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Archive for September 2015

Securing the Cloud a Top Concern

Digital cloud with padlock in the center

I moderated a CIO roundtable on the topic of the cloud several ago in New York. The round table was intended to be a general discussion on cloud strategy but quickly morphed into session specifically on cloud security. The fact that it turned into dedicated discussion on security wasn’t a big surprise to me given the fact that security remains, by far, the top concern for CIOs regarding the cloud. Don’t get me wrong, cloud services are being consumed much faster than premise-based infrastructure or applications but how to handle cloud security is keeping CIOs up at night.

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Arista announces 100-gig, 50-gig, 25-gig data center switches (Credit: Thinkstock)

It seems 10 Gig Ethernet (Gig-E) technology has been the de facto standard in data centers for the better part of a decade now. Frankly, 10 Gig-E is still a lot of bandwidth and is fine for most businesses. However, it cannot cost-effectively meet the bandwidth requirements of next-generation cloud and web-scale environments. Sure, there’s 40 Gig-E, but that’s actually four 10 Gig-E “lanes” bonded together, so the cloud provider would likely have to install at least twice as many switches, along with all the cabling, space, power, and cooling required to meet the needs of today and the near future.

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Network Map

In June I posted a blog urging the incumbent telcos to accept the fact that the era of SD-WANs is here and to embrace it instead of fearing it. The topics of SD-WAN and broadband WAN have been red hot of late, but almost all of the early thought-leadership has been driven by start-ups like Velocloud, CloudGenix, Glue Networks and Viptela. As far as mainstream infrastructure vendors go, Silver Peak has been the most aggressive regarding the topic of WAN evolution, and Cisco has recently oriented its IWAN solution to being aligned with SD-WAN. However, other WAN vendors such as Juniper and Riverbed have been non-existent when it comes to SD-WAN.

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Cisco brings enterprise-class mobility capabilities down market
with introduction of SMB-focused Mobility Express bundle.

If you’ve read my posts here at No Jitter over the past few years, you’ll know that I’ve been fairly critical of the way our industry defines mobility. Being mobile is more than having a mobile device in your hand. It requires a different way of thinking, as I wrote in an April piece, Businesses Need to ‘Think Mobile’ to Be Mobile. A mobile-first strategy means always considering the unique capabilities of mobility and using those to create differentiated features.

While I’ll likely continue to maintain my skeptical position when I hear about mobile this and mobile that, I do believe mindsets are starting to change. As I talk with businesses these days, I’m started to hear more and more often from those that are trying to eat, drink, and sleep mobile.

On the downside, the majority of mobility solutions available today are for large enterprises. This has left mobility-minded small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) wanting. But this is starting to change, too.

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Apple may have designed its new iPhones to be twice as fast on wireless
networks, but it’s not likely users will get to enjoy that kind of speed.

Apple's new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Credit: Apple

Earlier this week, amid the typical hoopla and mania that seems to be associated with every Apple announcement, the company launched a number of new products, including the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Among the features that Apple is touting is the claim that the wireless experience on both Wi-Fi and LTE are twice as fast as previous generations. The exact wording (emphasis mine) on Apple’s product page is:

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IT Automation

The Hills was a popular MTV-produced “reality” TV show that created pop culture icons such as Lauren Conrad, Brody Jenner (son of Caitlyn) and one my favorites, Kristin Cavallari. The theme song from the show was called “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield which contains the lyrics “Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten”. The song is fitting for the show as it features younger people at a crossroads in their life trying to find their way; however, I think the song is also apropos for networking engineers, as the industry sits at a crossroads today. The old is going away, the new is coming in, and network engineers need to think about what to do next with their careers.

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