Lindsay Hill network control, visibility, management

SDN for Enterprise

SDN is the buzzword du jour in the networking industry, but it’s hard to make sense of what it might mean for “normal” people. Here’s my take on what SDN solutions & architectures might look like in the Enterprise space, and the problems that it could solve.

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The Fibre Future is Coming

In New Zealand, one company controls the copper cabling delivered to houses. They sell access to Retail ISPs, at a fixed price. Individual customer connections are mapped through to the ISP, who handles all customer management, upstream access, enhanced services, etc. This means that most people have many options for their ISP, with everyone competing on a common platform. Switching ISP is trivial, and so churn rates are high.

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Working with Project Managers

Technical people often have problems with Project Managers. It doesn’t have to be this way though - if you can each recognise the other’s strengths and weaknesses, you can work well together. Here’s some advice on working with PMs.

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Best of Interop - Look at the Categorisation

The “Best of Interop 2014 Finalists” have been announced. Pretty much all the products and technologies that you would expect, but I found the categorisation interesting. As you’d expect, there’s an “SDN” category. This year’s finalists are:

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Certs vs Code: SDN Culture Clash?

SDN career certifications are starting to emerge. Network engineers are well-used to certifications, and use them as a badge of marking progress. But developers prefer to focus on code, not passing tests. This will be just another way that the different cultures rub up against each other as we change the way our networks work.

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Dell Fabric Manager & The Future for CCIEs

Network Field Day 7 had many interesting presentations and discussions. I’m still working through them all, but one from Dell caught my eye, where they declared that CCIEs were no longer required. They were slightly exaggerating their case for impact, but there is some substance to it - we shouldn’t need CCIEs to generate basic network configurations for standard networks.

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Vendor Clubs: Watch Your Independence

Vendor ‘clubs’ or programs have troubled me for some time. They are not all bad, but I am concerned about the influence that vendors are trying to exert, and the effect this has on the standings of respected people in the social media communities. I fear we are selling our independence too cheaply.

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Technician vs Consultant Writing

Many engineers struggle with business writing. They get easily lost in detail, and produce tortured documents that are technically correct, but of little business value. This is classic “technician” or “engineer” writing. Here’s some guidance for producing “Consultant”-style documents will be far more use to the organisations you’re working with.

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SNMP Community Strings - Don't Use '@'

A quick reminder - do not use the symbol ‘@’ in SNMPv1/2 community strings. I came across this again this week - it causes issues with monitoring some equipment, and should be avoided.

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War Stories: Check Point Meltdown

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