Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Data Center conference in London. I attended 3 different sessions on SDN-related topics. Here are some of my observations from what was a very good conference. Also, since the Gartner Data Center conference runs this week (w/c 1 December 2014) in the US, if you are going, here are some questions to think about when you attend the SDN sessions.
(1) What does “lack of visibility” in Virtual Overlays really mean?
(2) In multi-layer SDN, will SDN be cheaper than our current networking approach?
(3) Are Vendors Guilty of Using NFV for SDN “Washing”?
(4) If OpenStack is part of your SDN solution, can you help us on OpenStack?
(5) What is the best hardware server platform for NFV/virtualised workloads?
(6) How exactly does SDN deliver better network management?
I’ll cover a few questions today and some tomorrow.
OpenStack is gaining increasing industry attention and, while it can deliver huge advantages, some may say it is “hyped”. Although OpenStack has an ever growing range of enthusiastic practitioners and advocates, as you may be aware, OpenStack is not without its critics – including Gartner – who outline the challenges of OpenStack adoption. It’s therefore generally recommended that OpenStack adopters consider engaging professional services experts to help them avoid the pitfalls
With the November 2014 OpenStack Summit in Paris opening as I write this – you can find us at stand C3 along with our newest acquisition, Metacloud (Stand E37) if you are going – my thoughts turn to the issues and challenges facing our customers when they deploy OpenStack into production projects. And who better to ask than our Cisco Services consultants who are delivering OpenStack adoption services (which we launched this time last year at the Summit in Hong Kong).
These consultants are at the “coal face” (as we say in my part of the world, Scotland) of OpenStack– they are the experts digging deep in the IT equivalent of the mines working with real customers going live with real-world OpenStack. More than R&D investigations, these deployments are happening with customers who are betting their business dollars, pounds, yen and other currencies on OpenStack. However as the video (below) shows, OpenStack has its deployment complexities. Hence increasing numbers of our customers are engaging Cisco Services to help them on OpenStack.
To share our practical experiences with you, we sat down and came up with our “top 5” adoption challenges list which you may find useful if you are considering or embarking upon an OpenStack deployment:
Here at Cisco, we take customer listening seriously. From the Global Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey to customer advisory boards to social media monitoring – and other avenues – we are constantly listening to what our customers and partners tell us they need from Cisco to enable their business success. One trend we hear in every feedback source is mobility: you want more options for managing your network from your mobile devices.
Many of you are already using the Tech Support app, but we’ve recently added some great features that make it even easier to open a case and look up a contract. I’ve asked Jim Fuller, Senior Director of Services Entitlement, to share details on these new capabilities so that you can do more with Cisco while on the go. Read More »
One of the great challenges of SDN – that many in my view underplay – is the change in paradigm from having a vendor deliver your network (hardware + software), to having (potentially) an ecosystem deliver your network – and this ecosystem may require you to develop software to perform network tasks or to integrate various SDN components together. This was recognized quite astutely by consultant Jim Metzler, which I discussed in one of my earlier blogs. “Applications can dynamically request services from the network” is what the SDN evangelists will tell you. Jim astutely asked “How exactly do they do that?”. Well ….. the true answer is that either (i) you need to buy [new] apps that do this off the shelf, as it were, or [more likely today] (ii) you need to modify your apps or develop new apps to do this.
Coding – the New Networking?
So are you ready for procuring apps and/or developing software in your network design team now? Don’t worry if you say “no”. Let me first tell you a few customer reactions to this topic, and then let me update you on Cisco Services can help you develop new SDN apps that solve your specific network challenges.