From the blog.

Managing Digital Racket
The more I tune out, the less I miss it. But that has presented me with some complex choices for a nuanced approach to curb

In Chicago on October 26? Come think about SD-WAN with me.

On October 26, 2016 at 5:30p, I’m speaking to a couple of Chicago-based MeetUp groups banding together to hear me discuss implementing SD-WAN. The talk will be held at Cisco Systems Building – SkylineATS, 9501 Technology Blvd. 3rd Floor, Rosemont, IL. Sign up via http://bit.ly/2d5ffDC or http://bit.ly/2crmtng.

On APIs: Cars, not assembly lines.

In recent years, infrastructure vendors have been proudly pointing out their APIs. The idea is that because a chunk of infrastructure can be monitored and configured with APIs, the product can be described as automation-ready or open. Vendors, you’re getting it wrong here.

What Does It Mean When A Project Has Been Forked?

Open source projects that involve lots of folks sometimes run into conflicts. Should the project go in direction X, or direction Y? Is feature A more important, or feature B? And so on. Sometimes the concerns around an open source project are more pragmatic than pedantic. Should we, as a commercial entity, continue to use this open source project as is, or go in our own direction with it? The keyword to look for in these circumstances is fork.

Scalability Is A Matter Of Context

Scale is a relative term. While every technology needs to scale to some point to be useful to IT practitioners, not every technology needs to scale infinitely. Every technology has a context in which it is viable — where it proves to be the best choice. But in another context, the opposite technology might rise to the surface as more appropriate. Don’t be religious about such a decision. Know your business need well, research the technology thoroughly, plan for the future, and choose wisely. Don’t pick a tool that solves someone else’s problem.

SD-WAN Gives Us The Best Path We Always Wanted

In networking, we rely on routing protocols to compute best path. That is to ask, from the perspective of a given router in a routing domain, what is the best way to reach a destination? Best path is typically computed using simplistic metrics like hop count, cost, bandwidth, and delay. Traditional “best path” thinking is effective, insofar as it goes. It scales to a large number of devices and destinations. It is resilient. It is mature. However, it has its limitations. Software defined WAN brings a much more sophisticated metric to the computation of best path.

The Present Impact of Open Networking & Whitebox Switching

Dell is all about open networking, and several whitebox vendors had their wares on display at Interop. IP Infusion has released OcNOS, an open networking operating system with a rich feature set right out of the gate. Ethernet switching continues to change. If you are Yet Another Cisco Buyer, do you care? I think you should. There are real dollars at stake. Eventually, it gets silly and/or irresponsible to spend money on Cadillacs.

SD-WAN’s Value Prop Conundrum

My interpretation of the SD-WAN value prop can be boiled down to cost savings, simplified operations, and improved application performance over inconsistently performing WAN links. Here’s the conundrum. An engineer might instinctively recoil at this sort of value proposition.

Questions I’m Asking Myself About SD-WAN Solutions

There’s a lot to SD-WAN technology, and there are a number of devils in the implementation details that have been nagging at me as I listen to briefings and record podcasts from vendors in the space.

SD-WAN technology questions that bother me…

  1. What’s the impact to hosts on virtual machine based endpoints, i.e. how much CPU does an SD-WAN VM eat for solutions that use VMs? Not a simple question to answer anymore,

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News Analysis: Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 Released

big-switch-logoBig Switch Networks has released version 2.5 of their Big Cloud Fabric SDN offering. Read the full press release here.

What’s Big Cloud Fabric?

BCF is an SDN-based IP fabric where you manage all of the individual switches as one “big switch.” In other words, you manage the fabric as a whole, and not individual switches.

Big Switch’s BigTap, a network visibility fabric that competes with the likes of Gigamon,

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