The Sky is the Limit for OpenStack, and the Cloud

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • More than 180 corporate members, including some surprising names like VMware, lined up to join the OpenStack Foundation.
  • The foundation’s dynamic entrance onto the cloud scene marks the beginning of an important new phase in the on-demand computing era as more organizations see the model as a long term strategic IT solution.

OpenStack is having something of a coming out party with the arrival of the newly minted OpenStack Foundation.  This month’s successful launch of the OpenStack Foundation, designated as the independent organization overseeing the development efforts around the cloud development platform originally developed by NASA and Rackspace, is proof of growing demand for open source solutions to help cloud adopters avoid the dreaded vendor lock in, as well as the real drive by more enterprises into the on-demand IT realm.  Continue reading “The Sky is the Limit for OpenStack, and the Cloud”

Despite OpenFlow’s Promises, Switch Architecture Still Matters

Mike Spanbauer
Mike Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • In the race to get OpenFlow and SDN onto new networking RFPs, enterprises must remember that controlling flow-based traffic patterns will serve to address a couple of weaknesses of networks past; however, edge-to-edge switching latency, performance, and more remain crucial.
  • For the first two to three years, as enterprises prove OpenFlow and early SDN technologies within their environments (and to themselves), the prevalent model will be a hybrid one, in which a vendor’s high-speed fabric and flow control run concurrently on a device (Cisco, Brocade, Juniper, Arista, etc.).

I find it amusing that the OpenFlow discussion has polarized pockets of the IT industry so completely.  It is a great innovation, absolutely, and it will address certain limitations and free up otherwise locked networking resources.  However, you get the sense that any given author of one of these articles is slightly biased to applications, servers, or networks.  The application purist who consumes all resources for the purpose of application architecture wishes to remove inhibitive deployment times from the infrastructure and therefore does not focus on the minutia of each domain’s critical factors.  The server teams have long sought to enable their own domain constituency to deploy high-speed interconnect between adjacent servers; in fact, several technologies exist from the biggest server vendors to provide for just such an answer.  The network team members, who have found themselves thrust into the infrastructure limelight due to the efficiencies to be gained, struggle with this newfound stardom and the education that they must gain in order to elevate all of the network attribute qualities for which they are responsible.  Many enterprise IT buyers who are writing RFPs are in the process of adding (or have already added) some flavor of SDN language to the mix, which is good, but there is merit in having the discipline expertise contribute to the RFP itself.  Server administrators are the best at defining the understanding memory riser architectures and how best to deal with firmware ‘fun’ on their platforms, while network administrators are best suited to defining the wired architecture and intricacies and application guys can best address acceleration needs and OSI 4-7.  OpenFlow and SDN are amazing, but fundamental architecture needs remain. Continue reading “Despite OpenFlow’s Promises, Switch Architecture Still Matters”