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#EngineersUnplugged S3|Ep2: Next-Gen Storage, Converged Infrastructure on the Horizon?

June 27, 2013 at 6:00 am PST

Welcome to another episode of Engineers Unplugged. This week’s topic is Next-Gen Storage, handled admirably by Cisco’s J Metz (@drjmetz) and Stephen Foskett (@sfoskett). What will the topology of the future look like? What is the tech evolution that will drive adoption? From token ring to SDN, they’ve got it covered. Watch and see:

J Metz and Stephen Foskett take the Uni-Corn and Unicorn Challenge, Respectively.

J Metz and Stephen Foskett take the Uni-Corn and Unicorn Challenge, Respectively.

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

We’re shooting more episodes this week at Cisco Live in Orlando! Bring us your best unicorn, or just stop by the whiteboards at the Social Media Hub to say hi!

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Programmability and SDN are not the same

June 26, 2013 at 7:05 am PST

Network programmability means democracy, means freedom, freedom to program across all layers and entities, software or hardware – depending on your needs. Is SDN required to have network programmability? Not at all. Does the SDN architecture leverage network programmability? Yes, of course.  So, why do many people equate network programmability and SDN? Read More »

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What is a “Controller”? And how many do we need?

June 26, 2013 at 6:10 am PST

Thanks to SDN, the “Controller” word pops up in many network architecture discussions these days. In networking alone, we’re already surrounded by many “controllers” and we’re busy introducing more as we speak:  For example, Session Border Controllers or Wireless LAN Controllers have been around for quite some time, and have recently announced the OpenDaylight Controller, the Cisco XNC, or the Cloupia Unified Infrastructure Controller. So what is a “Controller” in networking terms, and how many do we need in emerging network architectures?

Read More »

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Cisco Professional Services for Cloud Ranked #1 in IDC Survey – Announced at CiscoLive!

June 26, 2013 at 3:07 am PST

Having been part of the team who developed the Cisco Cloud Enablement Services, our professional services to help customers enable and adopt cloud computing, I was absolutely delighted watching the CiscoLive! keynote yesterday to hear Padmasree Warrior announce the results of the March 2013 IDC market research study that showed Cisco come out on top for cloud professional services [Source: “2013 U.S. Professional Services Opportunities Related to Cloud Services”, IDC Doc # 239862, March 2013].

In this survey, as  the chart below shows (reproduced with the kind permission of IDC), respondents indicated that Cisco professional services were used most often across all of the three cloud categories that IDC measured: cloud applications, cloud application platforms, and cloud infrastructure.  Ahead of Accenture, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle/Sun, HP and others.

IDC March 2013 - Cisco Leads Professional Services for Cloud

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The “Business” of Software Defined Networking

I admit it. I’ve grown weary of the debate about whether SDN includes network programmability or whether or not SDN can only be accomplished through NfV, or the relative merits of control plane / dataplane separation. I will leave those debates to others more focused on the technology itself.  Personally, I have been more fascinated with what I see as the new business opportunities emerging around SDN.

Certainly there is a raft of opportunities for start-up companies in the controller space or in the virtualization of various networking functions. Many innovative new companies are re-examining existing network functions within the SDN paradigm; that will lead to some potentially new and useful approaches that may be cheaper/easier/faster than current designs. No doubt many customers will see value in these new ways of doing things, and everybody will benefit.

But that’s not what I find fascinating about SDN. What I am starting to see are ideas that are completely out of the box, and would likely not be thought of by typical network technologists working alone. Let me discuss a few categories of things I have seen possible with the emerging technologies.

The Network as a Compute Resource
It turns out Read More »

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