Server vendors push flex pricing to challenge cloud providers

For some time now, server unit sales have been steadily dropping for the major x86 server vendors as enterprises draw down their on-premises hardware in favor of cloud services.The response from the hardware vendors is if you can’t beat ‘em, clone ‘em. Vendors are adopting a pay-as-you-go model not unlike that of a cloud provider, where you pay for how much compute time you use and hand back the hardware when you are done rather than buying it outright.+Check out our review of rack servers from  HP, Dell and IBM and tips on calculating the true cost of cloud migration+To read this article in full, please click here

Ansible, Chef, Puppet or Salt? Which One Should I Use?

One of the first things I did when I started my deep-dive into network automation topics was to figure what tools people use to automate stuff and (on a pretty high level) what each one of these tools do.

You often hear about Ansible, Chef and Puppet when talking about network automation tools, with Salt becoming more popular, and CFEngine being occasionally mentioned. However, most network automation engineers prefer Ansible. Here are a few reasons.

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BrandPost: Customers will see many upsides to new SD-WAN services & features

The early days of offering a managed SD-WAN service that provides basic network connectivity are drawing to a close. There is clearly burgeoning demand from customers to manage the network providers and network types that make up the growing mix of SD-WAN bandwidth options.As customers see the value of having different network providers and networks to improve reliability and overall cost per megabit for bandwidth, service providers increasingly will be needed to manage those networks and providers. This is one of the basic tenets for revenue opportunities from SD-WAN services. And with many providers, those revenue opportunities may include the use of wholesale agreements to improve the margin of network services along with the revenue inherent in managing multiple providers for customers.To read this article in full, please click here

NetDevOpEd: Abstracting configuration management

I was talking to a banking customer in Northern Europe the other day and they asked me about configuration management. They had many different vendors with different management methods in their infrastructure and wanted to know how they could speed up management.
This specific customer had an outsourced infrastructure. They picked what hardware they wanted to run, but then paid a managed services company to deploy the infrastructure in a colocation facility and perform day-to-day operations.

The issue arose in the speed of deployment. When they launched a new application that required a new service in their data center, the application engineers would need to contact the network team in this bank. The network team would then open up a ticket with the managed services company to provision VLANs and open up ports on their firewalls to allow access to the application. The issue was that this process took up to one week to complete.

This bank contacted us with the hope we could help them unify their management under one framework, so that they could insource the firewall configuration to accelerate their application deployments. They asked me about automated management best practices.
Normally when I have this conversation, we Continue reading

Check Out Our Newest Google Cloud Course

For those of you that are looking to familiarize yourself with the Google Cloud Platform, you’re in luck! we have just released Google Cloud Platform: PaaS with App Engine. This course is now available to All Access Pass members through your members account, and to everyone else through purchase at

This course is just one of a growing collection of Google classes offered by INE, we also plan on releasing a Google Data Storage course later this week. Until then, read on to learn about Joseph Holbrook’s latest addition to our Google video course library.


Why Study Google App Engine?
Google App Engine is an extremely useful tool; it is a fully managed platform that completely abstracts away infrastructure so you can focus only on code.

About the Course:
This course covers Google App Engine PaaS and more specifically the history, features and functions of Google App Engine. The instructor will explain the benefits of using Google App Engine with live examples and demos.

The course is 4 hours and 5 minutes long and is taught by Joseph Holbrook.

What You’ll Learn:
Students will dive into both deployment models of the App Engine and learn how Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: The top 5 user requirements of IoT edge platforms

As an IoT platform and middleware analyst, I am asked constantly about the benefits of IoT platforms and “what makes a great IoT platform.” In response, I often ask these curious inquirers if they’ve ever used IoT platforms themselves. Walking on the edge is exhilarating, but having hands-on insights, data and expertise on how to survive the journey is even better.What do users actually experience when they use IoT edge platforms?IoT edge computing is a technology architecture that brings certain computational and analytics capabilities near the point of data generation. IoT edge platforms provide the management capabilities required to deliver data from IoT devices to applications while ensuring that devices are properly managed over their lifetimes. Enterprises use edge platforms for factory automation, warehousing/logistics, connected retail, connected mining and many other solutions. With IoT platform revenue slated to grow to USD63.4 billion by 2026, IoT edge is one of the most highly relied upon enterprise IoT platform approaches. To read this article in full, please click here

