For example, those who are now building and managing datacenters are gaining heightened productivity, delivering far better performance, and enjoying greater ease in operations and management -- all thanks to innovations at the software-infrastructure level. Join the discussion here and further explore how advances in datacenter technologies and architecture are -- to an unprecedented extent -- being driven primarily through software. [Disclosure: VMware is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.] Gardner: We've heard a lot over the decades about improving IT capabilities and infrastructure management, but it seems that many times we peel back a layer of complexity and we get some benefits, and we find ourselves like the proverbial onion, back at yet another layer of complexity. Complexity seems to be a recurring inhibitor. I wonder if this time we're actually at a point where something is significantly different. Are we really gaining ground against complexity at this point? Herrod: … [Read more...] about VMware CTO: How the software-defined datacenter benefits enterprises
Software defined networking and network function virtualization
Randal Asay, Catbird's Chief Technology Officer, in a recent article (see Shifting Roles in the SDDC at Catbird's website), points out that the shift from a focus on physical systems, storage, networks, and clients to a virtual, software-defined environment should be implemented hand in hand with a refined staff organization. The changes he suggests aren't really new, however. Many in the industry believe that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of a business organization-based structure and that we need to move back towards a function-based structure. Asay starts off by pointing out that: Changes in data center architecture have also led to shifting roles within the organization. The software-defined data center and SDN present an opportunity for existing IT personnel to embrace change and expand their portfolio. For IT to function efficiently, System, Network, and Security teams should recognize that they have the opportunity to take on a larger scope, as the days of IT … [Read more...] about Does a software-defined datacenter mean changes in staff roles?
The recent launch of the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) initiative by the Linux Foundation presents enormous opportunities for enterprises utilizing the OpenStack platform. A component of the software-defined infrastructure model, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is a relatively new concept gaining significant traction in industries with complex and often extensive networking requirements, such as telecommunications. NFV technology helps these industries lower their infrastructure costs and accelerate deployment of network services. By supporting and developing open software based on open standards, companies such as Intel and Red Hat aim to deliver the benefits of NFV to every business. NFV architecture prescribes decoupling network functionality provided by proprietary hardware appliances, and implementing it in software that can be virtualised within a cloud environment. Common networking devices widely used within the enterprise, such firewalls, routers, load balancers, VPN … [Read more...] about The newest frontier in cloud computing: Network Function Virtualization
The ActiveCore SDN platform is delivered off of Comcast's cable network and gig-ready. The first service based on ActiveCore will be a software defined wide area networking service. For enterprises, Comcast Business can be a solid counterweight to telecom providers. Comcast Business plans to use its ActiveCore SDN platform to enable enterprises to manage the network across multiple locations, data centers and branch officers. According to Comcast Business, the company has signed up a bevy of software defined wide area networking customers. Comcast Business is among the cable giant's fastest growing businesses. By embracing virtualized network functions, Comcast Business is planning to compete directly with legacy telecom networks and replace multiprotocol label switching over T1 lines. ActiveCore can be combined with Comcast's gigabit broadband service and is available in many regions with a full rollout by end of 2017. In addition, Comcast Business SD-WAN features virtual private … [Read more...] about Comcast Business launches software defined wide area networking service
Cisco will make software defined-networking (SDN) product announcements at its CiscoLive conference in June that will show initial steps in how it plans to roll out the fledgling technology.The products are expected to adhere to Cisco's new Open Programmable Environment for Networking, or Cisco OPEN, SDN architecture. Though product details are unavailable, one of the products may include Cisco Connect, which is designed to improve cloud computing connectivity for branch offices."Cisco will be making significant product announcements at CiscoLive," said Shashi Kiran, senior director of Data Center/Virtualization and Enterprise Switching at Cisco, during a wrap-up of prepared remarks during a conference call this week conducted by investment firm Morgan Stanley. "This is a good transition point for the industry."MORE: Critical milestones in Cisco historyLEADERSHIP IN SDNS? Cisco tries to head off software-defined networksCisco has also promised to add OpenFlow to its Nexus data center … [Read more...] about Cisco Software Defined-Networking Products on Tap in June
CIOs and their IT teams are bombarded with major changes on nearly every front these days. Shifting to a software-defined environment is one of the top agenda items in many enterprises. But what does this shift in operations really mean? Are the benefits really worth the headaches of major operational change?We are in the early days of this shift to a software-defined world, and it takes me back 20–25 years to the talk about taking our offices paperless. The early motivations of saving paper and preserving the rain forests have given way to a focus on office productivity, collaboration and ease of use. In a similar manner, the rational for moving into a software-defined environment may start with a focus on cost savings, but is quickly augmented by the desire to cut cycle time and make the IT environment much more agile and thus better aligned with the business needs. Fundamentally, a software-defined environment is a world in which the IT infrastructure and network are … [Read more...] about Do IT groups really need to move to a software-defined environment?
