I saw Barefoot Networks at Networking Field Day last week. And the primary takeaway I got was how hard it is to design a standard network switch, and ASICs in general. What I never realized was the latency involved in this process, which is kind of funny for networking equipment. They laid out the problem as enterprise customers go to the network equipment companies and ask for a feature. If it’s a big customer or enough people ask for it, the equipment folks need to go to their software team to see how they are going to implement this, then go to their ASIC team to have this designed into their hardware. After all this time (often several years), the equipment maker then produces the switch. This equipment is now many years delayed from when that feature was needed, which is now locked into the hardware, and enters a completely different networking landscape. Barefoot Networks totally rethinks this idea.
Tech Field Day Events
Comparison can also be a powerful tool. When framed against your peers, it can show you how something is relatively performing. In enterprise IT, it’s easy to get caught up in absolute metrics. We all have targets of how many IOPS we need, or how much latency is too much. But comparative metrics are also important. It would be nice to know if with an identical network setup, someone is getting substantially better performance overall. If nothing else, this give you an idea of where to start looks when problems come up. Most network monitoring and analytics focus on raw numbers without a comparison context. Nyansa’s Voyance solution puts it front and center.
Abstraction as a tool is nothing new. But a new trend I’m seeing from recent events is combining it with intentionality. This moves the abstraction from a tool to overview complexity, and into the ability to manage and direct it. At Networking Field Day this week, I saw such an implementation from Anuta Networks and their NCX network orchestration solution
The software-defined movement in enterprise IT seems exhausting at times. Are we saturated in solutions? There certainly are a burgeoning number of companies across a number of areas. But one area without much in the way of a solution is the cloud managed data center. This is where ZeroStack comes in.
The Tech Field Day team has a full roster of events for 2017. They will host two main events, starting in Austin from February 1st-3rd. The second comes on September 27th-29th in Silicon Valley. In between, there will also be three Tech Field Day Extra events at Intertop, Cisco Live US, and VMWorld US.
In 2017, Gestalt IT presents three Storage Field Day events, bringing together our independent delegates with industry-leading companies. The first will be held March 8-10 in Silicon Valley, followed by June 14-16 in Denver, and November 8-10 in Silicon Valley. Video from all of our events is live-streamed for anyone to view, and comprehensive recordings are posted and shared for later consumption or review. The Storage Field Day community also has a thriving presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to continue conversations throughout the year.
Tech Field Day is seven years old! Organizer in Chief Stephen Foskett looks back on how it got started, how its grown, and what the future looks like.