The Case for SD-WAN

M. Fratto
M. Fratto

• Your organization may be in the minority that won’t benefit from SD-WAN products replacing your existing WAN infrastructure, but for everyone else, there’s significant upside to moving to SD-WAN sooner rather than later.

• Algorithms in SD-WAN products rationalize competing demands such as current conditions and your pre-defined requirements to optimize application performance. Let go and get on with your day.

There are too many times when I see a technology and think, “Yeah, I want to buy that.” I’m talking technology, not products, in this note. SD-WAN is one of those technologies that I think has so much upside that no matter what product you pick the result will be far and away better than what you have, in particular for interconnecting remote sites. I’m not entirely convinced of the efficacy of SD-WAN for inter-data center connectivity. The key feature is operational simplicity when compared to how inter-office connectivity is achieved today. Continue reading “The Case for SD-WAN”

Which Is Better: Automation or SDN?

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • You can use automation without software-defined networking (SDN), but you cannot use SDN without automation.
  • Many enterprises will gain enough benefits from automation and may not need to migrate to SDN.

The answer, of course, is whatever option works for you is the one that’s best, but that is a little too facile, so let’s dig in a bit. Automating operations such as scripting configuration changes and responding to events has enormous value for any IT department. When I actually worked in a data center, my rule of thumb was: if I did something more than three times in a month, I’d automate it, including the little atomic actions such as changing the syslog entries on a switch which could take as many as five to seven command line entries. Automation saved me hours, perhaps days, per month executing configuration changes (and even more because I had far fewer errors). Continue reading “Which Is Better: Automation or SDN?”

If You Want Enterprise Networking to be More Responsive, You Have to Give IT the Tools

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

•      IT’s virtual networking goals are far less lofty than what vendors, analysts, and commentators want you to believe but those goals are no less important.

•      Enterprise IT simply isn’t prepared for the breathlessly stated goal of delivering applications on demand in 5 minutes or less.

If you only listened to the selling points behind software defined networking (SDN) and the software defined data center (SDDC), you’d get the picture that enterprise IT is on the cusp of delivering complex enterprise applications at the drop of a hat. You’d think that business line managers are technically savvy enough to define what they need and fill in templates with the correct information. Continue reading “If You Want Enterprise Networking to be More Responsive, You Have to Give IT the Tools”

Advances in Campus LAN Products Continue Rapid Growth

Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Campus LAN networking has been evolving for years without receiving as much of the limelight as other technologies.  That is going to change.
  • Technologies such as SDN and multi-path Ethernet are making their way into the campus LAN and offer similar benefits.

While data center networking has been getting the lion’s share of press and analyst love in the last few years, campus networking has been undergoing a rather quiet and steady revolution that is just as compelling as data center networking, and it’s getting more so.  The campus LAN already has a great deal of automation happening at the network edge, with capabilities such as network access control not only detecting hosts and users and granting access, but also configuring VLANs and applying QoS policies based on the user, the device, or the network.  Many of the networking platforms, with help from a policy server, can enforce policies based on a variety of characteristics. Continue reading “Advances in Campus LAN Products Continue Rapid Growth”