Brite White Bare Metal

Bare metal

The networking industry is making a decisive move toward open switches. Much of the media’s attention is on mega-scale operators’ do-it-yourself switches such as Facebook’s Wedge, 6-Pack, and Backpack, or Google’s more secretive in-house switches. Analyst Alan Weckel of Dell’Oro Group made the interesting observation that if Google were counted as a switch vendor (with itself as its only customer), it would be the world’s second largest – surpassed only by Cisco. Read More…

Know Your Audience


In my previous blog entry I wrote about "soft skills" every young engineer needs to develop if they want to stand out in their career: speaking in front of an audience, writing clearly and effectively, developing a sense of design, and learning how to tell a story.

I want to follow that up with another bit of advice, based on a video a friend shared with me a few days ago. That advice is: Know your audience!
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Advice for Young Engineers


I've been "friended" on social media by hundreds of network engineering students and young people just beginning their IT careers. Mostly they're people who are aware of my books, or possibly even read one or two of them, and have been bamboozled into thinking I know what I'm talking about. They'll frequently contact me with some variation of the following request: "Can you advise me on how to be successful in my career?"

Of course what they're usually asking is for advice on what certifications they should get, what they should specialize in, what kinds of companies they should try to join, and that sort of thing. But, shoot, you can find all that stuff out with a little research on the Interwebs. The advice I give them is not at all what they were looking for.
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Intent-Based Networking: Beyond the Hype


Marketing departments everywhere have already gotten their teeth into Intent-Based Networking. Just as you were bombarded with "Software-Defined" this-and-that, and "The Cloud" even earlier, until you were left wondering if there was any meaning to either word, you're about to be submerged in "Intent." But just as with SDN and Cloud, Intent-Based Networking is grounded in realistic, innovative ideas that are already seeing practical deployment. If you dig past the fluff, you'll find that IBN is going to significantly change — and improve — the way your network supports your business. Read More…

Designing for Failure

Tacoma Narrows

June’s British Airways IT outage, apparently caused by a power system failure, caused a stir among air travelers and the IT industry alike. Interestingly, the highly publicized August 2016 data center outage at Delta Airlines was also power system related. Why did a failure in a power system component bring down an entire data center? And why did they not have a functioning disaster recovery plan to fail over to a backup data center?
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