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Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK

Cisco Live Milan is around the corner and I’m getting my session, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK, ready for it’s European debut.  While it’s lovely to be in the CiscoLive Distinguished Speaker Hall of Fame, putting a good presentation together hasn’t gotten any easier.  The hard questions still need to be asked:  Do I have too many slides?  Have I crossed the line between technical and boring?  Will the demos work?  Will anyone laugh at my jokes?

And perhaps most importantly for this session: does anyone read Douglas Adams any more?

Here’s why.  I borrowed the title of Douglas Adam’s iconic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for good reason.  The original Hitchhiker’s Guide follows an ordinary guy, Arthur Dent, as he is unwillingly dragged into an intra-galactic adventure, with little more than the Guide, a pint of beer and a packet of peanuts to see him through.  Faced with the vast and confusing world of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and programmability, network engineers are in a position to know exactly how Arthur Dent felt.  New buzzwords, emerging standards, an abundance of marketing slides with vague but brightly colored blobs, and a lot of talk about programming languages can be disorienting to the best of us.

Enter the Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK.

Notice that I did not call my session the Hitchhiker’s Guide to SDN.  SDN calls for more of an Encyclopedia Galactica than a Hitchhiker’s Guide, if you know what I mean.  Instead, my aim is to take a deep dive into one aspect of network programmability that network engineers can really relate to: onePK. Read More »

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Autonomic Networking – From Theory to Practice

Autonomic Networking is well understood in theory, but real, consistent and extensible implementations don’t exist. In this post I suggest a reason for the lack in execution, and our vision to provide a working, implementable Autonomic Networking Architecture.

Wipe off the dust…

When asking a researcher about autonomic systems, (s)he might blow the dust off a stack of papers, or proudly pull a couple of old books off his shelf. Or point to IBM’s IEEE paper from 2003. From a research perspective, autonomics is well understood. It’s this self-management thing, with all those self-* properties. Self-configuration and self-optimisation for example. Distribution, control loops, and so on. Even the Wikipedia articles are written. So, we’re done, aren’t we?

No we’re not.

Ask your friendly neighbourhood network engineers about Autonomic Networking. The one that proudly hacks expect scripts at night to make his admin database talk to his routers. Or the front line engineer who applies a network service class to one of his customers. Likely, both of them would look at you with big eyes, and after explaining that the network manages itself, intelligently, you’d hear back: “That’s like Skynet, isn’t it?”

No it’s not. Read More »

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From Cisco Live London: Architecture updates posted here all week…

January 28, 2013 at 8:28 am PST

I am sitting and reflecting here at the start of Cisco Live London. As I walk the halls, I continue to be amazed by the size, depth, and breadth of this event. Networking continues to grow, and thousands of people are eager to come together to see the latest. Read More »

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What to check out at CiscoLive if you want to know about BYOD, Unified Access or the Internet of Everything

If you’re attending CiscoLive London, we’ve got some great talks, challenges (competition where you can win a variety of prizes), and new solutions being launched.  In this blog I’m going to highlight a few of the activities and events we have planned that I think will be the most fun/cool/educational/tasty.

<SIDENOTE:> If you’re skipping CiscoLive then you’ll want to head right over to register for our live webcast, “Get Your Network Ready for BYOD with Cisco Unified Access” on January 29.  You’ll also want to start hanging out at the Cisco Borderless Networks community where we’ll have a Q&A and we have a bunch of upcoming events and fun. </SIDENOTE> Read More »

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Life Behind the Black Curtain: What it takes to setup a large tradeshow network.

I spend a lot of time behind curtains.  That’s not really out of choice as it’s the nature of where they stick you when you’re running the network at a large tradeshow.  We call it the Network Operations Center – NOC if you want to sound cool – but most people just know it as the guys to complain to when your computer doesn’t work at a show.  It’s often a thankless gig and it can be extremely stressful at times, but setting up a temporary network that might live for less than a week to deliver fast wired and wireless access to thousands of people in a completely foreign environment is an exciting challenge.  Here’s how it happens. Read More »

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