Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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Top Stories by Michael Bushong

As we embrace 2014, it’s important to focus on emerging trends to predict any industry changes this year and in the coming years. Mike Bushong reviewed 2013 on the Plexxi blog and noted important events that will likely carry into this year, including how 2013 initiated SDN deployments and marked the year Cisco moved beyond networking. We will see what happens in 2014, but it is crucial to reflect before looking ahead. In our Plexxi video of the week, Dan Backman explains optics integration with electrical mediums like Ethernet, and how this transition from optical to electrical back to optical is called OEO. He discusses the significance of this translation and how Plexxi’s solution differs. Here is the video of the week and a few of my reads in the Plexxi Pulse – enjoy!   Cisco’s and VMware’s Networking Tech Win Analyst Points but Little Revenue Jordan Novet at... (more)

Timing Technological Change: Creation vs. Consumption

In any space, there is a very small vocal minority. Most people lack the time, interest, or even confidence to say what they think in public. So we are left with a vocal few who drive the conversation. In networking, the vocal minority consists mainly of the vanguards for change. For these people, the network is more than just some connective tissue inside a nebulous infrastructure. It is their life. They live and breathe it. Accordingly, they have strong opinions about how things work and, more importantly, how they ought to work. But what is happening now is that we are at som... (more)

Networking: CapEx, OpEx, and… In-App Purchases?

From a cost perspective, the networking dialogue is dominated by CapEx. Acquisition costs for new networking gear have historically been tied to hardware, and despite the relatively recent rise of bare metal switching, networking hardware remains a high-stakes business. But SDN is changing this dynamic in potentially significant ways. The first point to clarify when talking about CapEx is that CapEx does not necessarily mean hardware (at least not the way that most people mean). While there is a strict financial definition for CapEx, in the networking industry it has become sho... (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)

Scaling Big Data Fabrics

When people talk about Big Data, the emphasis is usually on the Big. Certainly, Big Data applications are distributed largely because the size of the data on which computations are executed warrants more than a typical application can handle. But scaling the network that provides connectivity between Big Data nodes is not just about creating massive interconnects. In fact, the size of the network might be the least interesting aspect of scaling Big Data fabrics. Just how big is Big Data? Not that long ago, I asked the question: how large is a typical Big Data deployment? I was e... (more)