Hardware Still Matters (Sort Of. Maybe.)

As noted recently, network hardware may be on the ropes, but while certainly battered and bruised, it still matters. In fact, more than $1 trillion will be spent on telecom and datacom equipment and software over the next 5 years, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. Last year, sales of telecom and datacom […]

Staying On Top Of The SDN Heap

It’s a good news/bad news situation for Cisco, according to a couple of new reports. The good news is that Cisco still dominates the networking industry, showing its heels to the more than 100 vendors competing for a slice of a $50-billion pie. On the bad news front — or at least problematic from Cisco’s […]

Shake It Up: Converged Infrastructure Requires IT Rethink

A couple of months ago I attended VCE’s first annual analyst conference. For those that don’t know VCE, it’s a joint venture — primarily between Cisco and EMC, with a bit of funding tossed in from VMWare to round out the offering. VCE acts as both a technical integrator and a professional services firm for […]

Lies, Damned Lies, And IT Budgets

Author Mark Twain is said to have lamented the three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. Twain, who knew a thing or two about people, also said “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.“, and given the latest numbers on IT budgets, too many businesses are not paying attention to this formula […]

P-OTS Is Not POTS Anymore, And It’s Anything But Plain

We have come a long way from the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) infrastructure of yesteryear. Indeed, today’s Metro P-OTS (Packet-Optical Transport Services) deliver many thousand times more capacity using less energy, and at a fraction of what customers were paying back in the days of analog voice services. Ciena, a specialist packet-optical network vendor […]

Network Functions Virtualization Enables Cost-Effective Route Reflectors

One of the concerns I hear from network managers regarding all things software defined networks (SDNs) is the lack of use cases for the new technology.  It seems the technology promises to solve so many problems that it’s hard to understand where to start.  Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is no different.  Lots of possibilities, but […]

Hardware: Beginning of the End, or End of the Beginning?

In a recent post here on WANSpeak, Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst at ZK Research, stated that he has evolved from trying to make the case that a software-defined WAN is a good alternative to a traditional WAN, to believing that the SDW should be the only type of wide area network that companies should even […]

The Stupidity Index: We Have Met The Enemy… And He Is Us

You can’t fix stupid, according to Texas funnyman Ron White, but stupidity — or at least human error — is a leading cause of security breaches, and its escalating costs are no laughing matter. I recently came across a novel idea for a new metric for business continuity, the Stupidity Index. ‘If most problems are […]

If It’s Only A Question Of Size, Let’s Throw More At It

When talking about networks, the discussions quite often come down to discussions around bandwidth.  Everyone knows that more is better — well, at least that is the standard thought process anyway. Mainstream wired LAN connections are currently running at the 1Gbps and 10Gbps level, with 40Gbps uplinks being used as well, and virtualization allowing the […]

40G Is Catching On In The Datacenter But…

The latest findings from Infonetics Research should come as no surprise: 40 Gigabit is booming in the data center and 100G is taking off in the core. “Deployments of 1G, 10G, 40G, and 100G ports once again grew significantly in 2013, as enterprises and service providers invested in their networks to accommodate the growth in […]