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crack.jpegFor decades, the people who bought infrastructure were the same people (or at least working for the same company) as the people who used that infrastructure. Put less obtusely, companies were responsible for buying, building, and ultimately using the compute, storage, networking, and applications on which their businesses relied. 
 
That dynamic is changing, and I believe there will ultimately be a bifurcation of the infrastructure markets. This will fundamentally change how this technology is bought and used, and likely how it is developed to suit those markets.
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Credit: https://performingarts.wsu.edu/performances/2015fall/don-quixote.htmlCredit: https://performingarts.wsu.edu/performances/2015fall/don-quixote.html

For most people, automation is a set of scripts designed to make their lives just a little bit easier when handling the common day-to-day tasks that always seem to take longer than we wish. But if the end goal of automation is to take away the mundane, we are collectively aiming way, way, way, way, way too low. 
 
Ok, so where should be aiming instead?
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It’s not that automation is not something that people see as important, but despite the desire, automation in networking has been an empty promise for decades. That said, every networking vendor has pitched some form of automation as part of their standard messaging for years. But the on-the-ground reality for the vast majority of people using this networking equipment is that automation is still a future, something that exists just beyond the horizon and never seems to get closer.
 
But why?
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What many people in the network world need is a workflow sherpa - someone to carry the automation load as they ascend the automation Everest so they can get a peak of the valley on the other side. Talking about the millionth step before having taken the first is premature and not extremely helpful.

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SDN: Your Questions Answered in Under Five Minutes

by Trusted Contributor on ‎10-17-2012 10:45 AM - last edited on ‎10-18-2012 04:27 PM by Shelly Selick

The networking world remains abuzz about software-defined networking (SDN). Much has been said about the disruptive nature of this technology and how it will make network management easier while reducing costs. I’ve contributed to the discussion too, as has Juniper’s founder Pradeep Sindhu in this video. All of this has generated a tremendous amount of online chatter in communities that live, sleep and breathe networking – but what is everyone really saying? Is anyone beyond the networking cocoon talking about SDN?

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So what do these companies have in common? They are all going to be on the panel at the MIT/Stanford Veture Lab's (VLAB) upcoming "The Revolution of Software Defined Networks." The event is Tuesday, October 16, from 7p-8:30p at Stanford University (click here for full event details).

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Motivation Matters

by Trusted Contributor on ‎08-27-2012 08:11 AM

Software-defined networking, or SDN, is emerging as a trend in networking that’s attracting huge attention from vendors, media and industry analysts. Our temptation is to compare SDN investments, product offerings, technologies, and engineering skills to see who we think will rise to the top. This is the equivalent of picking the Super Bowl favorites as we head into training camp. It is fun to do, and chances are some of us will guess right. But ultimately it’s too early today to pick winners – Super Bowl or SDN.

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We are currently embroiled in a policy war that will ultimately shape how the Internet is designed, built, and used. The implications could be far-reaching, altering in significant ways who has access to what information and how both individuals and companies do businessover the Internet. And all of this is happening with very little fanfare. If the stakes are so high, why are so few people paying close attention?

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A little over 3 years ago, Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris disappeared mid-flight. In the years since, there has been a ton of research, analysis, and speculation to determine what exactly caused the Airbus A320-200 to crash. The parallels between this tragedy and the networking world are striking. In an SDN world, is there something we can learn from how Boeing and Airbus design planes?

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So when I started this blog, I said that I would tackle technology topics from a strategic perspective. In terms of technologies, is there a hotter topic in our industry than SDN? And is there anything more “strategic” than the ubiquitous 2x2 matrix? Methinks the answer to both is ‘no’.

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