Cheap Network Equipment Makes a Better Data Centre

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TL:DR A recent project bought a low cost network for the data centre. It cost less one-third of the the market leader & half the cost of a well known merchant silicon vendors. As a result, it is planned to last for two, maybe three years before it will be replaced. From this project I learned that “fast & cheap networking” could make a big impact on new data centre designs and business attitudes. Plus it was much more satisfying as a professional project. I’m now wondering – is networking too expensive ?

Net Neutrality and Net Reality

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Recently, Dave at DavesBlog made some rather startling observations that Verizon is throttling Netflix traffic, backed up by a comment from some low level help desk staffer that this is true. The technical capability of a person who performs front line technical support is usually set at a low level to match what most customers need. Taking a casual comment as “truth” is wildly unreasonable. Here is more on the reality of net neutrality.

Blessay: Categorising SDN Network Solutions and Architectures for Understanding

SDN Strategy Map (Click for Larger Image)

I’ve been digging deeper into the SDN architectures over the last few days and there may be a pattern starting to emerge. I’m currently figuring that there are four broad classes of SDN technology that you can fairly neatly classify the current products from vendors. I’m classifying SDN Solutions into three categories of Micro, Centi and Kilo as well as classifying physical devices for SDN systems into three classes of Breve, Medius and Magnus.(Yeah, OK, I’m not good at names.)

Blessay: Is the Data Centre “One Network” or “Connected Smaller Networks”

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Most people refer to the “Data Centre Network” as though it was a single network. In practice, data centres have a number of individual networks. Each network is specifically designed for a specific purpose and function. A typical data centre network design has about five individual networks that connect together to form the “data centre network” which many people fail to recognise. I’ll define these networks and then look at the future of data centre networks with overlays. What seems clear, today, is that networking will provide different networks for different use cases and the customer will decide.

◎My Cloud Computing Car Story

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I was eating the last of my toast as I sat down into the driver seat of my “CloudCar”. Customer visit at 09:30am. As I slipped my smartphone into the cradle, the dashboard screen came to life and opened the NavSat app with an error message that my maps were out of date and would I like to download the latest files. “Why not”, I thought ? I confirmed and the download started. Except that the data plan on the onboard 4G LTE connection had reached it’s data cap. The kids had been watching video on the way to the beach and used it up. So I confirmed the purchase of some extra bandwidth (I chose the middle plan because I always do), went back to the NavSat and restarted the updates.

◎ Debating Whether Network Engineers Need to Learn Programming

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The rise of Software Defined Networking has led to a steady stream of emails from network engineers asking whether they need to learn to programming in the future. After consideration, I currently think that the answer is mostly no but some percentage of networking people will gain and use specific programming skills for good business outcomes. You need to decide where you want to be.

◎ Are We At Peak Networking Pricing ? What Will Commoditisation Deliver ?

Many people are predicting that networking will become a heavily commoditised with cheap white box hardware in the next few years. But I don’t believe commoditisation will happen the way that most people expect. So in this article I’m working through different ideas and concepts on product pricing and perceived value of networking as a whole. I would welcome discussion on this, I’m not completely confident that I’ve got my ideas locked down here. See you in the comments !

8 Things I Have Learned From 20 Years of Data Networking

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As I approach the end of the calendar year & prepare for a holiday break, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned and done this year. Of course, this also leads to what I need to learn next year.I’m making a number of changes to my career next year and as part of my planning process I wrote a list of eight things I think I’ve learned in the last 20 years.

Blessay: Public Clouds Wont Be Big in 2014, Private Clouds Will – A Contrarian View

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It’s becoming clear that 2014 is going to see a significant push and adoption on Private Cloud supported by marketing and technology from incumbent vendors who are starting to lose substantial revenue. Public cloud companies don’t spend with Cisco, IBM, HP or other recognised manufacturers and it’s time for them to defend their turf and stop the revenue bleeding away.