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Archive for April 2015

Cisco Systems Chairman and CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress 2015. Credit: Stephen Lawson/IDG News Service

I’ve been covering Cisco as an analyst now for the better part of 15 years. Prior to my analyst career I worked for a Cisco reseller, and prior to that I was a customer of the company. All in all, I guess I’ve been watching Cisco and the networking industry for the better part of 25 years.

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For most of us, this is Easter week, so we spent much of our weekend putting together gift baskets filled with goodies for our kids. The Monday after Easter was the 2015 HPC for Wall Street – Cloud Technology Show and Conference event in the hub of the financial world, New York City. At the event, Juniper Networks brought its own basket of goodies for “the street” with the unveiling of the QFX5100-AA switch with optional QFX-PFA packet flow accelerator (PFA).

The PFA is based on Altera’s multi-100G FPGA. The FPGA enables developers to write applications that can now be run directly on the switch. Unlike most Juniper products that are made for broad adoption, this product is designed for high-performance environments that need to scale out rapidly. While financial services isn’t the only vertical that can benefit for the QFX5100-AA, it’s certainly the most obvious one.

At the event, I had a chance to sit down with Andy Bach, Chief Architect of the Financial Services Vertical for Juniper, and Ryan Eavy, Executive Director of Architecture for the CME Group. For those who are not familiar with Andy, he spent 28 years running the network at the New York Stock Exchange before joining Juniper. Prior to being an analyst, I was in internal IT for a couple of firms in the financial vertical, so I’ve always had a great deal of interest in the evolution of technology, particularly the network, in this market.

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Mobile apps can be so much more predictive and
responsive than their desktop counterparts — if
only developers design, not retrofit, for mobility.

If you’re a regular reader of No Jitter or really any tech site, surely you’ve noticed that mobile has been a red-hot theme over the past few years. Along with cloud, mobility dominated last month’s Enterprise Connect event, and I expect it to be at least as big a topic at the upcoming RSA and Interop shows. Mobile has definitely become the new black, and it seems every business is trying to figure out how to be more mobile.

From the conversations I’ve had with line-of-business managers, IT leaders, and application developers, I believe few really understand what being mobile really means. Most of what we call “mobile” today is actually just “mini.” What I mean by that is the majority of mobile applications are just small form factor versions of desktop applications.

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How Arista is making it easier for customers to embrace the cloud.

Last week, Arista Networks announced a new way to purchase its network infrastructure that decoupled its hardware and its operating system, EOS. In a blog post on the announcement, Jim Duffy made the point that Arista hasn’t really disaggregated the operating system from the hardware, and he’s right. But the company is making the procurement of the product easier by separating the purchase of the hardware and software.

Jim also correctly notes that this doesn’t follow the same path that other vendors have, where they have truly disaggregated their hardware and software to take advantage of lower-cost hardware platforms. Dell and HP customers, for example, can run Cumulus’ operating system on their merchant silicon platforms.

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