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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 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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Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Featured, Opinion | 0 comments

SDN vs People

SDN vs People

I have been championing the merits of software defined networking (SDN) lately (until I am blue in the face) to pretty much anyone who will listen. I figure that I will either win them over with logic, or they will just get tired of hearing me talk and say, “fine, just shut up and do it already.” I really don’t expect the latter scenario. In my experience the biggest obstacle to new technology and new ideas are the IT veterans themselves. I am just as guilty of this. Steve Jobs has often been quoted as saying that the key to success in this industry is the ability to “think different.” Thinking differently is what drives innovation and moves us forward. It should be clear to almost everyone in this industry that the fundamentals that you understand and cling to today, will not be so fundamental a few years from now. The critical problem that SDN has at the moment is that the network administrator’s thinking (as a whole) lags...

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Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Featured, Opinion | 0 comments

Thoughts on SDN and Cloud

Thoughts on SDN and Cloud

Designing a cloud computing solution is a tricky endeavor. Regardless of the size or scope of your project, you will have to account for many different variables in your design. Not the least of which is how you will handle the virtual networking piece of the puzzle. In my experience, if there is one part of the design that can be considered fundamental to success or failure, it is the underlying virtual networking solution(s) that you choose to leverage. This will be a key element in determining how fast and far your environment can scale, as well as what types of use cases you can support. Why has “Software Defined Networking” (SDN) become such a buzz word in this industry over the last few years? Actually, let’s take this a step further and talk about the “Software Defined Datacenter” (SDDC). In SDDC, every part of your stack from compute, to storage, to networking is automated and controlled by policy and scripting. Like many of you, I have spent my...

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