StarWind Gives You a Gateway to the Cloud

Rich Stroffolino reviews what he saw from StarWind at Storage Field Day. He particularly looks at their “cloud gateway” hardware, that lets you have addressable cloud storage via a standard SATA interface. It’s an interesting bridge device that could be used to replace spinning disks for cold data.

Tech Field Day Gets Containerized at DockerCon and Cloud Field Day

Rich Stroffolino is excited for Tech Field Day Extra from DockerCon. This event will be in partnership with Docker, and feature presentation from them and other companies in their ecosystem. Make sure to mark your calendar for April 17th!

Intel Optane Enters the Market

Rich Stroffolino gives his thoughts on Intel’s release of their first commercial 3D XPoint product, the Optane P4800X. He situates where its initial $1500+ price tag puts it within the world of new storage technology, what the new tech should be good for in the data center, and similarities to existing storage-as-memory products.

NetApp’s Dave Hitz on the Cloud

Rich Stroffolino wrote up his thoughts on NetApp founder Dave Hitz’s talk about how the could has impacted enterprise IT in general, and how NetApp has responded. It was a fairly honest appraisal, with Dave admitting the company’s position two years ago was not completely competitive within their market. Overall, he found the cloud is not a zero-sum game, and that even on-prem solution could stand to a little “cloudification”.

LoRaWAN: Cisco’s Sensor Solution for IoT

Rich Stroffolino looks at some of the interesting ideas coming out of Cisco Live Europe. For their approach to IoT, Cisco is utilizing LoRaWAN, which allows for low power sensors to last up to 10 years on an embedded battery. For systems that only require infrequent send and receive, it’s a compelling idea.

Platform9 Simplifies Cloud Infrastructure

At Tech Field Day, Platform9 presented on their unique cloud solution. Rich Stroffolino came away impressed. It’s essentially a service for easing the setup and maintenance of a private or hybrid cloud. This can make the deployment of OpenStack and Kubernetes done in a matter of minutes, with none of the maintenance headaches to worry about down the line.

Cisco and Apple Now Support Better Wi-Fi, QoS for Apps

Rich Stroffolino reviews the results of Apple and Cisco partnership after roughly a year. The two major announcement help add QoS to iOS apps, and improving wireless performance. The Fast Lane technology allows administrators to setup whitelists for specific apps. These apps mark outgoing packets with QoS qualifiers that will be recognized on a Cisco network, and otherwise won’t impede performance. Wi-Fi roaming is improved by using native Cisco Access Point intelligence on top of the already supports 802.11k/v protocols. Overall, its a promising initial set of announcements from the collaboration.

Dell EMC: When Two Hearts Beat As One

Rich Stroffolino takes a look at Dell EMC’s update on VxRail from Tech Field Day this month. For him, it was an interesting look at the process of merging two large companies together. As far as VxRail goes, the company has been met with a lot of sales success, but was also upfront on what they needed to improve on. Overall, Rich found that VxRail hasn’t lost any of its focus by merging with Dell’s PowerEdge team. Indeed, the expanded hardware offerings now make it an even more enticing HCI solution.

Nyansa’s Comparative Analytics

Rich Stroffolino reviews Nyansa’s networking monitoring solution from Networking Field Day last month. He was really impressed how the solution allowed you to measure not just objective measures like latency, speed, and packet loss, but also compare performance among similar network configurations. In a crowded networking monitoring space, it’s a key differentiator that really allows Nyansa to stand out.

Rich Stroffolino

Rich Stroffolino is Señor Editor for Gestalt IT

Silver Peak’s End-to-End SD-WAN

There’s a lot of agreement in the enterprise about what is wanted out of an SD-WAN solution, but a lot of different ways of getting there. Rich Stroffolino looks at a solution from Silver Peak. Instead of using deep packet inspection, the company uses it’s end-to-end network control to derive their analytics. This allows for an understanding of network traffic from the very first packet, which allows the SD-WAN to be more secure and efficient. It’s a really interesting spin on this booming technology.

