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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Posts Tagged ‘Ethernet Switch’

Merriam-Webster defines the word “borderless” to be simply “being without a border”.  By definition, Cisco’s Borderless Network Architecture means a network with no borders.  It’s a simple statement but from the conversations I’ve had with decision makers, it’s not the simplest concept to grasp.  Some I’ve talked to think of “borderless” to mean a network with no firewalls or a big, flat network.   A network without borders can have a number of different meanings (according to Merriam) but in Cisco’s case it’s actually referring to the boundaries that prevent us from doing what it is we are trying to accomplish. 

The easiest way that I know to describe what Borderless Networks can do is to get companies to think about the vision of any worker being able to accomplish any task, on any device from wherever they are.  Now think about the borders that currently prevent the company from accomplishing this goal.  Cisco’s Borderless Networks is an architecture that will allow companies to remove those borders and fulfill on this any, any, any vision.

Without sounding sarcastic, the primary benefit of a virtual application delivery controller (ADC) is that, well, it’s virtual. It requires no hardware to deploy making it low cost. It’s mobile so the ADC can be moved from one location to another in real time and it can be self provisioned by anyone, including an application developer. But virtual ADCs have their drawbacks, too.

Historically, ADCs have been physical appliances located between the network and application tiers in a data center or deployed at the edge of a network to help optimize service delivery. The primary role of ADCs has been for load balancing purposes but a number of advanced features such as encryption, security, video optimization and some application specific features have been added over the past half decade. This shift in functionality has added to the need for ADCs across different verticals and company sizes.

This increased demand is why there have been so many more versions of the ADC launched recently, including virtual editions. This begs the question, though, can virtual ADCs replace physical ones in production environments? There’s no doubt that virtual ADCs can be used as a developer tool but the big question is around production environments which leads us to the question of “to virtualize or not to virtualize?”

I’ve come to the conclusion that the adoption of 100 Gig to be much bigger than 40 Gig. To me, 40 Gig was really a step on the way to 100 Gig. Ethernet has historically jumped in logarithmic steps and a 4x jump just doesn’t seem like the bang is there for the buck spent on new hardware and upgrades.

The standard for 100 Gig-E was ratified last year and since then we’ve had a number of vendors, the usual suspects – Juniper, Cisco, ALU and Brocade, launch 100 Gig-E line cards. Recently, I had a chance to discuss the topic with Greg Hankins, Global Solutions Architect for Service Providers at Brocade.  I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the 100 Gig-E market.



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