Zeus Kerravala

Author Archives: Zeus Kerravala

Businesses need better automation to regain control of their data centers

The cloud continues to grow in popularity as businesses look to take advantage of digital trends. However, the term “cloud” is multi-definitional and means different things to different types of organizations. In the small business segment, cloud likely means software as a service (SaaS), as those organizations want turnkey applications offered on a pay-as-you-go model. For larger companies, cloud means public infrastructure as a service, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Private clouds are alive and kicking For large businesses, the cloud likely means hybrid where private data centers make up most or even all of the cloud infrastructure. The ZK Research 2018 Global Cloud Forecast projected that by 2020, there would be more workloads in private clouds than in public clouds or available as legacy on-premises workloads. (Note: I am an employee of ZK Research.)To read this article in full, please click here

Businesses need better automation to regain control of their data centers

The cloud continues to grow in popularity as businesses look to take advantage of digital trends. However, the term “cloud” is multi-definitional and means different things to different types of organizations. In the small-business segment, cloud likely means software as a service (SaaS), as those organizations want turnkey applications offered on a pay-as-you-go model. For larger companies, cloud means public infrastructure as a service, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.  [ Related: How to plan a software-defined data-center network ] Private clouds are alive and kicking For large businesses, the cloud likely means hybrid where private data centers make up most or even all of the cloud infrastructure. The ZK Research 2018 Global Cloud Forecast projected that by 2020, there would be more workloads in private clouds than in public clouds or available as legacy on-premises workloads. (Note: I am an employee of ZK Research.)To read this article in full, please click here

The rise of next-generation network packet brokers

Network packet brokers (NPB) have played a key role in helping organizations manage their management and security tools. The tool space has exploded, and there is literally a tool for almost everything. Cybersecurity, probes, network performance management, forensics, application performance, and other tools have become highly specialized, causing companies to experience something called “tool sprawl” where connecting a large number of tools into the infrastructure creates a big complex mesh of connections.Ideally, every tool would receive information from every network device, enabling it to have a complete view of what’s happening, who is accessing what, where they are coming in from, and when events occurred.To read this article in full, please click here

The rise of next-generation network packet brokers

Network packet brokers (NPB) have played a key role in helping organizations manage their management and security tools. The tool space has exploded, and there is literally a tool for almost everything. Cybersecurity, probes, network performance management, forensics, application performance, and other tools have become highly specialized, causing companies to experience something called “tool sprawl” where connecting a large number of tools into the infrastructure creates a big complex mesh of connections.Ideally, every tool would receive information from every network device, enabling it to have a complete view of what’s happening, who is accessing what, where they are coming in from, and when events occurred.To read this article in full, please click here

The rise of next-generation network packet brokers

Network packet brokers (NPB) have played a key role in helping organizations manage their management and security tools. The tool space has exploded, and there is literally a tool for almost everything. Cybersecurity, probes, network performance management, forensics, application performance, and other tools have become highly specialized, causing companies to experience something called “tool sprawl” where connecting a large number of tools into the infrastructure creates a big complex mesh of connections.Ideally, every tool would receive information from every network device, enabling it to have a complete view of what’s happening, who is accessing what, where they are coming in from, and when events occurred.To read this article in full, please click here

Get the facts on SD-WAN: Understanding the most common myths

The topic of SD-WAN has been a hot one over the past several years. This makes sense because in most companies, the WAN hasn’t been updated for decades and SD-WANs have the potential to modernize the network and bring it into alignment with the rest of IT.However, like most new technologies, I find there are a number of common misconceptions when it comes to SD-WANs. Part of the problem is that the vendor ecosystem has exploded, and the many vendors that approach the market from different angles muddy the waters — making it hard to discern what’s real, what’s misleading, and what's downright wrong.[ Click here to find out more about SD-WAN and why you’ll use it one day and learn about WANs and where they’re headed. | Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] The top SD-WAN myths To help buyers make sense of what's happening in the SD-WAN world, here are seven myths to watch out for — and why they aren't correct.To read this article in full, please click here

Get the facts on SD-WAN: Understanding the most common myths

The topic of SD-WAN has been a hot one over the past several years. This makes sense because in most companies, the WAN hasn’t been updated for decades and SD-WANs have the potential to modernize the network and bring it into alignment with the rest of IT.However, like most new technologies, I find there are a number of common misconceptions when it comes to SD-WANs. Part of the problem is that the vendor ecosystem has exploded, and the many vendors that approach the market from different angles muddy the waters — making it hard to discern what’s real, what’s misleading, and what's downright wrong.[ Click here to find out more about SD-WAN and why you’ll use it one day and learn about WANs and where they’re headed. | Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] The top SD-WAN myths To help buyers make sense of what's happening in the SD-WAN world, here are seven myths to watch out for — and why they aren't correct.To read this article in full, please click here