Simplify SD-WAN with Riverbed

At Networking Field Day last week, Rich Stroffolino came away impressed with Riverbed. Their SD-WAN solution is based around making things as simple as possible. They showed in real time how to get an SD-WAN site online with just a few simple clicks and an IP address. All of this is while still providing comprehensive policy based tools to make it easy to give specific apps, users and locations the correct priority. Their guiding principle is that a network exists to move a packet from one place to another, how it’s managed should be as simple as possible. As Riverbed said in their presentation, “you can either make the sausage or enjoy the sausage.”

DDoS Detection with Big Switch Networks

DDoS attacks made major headlines in 2016. Even when not heard about publicly, they can be costly for businesses as the disrupt operations and mission critical services. At Networking Field Day last week, Big Switch Networks outlined their DDoS detection platform, called the BigSecure Architecture. Rich Stroffolino looks at this architecture as taking the ordinarily linear chain of security from the public internet to the data center, and adds a variety of countermeasures to loop in and detect malformed traffic caused by a DDoS attack. The ultimate goal is to always allow legitimate traffic in, and to coordinate with mitigation solutions once an attack is detected.

Getting Full Resolution with Kentik Detect

At Networking Field Day last week, Kentik introduced their network monitoring solution, Kentik Detect. Rich Stroffolino came away impressed with it. The company is dedicated to make sure you always are able to get a full resolution view of what is going on with the network, instead of replying on inaccurate samples or composites. This dedication led them to develop a completely new engine, backed by a new database design, to make sure all streaming information is logged at incredibly efficient speeds.

The Quest for the Self-Driving Network with Juniper Networks

Rich Stroffolino takes a look at what Juniper Networks presented at Networking Field Day last week. What really interested him was the company’s philosophical approach they laid out during the event. Instead of trying to simply implement a ton of features for network automation, Juniper takes a much more systematic approach. They laid out their ultimate goal, to create a fully self-driving network. In the presentation, they outline what it will take to get there, and how their current solution fits into that roadmap.

Barefoot Networks and the Burden of Design

Rich Stroffolino looks at what Barefoot Networks presented at Networking Field Day. It’s a pretty ambitious product, a completely programmable networking switch called Tofino. It uses the P4 programming language to allow for everything from the parser to all tables to be customized or excluded all together. Tofino offers this without compromising performance, in fact, Barefoot claims it’s the fastest switch in the world, capable of 6.5Tb per second. Rich has more details and implications in the piece.

ZeroStack and the Complex Cloud Conundrum

In an age where everything from WAN to security is being defined by software in the enterprise, have we reached the saturation point? Rich Stroffolino thinks there’s one big part of the enterprise left, the data center itself. He takes a look at what ZeroStack will be doing to make a self-driving cloud environment possible. They’ll be releasing their full solution in February, but it’s a fascinating preview.

Ixia Works Out Its Network Trust Issues

Rich Stroffolino looks at what Ixia presented at Networking Field Day last month. Their product portfolio is pretty packed, but focused around network visibility. The presentation have Rich a new appreciation for the problem. Ixia has a comprehensive system of network probes and packet brokers to ensure zero-packet loss for monitoring solutions. Overall it’s an impressive offering.

Enterprise Focused SD-WAN with Viptela

Rich Stroffolino looks at what Viptela presented at Networking Field Day last month. Overall, he found there approach interesting. Instead of being service provider focused for SD-WAN, Viptela designed their solution specifically for the enterprise. This allows them to address a lot of business needs directly. One of these is for multi-tenant locations, where SD-WAN can separate traffic without having to install a whole separate infrastructure. Overall, the approach opened up Rich’s ideas of what SD-WAN can do.

The Quest for Verification with Forward Networks

Forward Networks gave a presentation fresh out of stealth mode at Networking Field Day, and it certainly made an impression with Rich Stroffolino. He outlines how the company is doing their network monitoring. They model all possible places a packet can go on a network in a constantly updating software model. This allows you to not only react when problems occur, but also for better planning and provisioning, since you can model traffic very accurately in the software model. We’ll wait to see how their solution gets deployed in an actual enterprise, but on a theoretical level it’s fascinating.