Lindsay Hill network control, visibility, management

Using Firewalls for Policy Has Been a Disaster

Almost every SDN vendor today talks about policy, how they make it easy to express and enforce network policies. Cisco ACI, VMware NSX, Nuage Networks, OpenStack Congress, etc. This sounds fantastic. Who wouldn’t want a better, simpler way to get the network to apply the policies we want? But maybe it’s worth taking a look at how we manage policy today with firewalls, and why it doesn’t work.

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Root Cause Analysis - It's Not Perfect

Automated Root Cause Analysis promises a lot. High-end network monitoring systems promise that they can automatically isolate network problems, and only tell you about the thing that needs fixing. This sounds very enticing. Who wants a flood of alarms, when we could get just one alarm, telling us what we need to fix? But it’s not perfect, and you do need to pay attention to it.

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BYOD: Just another money-grab?

BYOD policies sound alluring. No more forced use of a crappy old corporate laptop - “hey look, we’ll let you choose whatever you want!” But I think it is a way to shift the cost burden over to employees. It will be done slowly, over several years, and we’ll welcome it. But it will lead to employees carrying more costs. I guess we should be careful with what we wish for.

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In Praise of Support Lifecycles

If you’re just starting out working with ‘Enterprise’ products, you may not have come across Support Lifecycles. It’s important to know what these are, and how it affects you. They can have both a positive & a negative impact on when and why you choose to upgrade systems.

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Shellshock: One Month On

Shellshock was released a little over a month ago, to wide predictions of doom & gloom. But somehow the Internet survived, and we lurch on towards the next crisis. I recently gave a talk about Shellshock, the fallout, and some thoughts on wider implications and the future. The talk wasn’t recorded, so here’s a summary of what was discussed.

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Disappointed With Check Point

I have recently started working with Check Point products again, after a 5-year break. This has given me a different perspective on how they are progressing. It has been disappointing to see that they’re still suffering from some of the same old bugs. Some of the core functionality is now showing its age, and is no longer appropriate for modern networks.

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Jobs

Some people are corporate survivors, sticking with one company for decades. Some people move around when it suits, while others would like to move, but are fearful of change. Here’s a few things I’ve learnt about adapting to new work environments. It’s not that scary.

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HP SDN App Store Launches

HP’s SDN App Store has finally seen the light of day. This is intended to be a common platform for users and developers, to find and distributed real-world, practical SDN applications. Some of the launch apps include:

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Utility-Based Pricing Troubles Me

Utility, or Consumption-Based pricing models offer an interesting way of matching costs to revenues. But if they’re not managed well, customer costs could blow out just trying to keep the lights on. We’ve come to expect rapidly declining hardware prices. Have vendors realised their utility prices need to decline at a similar rate?

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Knowing Your Audience...and Showing It

We all know that you’re supposed to “Know Your Audience.” Doing so improves engagement, and avoids faux pas like “Suggested Tweets.” But recently I realised that this doesn’t have to be subtle. Drop hints early on in your presentation that you’ve taken the time to understand the audience - it can really lift the mood.

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