ThousandEyes provides data, visualization tools for multi-cloud environments

For most businesses, the decision of “to cloud or not to cloud” has been answered with a resounding yes. The burning question now is which cloud provider to use, and that has no easy answer because every cloud provider has different pricing models and strengths and weaknesses.The reality is that almost every business of any significant size will embrace the concept of multi-cloud where a combination of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and others are used.Multi-cloud rapidly becomes the norm Several factors are driving companies to multi-cloud — some business related and others technical that will continue to force this architecture upon companies. Pricing considerations and avoiding being beholden to a single vendor are a couple of issues that business leaders might be concerned with, whereas tools, innovation and functionality are factors that developers and IT individuals would prioritize when making a choice.To read this article in full, please click here

ThousandEyes provides data, visualization tools for multi-cloud environments

For most businesses, the decision of “to cloud or not to cloud” has been answered with a resounding yes. The burning question now is which cloud provider to use, and that has no easy answer because every cloud provider has different pricing models and strengths and weaknesses.The reality is that almost every business of any significant size will embrace the concept of multi-cloud where a combination of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and others are used.Multi-cloud rapidly becomes the norm Several factors are driving companies to multi-cloud — some business related and others technical that will continue to force this architecture upon companies. Pricing considerations and avoiding being beholden to a single vendor are a couple of issues that business leaders might be concerned with, whereas tools, innovation and functionality are factors that developers and IT individuals would prioritize when making a choice.To read this article in full, please click here

Network professionals should think SD-Branch, not just SD-WAN

Earlier this year, fellow industry analyst Lee Doyle wrote a blog post on the software-defined branch (SD-Branch) market hitting $3 billion by 2022. Doyle defines the SD-Branch as having SD-WAN, routing, network security, and LAN/Wi-Fi functions all in one platform with integrated, centralized management. An SD-Branch can be thought of as the next step after SD-WAN, as the latter transforms the transport and the former focuses on things in the branch, such as optimizing user experience and improving security.I don’t often critique other analysts work, as their opinion is theirs and not everyone agrees. However, in this case, I don't think “all in one platform” should be a requirement. The integrated and centralized management hits the nail on the head, but the software should act as a management overlay, so even though the infrastructure isn’t a “single box,” it’s managed like it.To read this article in full, please click here

Network professionals should think SD-Branch, not just SD-WAN

Earlier this year, fellow industry analyst Lee Doyle wrote a blog post on the software-defined branch (SD-Branch) market hitting $3 billion by 2022. Doyle defines the SD-Branch as having SD-WAN, routing, network security, and LAN/Wi-Fi functions all in one platform with integrated, centralized management. An SD-Branch can be thought of as the next step after SD-WAN, as the latter transforms the transport and the former focuses on things in the branch, such as optimizing user experience and improving security.I don’t often critique other analysts work, as their opinion is theirs and not everyone agrees. However, in this case, I don't think “all in one platform” should be a requirement. The integrated and centralized management hits the nail on the head, but the software should act as a management overlay, so even though the infrastructure isn’t a “single box,” it’s managed like it.To read this article in full, please click here

Digital businesses need a smarter network edge

As the world has become more cloud- and IoT-centric, the network has increased in value. That is why there has been so much focus on network evolution, particularly in the data center and the wide area network.One part of the network that has lagged in innovation, however, is the network edge. Over the years, the edge of the network has been considered by many to be a commodity. And for many businesses, it is in dire need of a refresh. I’ve talked to some organizations that are running network edge infrastructure that’s approaching 10 years old and haven’t even had a software upgrade in years.[ Related: Getting grounded in intent-based networking ] The network edge needs to evolve However, in the words of the esteemed song writer Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a changing” — and so is the role of the network edge.To read this article in full, please click here

Digital businesses need a smarter network edge

As the world has become more cloud- and IoT-centric, the network has increased in value. That is why there has been so much focus on network evolution, particularly in the data center and the wide area network.One part of the network that has lagged in innovation, however, is the network edge. Over the years, the edge of the network has been considered by many to be a commodity. And for many businesses, it is in dire need of a refresh. I’ve talked to some organizations that are running network edge infrastructure that’s approaching 10 years old and haven’t even had a software upgrade in years.[ Related: Getting grounded in intent-based networking ] The network edge needs to evolve However, in the words of the esteemed song writer Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a changing” — and so is the role of the network edge.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins: Get ready for the network’s next act

Cisco’s annual user event, Cisco Live, is being held in Orlando, Florida, this week. While Orlando is home to DisneyWorld, Universal Studios and other places where fantasies come true, the one thing that isn’t make-believe is the turnaround of Cisco since Chuck Robbins took over as CEO. When the baton was passed to Robbins in August of 2015, Cisco’s stock was trading at about $25/share and had been moving sideways for years. Today, it’s trading at about $45/share and at a 17-year high, and the turnaround is well underway.Cisco goes back to the network How did Robbins get Cisco’s mojo’s back in such a short period of time? The answer lies in its roots and a refocus on the network. In fact, when Robbins took over as CEO, I wrote a post outlining some priorities for him as he stepped into the role. My first point was to approach IT through the lens of the network. In the years leading up to the transition to Robbins, I felt Cisco had tried too hard to prove itself as a server and traditional IT vendor instead of staying true to networking.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins: Get ready for the network’s next act

