (more)

Plexxi Pulse – Plexxi Socks Take on Interop New York

This week Plexxi has been busy at the Interop New York Conference and Expo. We were most excited to share our new #socksofplexxi at the conference this week. If you have been in attendance you may have spotted the brightly colored gems walking around the conference floor. Here are a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse this week – enjoy! HP Opens up on SDNs Network World’s Jim Duffy covered HP’s big news this week regarding the establishment of its “open” approach to SDN. HP is pushing this effort to accelerate programmable network deployments with a S... (more)

Pods, orchestration and scale

Our first generation of data center switching products brought together SDN and photonic switching in support of an application-driven movement we call Affinity Networking. Our central thesis has long been that our industry has to collectively move beyond what has been a static networking environment. The challenges of managing edge policy have only gotten worse as the infrastructure around the network has become more fluid. It stands to reason that the network simply had to transition as well, from static to responsive. The notion that the network needs to be more of a willing pa... (more)

A Cisco-Insieme primer: 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 Inter... (more)