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Mike Bushong11/20/14
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The Philosophy of Network-as-a-Service

In the world of Anything-as-a-Service (I will leave the acronym to your imagination), Network-as-a-Service is not a new term. In fact, it even has its own wikipedia page which will tell you it has been used for many years now, well before the current set of service related terms in IT have become popular.

Mike Bushong11/13/14
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The Power of Correlated Visualization

Using all the data sources at your disposal to increase the visibility of the state, health and contextual performance of your network is key to just that.

Mike Bushong11/10/14
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Networking's atomic unit: Going small to scale up

To scale larger, technology has time and again become more atomic and adopted more distributed architectures. The 1990s were about storage’s transition, the 2000s about compute’s transition, and the 2010s are going to be about networking’s transition. When this transition is done, we will have a larger number of smaller links, we will have different control mechanisms to use them, and the per-link cost will be lower.

Mike Bushong10/28/14
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SDN Market Sizing Redux

The real point of the market sizing exercise was to predict that SDN is going to be huge. Since that time, every major vendor has built SDN into their roadmap. Yes, deployments are lagging as people figure out just what to do with the technology, but there is no doubt that the competitive landscape has been forever changed.

Mike Bushong10/22/14
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Applying the Theory of Constraints to network transport

The real reason the Theory of Constraints remains a statistical game in networking has nothing to do with technology. The reality is that once anyone grows accustomed to solving a problem in a particular way, they use that method to solve it over and over again.

Mike Bushong10/14/14
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Cables, Transceivers and 10GBASE-T

Most of today’s 10GbE switches ship with SFP+ cages and a handful of QSFP cages. Now comes the hard part. What do I plug into these cages? There are lots of choices all with their own pros and cons.

Mike Bushong10/02/14
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It's the Applications, Stupid! (Part 1 of 3)

While most customers loved the concepts of a scale-out network that leveraged dynamic photonic connections instead of hard-wired paths, most of them also told us that they “didn’t really know (or want to know)” about the applications at all.

Mike Bushong09/30/14
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Nontraditional network integrations

Integration goes well beyond OpenStack and DevOps. While those are also extremely useful, there are gains to be had by looking at nontraditional integration targets.

Mike Bushong09/23/14
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Cracking the cloud code

But if cloud has been around for so long, why will it take so long for cloud to become the dominant source of IT spend?

Mike Bushong09/15/14
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SDN and the implications of a single system image

The question is how to take devices explicitly designed to operate discretely and make them behave as a single cohesive unit.

Mike Bushong09/10/14
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On the Plasticity of Networks

Plasticity in this context means that a seemingly rigid structure, like the law, can be deformed to meet a new need. Examples of this range from the mundane structuring of contracts to limit the downside of risky deals to the industry redefining methods of companies like Uber that challenge conventional practices and laws.

Mike Bushong08/18/14
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What can we learn from Cisco's latest results?

As we head through earnings season, we get the opportunity to learn a bit about the state of the networking industry. Each data point gives us a bit more information about how the competitive landscape is unfolding, and ultimately how this will shape the market. So what do we know so far?

Mike Bushong08/17/14
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Visualization Tools for Network Engineers

Networking is a visual field. In fact, we can generalize and say all of IT is. Come to think of it, is there a technical field that isn’t? In this post, I’ll cover a handful of visualization tools that have recently helped me think through and communicate difficult Network Engineering stuff.

Mike Bushong08/14/14
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User Experience and Workflow

We’ve spent some cycles talking about user experience and workflow in previous articles. So in this post, we’re going to explore how these things relate to one another in the context of networking.

Rick Delgado08/12/14
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Best of Both Worlds: How Virtualization will Impact the ADC Market

Virtualization, in conjunction with ADCs, can make a big difference for businesses, whether large or small.

Mike Bushong08/08/14
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Types of Network Automation

Traditionally, just getting a network feature to work and inter-operate was the goal, but now we must consider how this feature fits into common workflows performed by network engineers.

Mike Bushong08/07/14
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What a Network Engineer Does

In network engineering, the “T” is very long: Configuring a network to achieve business goals requires considerable skill and knowledge. In this post, we’ll explore this in a little more detail.

Mike Bushong08/01/14
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Do you really need to understand the guts of an Ethernet Switch?

This week I read a perfectly reasonable article by Tom Hollingsworth, which then deteriorated in the comments section to a “you don’t know how a switch works” exchange.

Mike Bushong07/27/14
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Plexxi Pulse: SDN Edges into Federal Agencies

As SDN gains traction within the private sector we are also seeing federal agencies adopt it as they identify the need for network infrastructure changes.

Mike Bushong07/25/14
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What is 25 Gigabit Ethernet and why would you want it?

Just when you got used to ethernet speeds being a nice decimal based system where we simply add zeros every few years, someone threw in 40GbE a few years ago. And that’s ok, powers of two we can deal with, but 25?

Mike Bushong07/22/14
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Network abstractions need equivalent of packet walkthrough

Whenever a new networking platform is evaluated, one of the early sales calls includes a packet walkthrough. But why?

Mike Bushong07/18/14
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Open Compute, Open Switch API and Open Network Install Environment

Much has been published about the Open Compute Project. Initiated by Facebook, it has become an industry effort focused on standardization of many parts and components in the datacenter. It’s not a huge innovative leap, but it’s a significant convenience.

Mike Bushong07/17/14
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Bare metal switching, pricing, and the impacts on resellers

Most people in the IT space understand the trend towards bare metal everything (servers, switches, etc.). The movement to commodity hardware drives down costs in infrastructure where price is disproportionately determined by the cost of hardware.

Maarten Ectors07/16/14
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How to Survive Digital Darwinism a.k.a. Company Failure Acceleration?

Why can’t companies adapt to change? The ideal sector to see disruptive innovation at work is the technology sector. Many billions are spend on bringing products to market that fail.

Mike Bushong07/14/14
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Leveraging optical transport to create multi-site datacenter services

As connectivity becomes more and more a commodity service and requirements become more demanding, how that connectivity is provided has to evolve.