Cisco’s annual user event, Cisco Live, is being held in Orlando, Florida, this week. While Orlando is home to DisneyWorld, Universal Studios and other places where fantasies come true, the one thing that isn’t make-believe is the turnaround of Cisco since Chuck Robbins took over as CEO. When the baton was passed to Robbins in August of 2015, Cisco’s stock was trading at about $25/share and had been moving sideways for years. Today, it’s trading at about $45/share and at a 17-year high, and the turnaround is well underway.Cisco goes back to the network How did Robbins get Cisco’s mojo’s back in such a short period of time? The answer lies in its roots and a refocus on the network. In fact, when Robbins took over as CEO, I wrote a post outlining some priorities for him as he stepped into the role. My first point was to approach IT through the lens of the network. In the years leading up to the transition to Robbins, I felt Cisco had tried too hard to prove itself as a server and traditional IT vendor instead of staying true to networking.To read this article in full, please click here

Automation critical to scalable network security

Securing the business network has been and continues to be one of the top initiatives for engineers. Suffering a breach can have catastrophic consequences to a business, including lawsuits, fines, and brand damage from which some companies never recover.To combat this, security professionals have deployed a number of security tools, including next-generation firewalls (NGFW) such as Cisco’s Firepower, which is one of the most widely deployed in the industry. Managing firewalls becomes increasingly difficult Managing a product like Firepower has become increasingly difficult, though, because the speed at which changes need to be made has increased. Digital businesses operate at a pace never seen before in the business world, and the infrastructure teams need to keep up. If they can’t operate at this accelerated pace, the business will suffer. And firewall rules continue to grow in number and complexity, making it nearly impossible to update them manually.To read this article in full, please click here

Automation critical to scalable network security

Securing the business network has been and continues to be one of the top initiatives for engineers. Suffering a breach can have catastrophic consequences to a business, including lawsuits, fines, and brand damage from which some companies never recover.To combat this, security professionals have deployed a number of security tools, including next-generation firewalls (NGFW) such as Cisco’s Firepower, which is one of the most widely deployed in the industry. Managing firewalls becomes increasingly difficult Managing a product like Firepower has become increasingly difficult, though, because the speed at which changes need to be made has increased. Digital businesses operate at a pace never seen before in the business world, and the infrastructure teams need to keep up. If they can’t operate at this accelerated pace, the business will suffer. And firewall rules continue to grow in number and complexity, making it nearly impossible to update them manually.To read this article in full, please click here

End-to-end data, analytics key to solving application performance problems

As someone who used to work in corporate IT, I can attest to the fact that in general, workers and IT are at odds most of the time. Part of the problem is the tools that IT uses has never provided the right information to help the technical people understand what the user is experiencing.That is why help desks are often referred to as “the no help desk” or “helpless desk” by the internal employees. Users call the help desk when an application isn’t performing the way it should, and IT is looking at a dashboard where everything is green and indicates things should be working.Traditional network management tools don’t provide the right information The main reason for this mismatch is that traditional network management tends to look at the IT environment through the lens of infrastructure instead of what the user experiences. Looking at specific infrastructure components doesn’t provide any view of the end-to-end environment, leading to a false sense of how things are running.To read this article in full, please click here

Increased programmability brings more options to networks

Options. Everyone needs options. Whenever I travel somewhere with my wife, Christine, even if it’s for a weekend, she needs to check a bag. When I ask her why, she says, “A girl needs options,” hence the oversize luggage.While it’s been easy for someone like my wife to have options, network engineers have never really had the same luxury. Network switches were typically built with fixed functionality, so an organization would need to purchase a wide range of equipment to meet all their needs. Network professionals need greater flexibility from the network Recently, the chip manufacturers have been building more programmable, flexible products. One of the examples of this is the Cavium XPliant processor that is the silicon that powers Arista’s 7160 switch. Another example is the Barefoot Networks Tofino processor. In addition to being one of the most scenic places on the planet, Tofino is a powerful system on a chip with a fully programmable parser and pipeline. The chip supports 256x 25 Gig-E Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) at speeds of 1, 10, 25, 40, 50, and 100 Gig-E.To read this article in full, please click here

Increased programmability brings more options to networks

Options. Everyone needs options. Whenever I travel somewhere with my wife, Christine, even if it’s for a weekend, she needs to check a bag. When I ask her why, she says, “A girl needs options,” hence the oversize luggage.While it’s been easy for someone like my wife to have options, network engineers have never really had the same luxury. Network switches were typically built with fixed functionality, so an organization would need to purchase a wide range of equipment to meet all their needs. Network professionals need greater flexibility from the network Recently, the chip manufacturers have been building more programmable, flexible products. One of the examples of this is the Cavium XPliant processor that is the silicon that powers Arista’s 7160 switch. Another example is the Barefoot Networks Tofino processor. In addition to being one of the most scenic places on the planet, Tofino is a powerful system on a chip with a fully programmable parser and pipeline. The chip supports 256x 25 Gig-E Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) at speeds of 1, 10, 25, 40, 50, and 100 Gig-E.To read this article in full, please click here

1 2 3 25