China Activates Historic Himalayan Link To Nepal

On 10 January 2018, China Telecom activated a long-awaited terrestrial link to the landlocked country of Nepal.  The new fiber optic connection, which traverses the Himalayan mountain range, alters a significant aspect of Nepal’s exclusive dependency on India, shifting the balance of power (at least for international connectivity) in favor of Kathmandu.

Following a number of brief trials since mid-November, Nepal Telecom fully activated Internet transit from China Telecom at 08:28 UTC on 10 January 2018, as depicted below.


In our 2015 coverage of the earthquake that devastated Nepal, I wrote:

Nepal, as well as Bhutan, are both South Asian landlocked countries wedged between India and China that are dependent on India for a number of services including telecommunications. As a result, each country has been courting Chinese engagement that would provide a redundant source of Internet connectivity.

In December 2016, executives Ou Yan of China Telecom Global (CTG) and Lochan Lal Amatya of Nepal Telecom (pictured below) signed an agreement to route IP service through a new terrestrial cable running between Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: What the storage industry’s inevitable transition to the cloud means for your business

Just a few weeks ago, Microsoft made a relatively unheralded acquisition of a company named Avere Systems. Avere’s raison d’etre is enterprise storage. In their own words, “Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources.” Ostensibly, Microsoft purchased this firm to add cloud-based storage capabilities to its ever-expanding portfolio.To read this article in full, please click here

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  • Symbiont is a New York-based financial technology company building new kinds of computer networks to connect independent financial institutions together and allow them to share business logic and data in real time. This involves developing a distributed system which is also decentralized, and which allows for the creation of smart contracts, self-executing cryptographic agreements among counterparties. To do so, we're using a lot of techniques in blockchain technology, as well as those from traditional distributed systems, programming language design and cryptography. We are hiring for a number of roles, from entry-level to expert, including Haskell Backend Engineer, Database Engineer, Product Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer (SRE), Programming Language Engineer and SecOps Engineer. To find out more, just e-mail us your resume

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Fun and Informative Events

  • Webinar: January 23, 11am GMT & again at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern. Continue reading

Monolith or Microservices: Which should you start with?


This is a guest Post by Jake Lumetta, Founder and CEO, ButterCMS, an API-first CMS. For more content like this, follow @ButterCMS on Twitter and subscribe to our blog.

Conventional wisdom for startups counsels starting with a monolith, but are there situations where you should start with microservices instead? Interviews with dozens of CTOs illuminated the key considerations when deciding whether to start with a monolith or microservices.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

My good friend Darby Frey recently kicked off a greenfield project after assuming his new role as Sr. Platform Engineering Lead of Gamut. Despite starting out with monolith at his previous company Belly, he discovered that — in the right circumstances — starting with a monolith isn’t always the best way to go.

“As one does, I allowed much of my thinking in my early days [at my new company] to be influenced by my previous company,” Darby told me.

At Belly, Darby and his team broke down their monolith into a fairly large microservices architecture. They managed to get it to a good place, but only after months of trials and tribulations migrating to microservices.

With this experience fresh in his mind, he approached his new project Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: 6 steps to engage and manage a vendor who isn’t meeting your standards

During the sales process, every vendor sounds great. They have case studies, they have great-looking material, they talk like experts and everything is good. But nothing is as simple as it looks in the beginning.There are always additional challenges. The true test of a service provider, or any vendor, is how they respond to those changes and challenges. Do they put you, the customer, first or do they get slow and unresponsive? If you have a vendor who isn’t meeting your needs, but you’re locked into a contract that makes it cost-prohibitive to leave, these steps will help you reduce some of the friction in the relationship, while providing a better outcome for your company.To read this article in full, please click here

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