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Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 in Opinion | 0 comments

VMworld 2014 Recap

VMworld 2014 Recap

It was another well attended conference last week in San Francisco as VMware held its annual customer education event. Around 20,000 vGeeks descended on the Moscone Center to learn about new product offerings from VMware and its partners, do some networking, and do their best to get a read on the direction of the market as it pertains to their business. Oh, and to drink. There was lots of drinking. Or so I understand. I will do my best to recap the major announcements here. I spent most of my time in sessions on NSX, because, well, SDN is my favorite topic… But I did manage to get the scoop on some other interesting items.. Product Name Changes VMware has finally taken steps to alleviate the “Alphabet Soup” problem customers always encounter when discussing the VMware product line. vRealize is the new naming prefix for all of the management tools. So for example, vCAC now becomes vRealize Automation. vCOPS now becomes vRealize Operations. vCHS becomes vCloud Air. Any cloud based solutions by VMware...

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Featured, Opinion | 0 comments

How to Change IT Culture Without Losing Your Sanity

How to Change IT Culture Without Losing Your Sanity

“…First have a definite, clear, practical ideal–a goal, an objective. Second have the necessary means to achieve your ends–wisdom, money, material, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” –Aristotle VMworld is next week, and as expected we are already starting to see announcements from VMware and its massive partner ecosystem. This has me thinking a lot about how large organizations choose to adopt new technology, and how it is eventually implemented. IT culture is strange. It is notoriously risk-adverse (especially in large organizations). Since change always comes with at least some element of risk, the tendency is to recoil from it (at least initially). However the technology that drives and supports this industry is in a nearly constant state of flux. As a result, these two elements seem to be fundamentally opposed to one another. To complicate matters further, it is often difficult to identify what is likely a true shift in the industry over what is simply some new product that a vendor is pushing. Change does...

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Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Networking | 1 comment

Scalability with NSX

Scalability with NSX

One of the first arguments I hear every time I start talking about NSX usually goes something like, “You are talking about handling networking within an x86 platform. There is no way that is going to scale the way ASIC can.” I heard this very same argument just yesterday afternoon. And at least twice last week. It is a very common misconception from someone who doesn’t understand the architecture behind NSX. Let me first say that I agree unequivocally that if you were to replace your ASIC sitting at an aggregation point on your network (top-of-rack, end-of-row agg, etc) with an x86 solution, it will tank. No argument from me there. ASIC is necessary for that function. The difference here is that the VMware DVSwitch (and in conjunction the NSX distributed logical router and firewall) is not sitting at an aggregation point, but a distribution point. This is key. If you think about it, we have been using the vSwitch since 2003. The VMware DVS or 1kv is probably pushing...

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Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Networking, Opinion | 0 comments

Declarative or Imperative SDN?

Declarative or Imperative SDN?

There has been some recent “Brew Ha-Ha” in the media over the Imperative vs Declarative SDN models. I think most of this is coming to the surface now because of the recent presentations and announcements at InterOp. Even I became caught up in the arguing. Specifically after a recent “Networkworld.com” article referring to Cisco’s OpFlex (and the declarative model that it operates in) as the “OpenFlow SDN killer.” Actually, before I go on, can someone please come up with a better naming convention for these protocols? OpFlex sounds like some early-90’s infomercial exercise equipment, and OpenFlow sounds like some sort of personal hygiene product. Frankly that article just really ticked me off. It appeared to me that Cisco was in essence giving the “middle-finger” to the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and the work Cisco has been doing with OpenDaylight. The problem here seems to be the mixed-messaging coming from Cisco. Jim Duffy with NetworkWorld.com brilliantly highlights this here. On the one hand Cisco does not endorse the imperative SDN...

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Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Networking, Opinion | 0 comments

Evolution of the Network with SDN

Evolution of the Network with SDN

A few years from now I expect that you will not hear the term “Software Defined Networking” that much. To us it will just be “networking.” Similar to how the term “Big Data” will probably just be “Data” at some point. That’s how evolution in the IT industry works, the buzz word or concept of today can become the industry standard of tomorrow. In the history of computer science, it is also apparent that software always wins. What is defined in hardware in the beginning will eventually give way to an industry standard interface that software will then be responsible for managing. This is not a new or surprising concept in most IT silos. However networking is certainly the last remaining “ivory tower” to evolve in this manner. That is changing. Lets step back and take a look at compute for a moment. I recently had the opportunity to meet with HP’s Deepak Munjal. He is the leading technical SME for HP’s SDN initiative. He made a very interesting...

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