Patrick MeLampy

Author Archives: Patrick MeLampy

IDG Contributor Network: Beware the networking industrial complex

There is a status quo in the networking industry that is the enemy of innovation. The major hardware equipment makers collectively benefit by propagating the many layers of equipment and protocols. This “deep state” that exists within our innovation economy must be defeated to unleash the next wave of innovative networking, which will be software-based and ideally designed to support business applications and services.One leader of the Networking Industrial Complex has a certified army of mercenaries that are compensated by unsuspecting enterprises to architect networks. These mercenaries attend training camps to be reprogrammed on a frequent basis. Examinations are held to ensure compliance. This entire system ensures that networking architectures, techniques and methods will not change. It’s no wonder many executives of companies are handing the keys to IT and networking to third parties.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Beware the networking industrial complex

There is a status quo in the networking industry that is the enemy of innovation. The major hardware equipment makers collectively benefit by propagating the many layers of equipment and protocols. This “deep state” that exists within our innovation economy must be defeated to unleash the next wave of innovative networking, which will be software-based and ideally designed to support business applications and services.One leader of the Networking Industrial Complex has a certified army of mercenaries that are compensated by unsuspecting enterprises to architect networks. These mercenaries attend training camps to be reprogrammed on a frequent basis. Examinations are held to ensure compliance. This entire system ensures that networking architectures, techniques and methods will not change. It’s no wonder many executives of companies are handing the keys to IT and networking to third parties.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Network engineers are from Mars, application engineers are from Venus

Application and network engineers see the world differently. Unfortunately, these differences often result in resentment, with each party keeping score. Recently, application engineers have encroached on networking in a much bigger way. Sadly, if technical history repeats itself, we will revisit many of the long-ago problems again as application engineers rediscover the wisdom held by networking engineers.There are many areas of network engineering and application engineering where there is no overlap or contention. However, the number of overlapping areas is increasing as the roles of network and application engineers expand and evolve.Application engineers will try to do anything they can with code. I’ve spoken to many network engineers who struggle to support multi-cast. When I ask them why they are using multi-cast, they nearly always say, “the application engineers chose it, because it's in the Unix Network Programming book.” The Berkley Socket programming interface permits using multi-cast. The application engineers then provide lost packet recovery techniques to deliver files and real-time media using unicast and multicast. The Berkeley Socket does not easily support VLANs. Thus VLANs have always been the sole property of the network engineer. Linux kernel network programming capabilities in recent years become much more Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: Network engineers are from Mars, application engineers are from Venus

Application and network engineers see the world differently. Unfortunately, these differences often result in resentment, with each party keeping score. Recently, application engineers have encroached on networking in a much bigger way. Sadly, if technical history repeats itself, we will revisit many of the long-ago problems again as application engineers rediscover the wisdom held by networking engineers.There are many areas of network engineering and application engineering where there is no overlap or contention. However, the number of overlapping areas is increasing as the roles of network and application engineers expand and evolve.Application engineers will try to do anything they can with code. I’ve spoken to many network engineers who struggle to support multi-cast. When I ask them why they are using multi-cast, they nearly always say, “the application engineers chose it, because it's in the Unix Network Programming book.” The Berkley Socket programming interface permits using multi-cast. The application engineers then provide lost packet recovery techniques to deliver files and real-time media using unicast and multicast. The Berkeley Socket does not easily support VLANs. Thus VLANs have always been the sole property of the network engineer. Linux kernel network programming capabilities in recent years become much more Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore

Welcome to Agility City! Let me set the scene: In the castle, the Wonderful Wizard orchestrates networks in beautiful and powerful ways. Point-to-point tunnel connections are heralded as “architectural wonders,” which decades ago were called bridges with disdain. Meanwhile, The Wicked Witch of the West brews a primordial potion of complexity that is hidden behind curtains of automated provisioning. Packets of information are heavily laden with unnecessary information and double encryption.It almost makes you want Dorothy Gale to appear and click her Ruby Red slippers; “There is no place like home. There is no place like home.” If only we start talking about true networking, and not orchestration of bridges.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: We need innovation to help escape from the cloud-services land of Oz

Welcome to Agility City! Let me set the scene.In the castle, the Wonderful Wizard orchestrates networks in beautiful and powerful ways. Point-to-point tunnel connections are heralded as “architectural wonders,” which decades ago were called bridges with disdain.Meanwhile, The Wicked Witch of the West brews a primordial potion of complexity that is hidden behind curtains of automated provisioning. Packets of information are heavily laden with unnecessary information and double encryption.[ Learn who's developing quantum computers. ] It almost makes you want Dorothy Gale to appear and click her ruby slippers - “There's no place like home. There's no place like home.” If only we start talking about true networking and not orchestration of bridges.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: We need innovation to help escape from the cloud-services land of Oz

Welcome to Agility City! Let me set the scene.In the castle, the Wonderful Wizard orchestrates networks in beautiful and powerful ways. Point-to-point tunnel connections are heralded as “architectural wonders,” which decades ago were called bridges with disdain.Meanwhile, The Wicked Witch of the West brews a primordial potion of complexity that is hidden behind curtains of automated provisioning. Packets of information are heavily laden with unnecessary information and double encryption.[ Learn who's developing quantum computers. ] It almost makes you want Dorothy Gale to appear and click her ruby slippers - “There's no place like home. There's no place like home.” If only we start talking about true networking and not orchestration of bridges.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Does your network have a trade imbalance?

