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ONUG Spring 2017 April 25 & 26 ONUG Fall 2017 October 17 & 18

Why Testing and Debugging Networks is so Difficult

by Nikhil Handigol

The network lies at the heart of a modern enterprise’s ability to perform its daily business and operations. When a network outage occurs, due to a policy misconfiguration or a device failure, business grinds to a halt. Almost every week, it seems, we read a new headline where a Fortune 500 company suffered the catastrophic consequences of a network outage. These incidents are costly, causing revenue loss and impacting corporate reputation and customer loyalty. In the most extreme cases, outages have triggered both a company bankruptcy and a CEO’s dismissal. (more…)

A Message to IT Executives, “We’re on Our Own and That’s a Good Thing!”

by Nick Lippis

One of the big picture views I’ve gained from working with the ONUG Community and ONUG Board over the past several years is the transformation of big business, due to an evolution taking place within the digital economy. The industry is in the third stage of the computing age that started in the 1950s, expanded exponentially with the internet economy of the late 1990s, and is now enabling new digital businesses due in large part to mobile and cloud computing. As in previous transitions, some executives embrace the change, like Netflix, while others ignore it, remember Blockbuster Video? Those that get it are using digital transformation to create new markets and compete with long established businesses, but the journey is through confused and choppy waters. (more…)

The Three Most Surprising Changes in F500 Enterprise Infrastructure in the Past Year

by Guru Chahal

Avi Networks has been participating in ONUG since 2013. During that time, we’ve been privileged to have worked with many in the ONUG community to help us understand some of the top pain points facing enterprise networks – and in particular L4-7 network services such as load balancing and application security. Today, we are proud to call many in the ONUG community our customers and are thankful for them as they have helped shape our roadmap and help accelerate Avi’s adoption across global enterprises. Some of the top financial services institutions, service providers, and technology firms look to Avi’s technology to solve some of their most pressing traffic management needs – replacing legacy appliances with a modern, software-based elastic fabric. (more…)

IT Organizational Model Challenges in the Software-Defined World

by Nick Lippis

Cloud-based application development – be it software-defined, containers, or micro-servers – coupled with a new type of organizational model enables IT delivery at the speed of business. Still, one of the biggest challenges in deploying cloud solutions is transitioning to a new IT organizational model, which necessitates a change in existing skill sets and culture. (more…)

Addressing the Challenges of Multi-Vendor Network Environments

By Olivier Huynh Van, CTO, Glue Networks Inc.

 

Software-defined networking (SDN) has become synonymous with flexible network automation, allowing IT departments to respond quickly to changing business needs. In the modern data center, SDN allows for highly standardized and customer controlled network environments. However, the complexity of multi-vendor and multi-provider WAN infrastructures represents a much larger challenge that SDN solutions need to address. Enterprises are being forced to attempt to code their own in-house automation via scripting, but many don’t have the resources of Web-scale companies and are largely unsuccessful at automating more than a “load and pray” script while ongoing operations remain manual. (more…)

How SDNs Change Cyber Security – Part II

Software defined networks (SDNs) reimagined how companies build networks. Now SDNs will force a major change in how companies secure those networks. To better understand the security implications of SDNs, we caught up with two of the co-chairs for ONUG’s Software-Defined Security Services (SDSS) Working Group. In How SDNs Change Cyber Security – Part I last month, we were able to get Adam Forch of FedEx’s reaction. Today, in the second installment, we hear Mike’s thoughts on the challenges facing SDN security. (more…)

Operationalization – The Cure to Overcoming PTSDN*

by Houman Modarres

On a bright spring day just three years back we found ourselves in Portland, at the rapidly growing OpenStack Summit. ONUG had also just been formed, an organization that would grow just as rapidly in its appeal and influence. Open was the way, and the game was on. “I don’t care that it’s SDN. I care only if it solves my problem in an open way,” asserted one of the pioneers of the ONUG community repeatedly as wave after wave of “SDN-washing” rippled around him. The industry was certainly on to something, striving to make quanta of networking as easy to consume and manipulate as compute and storage had become. But as in most new technologies, early over-exuberance had some unintended consequences. “PTSDN”, an affliction that arises from persistent overexposure to generic SDN lingo and causes a range of adverse allergic reactions, kicked in even as good work by technologists continued for several years. (more…)

Networking Containers: Policy Finally Comes of Age

by Mike Cohen

Few question that Linux containers signal a tectonic shift in how applications are built, deployed, and operated and their composition into microservices will likely become a best practice in application design.(1)  This shift could mean a lot for us in the networking space.  We’ll see a faster migration to 40G or 25/50/100G architectures, a serious focus on scale as we could see up to a million MAC/IPs coming to a single ToR, and a push for improved visibility and telemetry as the network becomes the unifying measurement point between separate micro services.(2) But potentially most important will be the shift towards using higher level, application oriented policies to capture user intent, a change that could revolutionize automated network configuration.   (more…)

IT Consumption Model Changes Start IT Industry Restructuring

by Nick Lippis 

 

The IT industry is living in a Picasso moment; it is creating a new future via software and in the process shedding its decades-long love affair with hardware. As the hardware era ends and the software-defined world progresses, the over $400B worldwide compute, storage, and networking market and vendors like Dell, Cisco, IBM, HP, and many others that supply it are struggling with the change. Legacy vendors are disappearing or restructuring, as evidenced by the HP breakup and Dell’s purchase of EMC and VMware. But unlike an artist painting a masterpiece, this technology transformation is not controlled by any one person, company, or institution, making it a leveler, offering advantage to only those that embrace it. There is no army large or strong enough to stop this progression as it fundamentally reshapes the IT landscape. While the shift from hardware to software sounds simple and perhaps trivial, its implications are anything but. (more…)