Dell is synonymous with home and business PCs, and data center servers. Yet Dell also has an ambitious software-defined networking activity underway called the Open Networking Initiative, where it partners with SDN software companies like Cumulus Networks and Big Switch Networks to bundle operating systems and applications on Dell switches. The Big Switch deal was announced last week, and Dell Founder and CEO Michael Dell found time to provide Network World Managing Editor Jim Duffy with some perspective on that partnership, and on Dell's overall networking and Open Networking Initiative. Can you provide an overview of your Open Networking Initiative in light of the Big Switch deal?We obviously have been participating in this market for some time; with the acquisition of Force10 we upped our participation. Force10 gave us a very significant capability with the larger data centers, the 9500 (switch) and the density space, that's an area where we've built momentum. A large number of the … [Read more...] about Michael Dell: On SDNs and Networking for the Masses
It's acommon trend among writers and filmmakers to offer up their particular take ona theme such as mistaken identity, opposite attraction or revenge. Similarly,the technology realm is populated with vendors offering their own blend of acommon concept such as a Linux distribution, handheld tablets or networkingtrend.Unlikefictional stories, where genuinely new plots are excruciatingly difficult tofind, new advances in technology continually open new possibilities as well asmarkets for vendors who demonstrate evolutional agility (of course, one mightargue that "new themes" such as cloud computing and thin clients are justrecycled topics from the past).One such example in the networking realm is software defined networking, or SDN. It's arelatively young concept that was projected in 2012 by the market intelligence companyIBC to become a multi-billion dollar industry in 2016. Well, wouldyou like the technical answer or the functional answer? Let's start with thefirst option. … [Read more...] about Software Defined Networking: The Cisco approach
With the rise of cloud computing, the abstraction of hardware management from the intrinsic purpose that hardware serves has made IT administration substantially easier. This trend has permeated the data center, with software defined systems (computing, networking, and storage) becoming integral features in the deployment of IT resources. Taking this concept to a teleonomical extreme, software defined data centers (SDDC) combine software defined systems with an additional layer of software for system orchestration with the intent to further automate data center management and administration. This guide is both an easily digestible introduction to SDDC, as well as a "living" guide that will be updated periodically to keep IT leaders in the loop on new ways in which software defined systems can be leveraged. SEE: All of TechRepublic's smart person's guidesWhat is SDDC? A data center that utilizes software defined systems (computing, networking, and storage) with additional … [Read more...] about Software defined data centers: The smart person’s guide
Branch sites are ideal places to make networking simpler and less expensive. There's often little or no IT expertise there, and it's harder to justify costs because only a fraction of a company's business happens at a given branch.Yet the rise of software-defined WANs and branch offices, designed to scale back the expense and complexity of far-flung networks, has left some parts of the problem unsolved, according to SD-WAN startup Versa Networks.For one thing, replacing branch appliances for each function with applications running on one system may raise software compatibility issues that are even more complicated than wiring up several boxes. Also, swapping out private WAN links for lower-priced internet service can open branches up to some new security threats.Those are two of the challenges that Versa wants to help enterprises overcome with new multi-function branch software for its Versa Cloud IP Platform. Some of it's available now, and the rest will be rolled out over the next … [Read more...] about Versa brings multiple functions to software-defined branch networks