Network traffic, by nature, is often unbalanced. For example, a client that requests a video on demand may receive ten times more bandwidth than it sends for that service. Likewise, most web applications are very one-sided, with the bulk of the traffic being from server to client. The opposite is true for many backup applications, where the bulk of the traffic originates at the client and terminates at the server.The United States is like your network – suffering from a trade imbalance. For every packet we ship to a foreign network, we are receiving four or five in return. Just as there are barriers to trade, we apply barriers to our inbound traffic. The barrier for most of us is the actual size of our Internet service interface. Packets queue up and drop at our carrier’s equipment prior to even being seen by our equipment. If you purchase a 50Meg download speed, any packets that arrive at a faster rate (even for a sub-second of time) will be dropped without prejudice. This is a barrier, restriction and tariff on your services that limit your business. The only solution – buy more bandwidth!To read this article in full, please Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: Does your network have a trade imbalance?

Network traffic, by nature, is often unbalanced. For example, a client that requests a video on demand may receive ten times more bandwidth than it sends for that service. Likewise, most web applications are very one-sided, with the bulk of the traffic being from server to client. The opposite is true for many backup applications, where the bulk of the traffic originates at the client and terminates at the server.The United States is like your network – suffering from a trade imbalance. For every packet we ship to a foreign network, we are receiving four or five in return. Just as there are barriers to trade, we apply barriers to our inbound traffic. The barrier for most of us is the actual size of our Internet service interface. Packets queue up and drop at our carrier’s equipment prior to even being seen by our equipment. If you purchase a 50Meg download speed, any packets that arrive at a faster rate (even for a sub-second of time) will be dropped without prejudice. This is a barrier, restriction and tariff on your services that limit your business. The only solution – buy more bandwidth!To read this article in full, please Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: Don’t let yourself be erased from the business needs narrative

A CIO of a retail chain recently issued an edict that all requirements for networking must be stated as business needs, including all RFIs, RFQs and internal proposals. No networking protocols, features or terms are now permitted. At first glance this seems like a relatively simple instruction, but the IT staff struggled to articulate business needs and map them to network capabilities. The CIO is imposing a discipline of asking “why” three times to try to understand and separate the inertia of past choices from what their business needs today. I believe the CIO is wise in trying to connect the business needs to network capabilities.Speaking the language of the industry Networking professionals are being left out of the narrative. We are deemed a necessary evil rather than a partner in producing products and services. We are the people that slow things down, make things harder and budget for things people do not understand nor value. Becoming part of the narrative requires that each networking professional understand and anticipate their business’s needs. In fact, I would argue that the public cloud, bring your own device and shadow IT are the result of networking not being part of the narrative. Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: Don’t let yourself be erased from the business needs narrative

A CIO of a retail chain recently issued an edict that all requirements for networking must be stated as business needs, including all RFIs, RFQs and internal proposals. No networking protocols, features or terms are now permitted. At first glance this seems like a relatively simple instruction, but the IT staff struggled to articulate business needs and map them to network capabilities. The CIO is imposing a discipline of asking “why” three times to try to understand and separate the inertia of past choices from what their business needs today. I believe the CIO is wise in trying to connect the business needs to network capabilities.Speaking the language of the industry Networking professionals are being left out of the narrative. We are deemed a necessary evil rather than a partner in producing products and services. We are the people that slow things down, make things harder and budget for things people do not understand nor value. Becoming part of the narrative requires that each networking professional understand and anticipate their business’s needs. In fact, I would argue that the public cloud, bring your own device and shadow IT are the result of networking not being part of the narrative. Continue reading

IDG Contributor Network: 13 debts of tunnel networks

Tunnels for networking are not good. We see a real-life example taking place with the twelve Thai boys that were stuck at the end of a tunnel with a very narrow section under water preventing passage. The tunnel offered them only one way out, and the particular path was not passable. This is what happens in networks. We’re thankful for the heroic rescue of these brave boys, but networks don’t always fare as well.You will hear others speak about how a tunnel-based virtual network is the next amazing trend in networking. In fact, an analyst recently told me tunnels are great. And they are, when used for the purpose they were intended. But, using tunnels to get aggregates of packets to go where they wouldn’t go otherwise is dangerous, and will lead to the accumulation of technical debts.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: 13 debts of tunnel networks

Tunnels for networking are not good. We see a real-life example taking place with the twelve Thai boys that were stuck at the end of a tunnel with a very narrow section under water preventing passage. The tunnel offered them only one way out, and the particular path was not passable. This is what happens in networks. We’re thankful for the heroic rescue of these brave boys, but networks don’t always fare as well.You will hear others speak about how a tunnel-based virtual network is the next amazing trend in networking. In fact, an analyst recently told me tunnels are great. And they are, when used for the purpose they were intended. But, using tunnels to get aggregates of packets to go where they wouldn’t go otherwise is dangerous, and will lead to the accumulation of technical debts.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Networking anomalies

