Archive for September 2012

It may seem like we’re still nowhere near having pervasive video but I think we’re actually pretty close.

The holy grail for the video industry has been to have video be a pervasive resource–also know as the “any” vision: Any video endpoint to any other endpoint over any network. Video that’s as consistent and as easy to use as making a phone call.

We’ve all heard this vision for over a decade, but are we really any closer to this happening? I’d like to give my take on where I think we are and what needs to happen for this to become reality instead of some far-reaching vision like Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth.

First let’s take a look at where we are. I do think we’ve made significant strides. On my desk today I have a Cisco EX60 Callway System (now known as WebEx video), a MacBook Air with a built in camera and a Logitech BCC950 Conference Camera. That’s right, I’m fully loaded for video! In the past couple of months I’ve been averaging a shade under a video call a day with the various systems I have on my desk.

Amid all the noise of last week’s VMworld event, data center specialist Brocade augmented its vision for software defined networks (SDN) by announcing support for VXLAN to its ADX application delivery controllers (ADCs). To date, all of the VXLAN and SDN announcements have been focused on traffic on a single network within a data center. The ADX enhancement is meant to interconnect traffic between networks. This could be a virtual-to-virtual network or virtual-to-physical network.

As far as I know, Brocade is the first vendor to address moving traffic to another network that is distinct from a particular VXLAN-based overlay network. From what I understand, Brocade chose to add this functionality to its line of ADCs versus Ethernet switches because the ADX has some unique features that switches lack, such as stateful failovers, load balancing and the ability to maintain high availability. Bringing the ADC into the mix gives Brocade a unique plan in SDNs that can extend what it does at layer 2-3 up the stack at layers 4-7.

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