Recently, I had the great opportunity to discuss network security over dinner with one of the world’s best security practitioners. I learned that keeping bad actors from eventually getting inside a network is nearly impossible. While we maintain our vigilance at our borders over time we should assume our network would be penetrated, so the key to preventing exfiltration (which generally follows) is to look for networking anomalies.Look for network uses that are abnormal, unusual, or different in some way from the norm. Techniques for doing this “hunting” are expensive to implement and hard to interpret with frequent false positives but are a necessary evil.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: If applications speak in sessions, shouldn’t your router be session smart?

My new iPhone X actually recognizes me! This is an example of Smart Technology.Most of us are expecting a revolution of products and services that have embedded intelligence or smarts. Medical diagnostic support is being aided by computer intelligence with the goal to improve the physician’s understanding of the patient to improve the diagnosis, therapies and resulting patient outcomes without adding more burden on the clinician. Look at cars – now, autonomous self-driving vehicles have the potential to alleviate congestion and improve the environment in ways we couldn’t imagine.To perform facial recognition, the iPhone X must understand the language of faces. This includes attributes of faces, such as shape of eyes, noses, cheekbones, and jaw. It’s safe to say that any smart system needs to understand the language of its purpose. Self-driving cars must understand the language of driving which includes maps, roads, signs, speed limits, weather, and traffic signals. Smart medical diagnostics need to understand the language of medicine, including possible diagnosis and probabilities.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: If applications speak in sessions, shouldn’t your router be session smart?

My new iPhone X actually recognizes me! This is an example of Smart Technology.Most of us are expecting a revolution of products and services that have embedded intelligence or smarts. Medical diagnostic support is being aided by computer intelligence with the goal to improve the physician’s understanding of the patient to improve the diagnosis, therapies and resulting patient outcomes without adding more burden on the clinician. Look at cars – now, autonomous self-driving vehicles have the potential to alleviate congestion and improve the environment in ways we couldn’t imagine.To perform facial recognition, the iPhone X must understand the language of faces. This includes attributes of faces, such as shape of eyes, noses, cheekbones, and jaw. It’s safe to say that any smart system needs to understand the language of its purpose. Self-driving cars must understand the language of driving which includes maps, roads, signs, speed limits, weather, and traffic signals. Smart medical diagnostics need to understand the language of medicine, including possible diagnosis and probabilities.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Is it time for a network tax cut?

It is truly remarkable to what extent corporate and personal behavior is dictated by tax policy. Much of the discussion in our nation’s capital in regard to tax reform has been about competitiveness as a rational to lower corporate tax rates. It appears as though the United States charges a 20 percent higher tax rate than much of the rest of the world, forcing corporations to shift some operations and assets into lower tax rate jurisdictions. It’s safe to say that tax policy impacts behavior in measurable ways.Just yesterday I was speaking with a communications service provider analyst. We discussed the overhead of SD-WAN tunnels. I showed the math of how it can tax various protocols. The tax for various protocols was:To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Is it time for a network tax cut?

It is truly remarkable to what extent corporate and personal behavior is dictated by tax policy. Much of the discussion in our nation’s capital in regard to tax reform has been about competitiveness as a rational to lower corporate tax rates. It appears as though the United States charges a 20 percent higher tax rate than much of the rest of the world, forcing corporations to shift some operations and assets into lower tax rate jurisdictions. It’s safe to say that tax policy impacts behavior in measurable ways.Just yesterday I was speaking with a communications service provider analyst. We discussed the overhead of SD-WAN tunnels. I showed the math of how it can tax various protocols. The tax for various protocols was:To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Behold the secure directional network connectivity of SuperWAN

Imagine you are Clark Kent, CIO of a large organization in Metropolis, and current trends in network disaggregation continue. As such, you must now provide connectivity to three Azure data centers for Office 365; 20 AWS sites located all over the world for a host of outsourced IT applications; four corporate data centers (older applications); 10 Equinix data centers for outsourced private use; direct access to 25 additional cloud service offerings for security reasons, including UC services, Salesforce.com and Concur, to your 500 branch sites; and 30,000 telecommuting employees.Look up in the sky! It’s a WAN! No, it’s a SD-WAN! No, it’s... SuperWAN!To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Behold the secure directional network connectivity of SuperWAN

Imagine you are Clark Kent, CIO of a large organization in Metropolis, and current trends in network disaggregation continue. As such, you must now provide connectivity to three Azure data centers for Office 365; 20 AWS sites located all over the world for a host of outsourced IT applications; four corporate data centers (older applications); 10 Equinix data centers for outsourced private use; direct access to 25 additional cloud service offerings for security reasons, including UC services, Salesforce.com and Concur, to your 500 branch sites; and 30,000 telecommuting employees.Look up in the sky! It’s a WAN! No, it’s a SD-WAN! No, it’s... SuperWAN!To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here