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A Three Minute Guide to Network Automation Bliss

The cloud computing paradigm has been making steady progress in 2016. With the DevOps model making its way from cloud to networking, the business upside of fully automated service architectures is finally beginning to materialize. The associated service agility is expected to unleash new business models that transform the ways in which applications and connectivity can be consumed. more»

Death of Transit: A Need to Prevent Fragmentation

Way back in the olden days, folks decided that cities should invest lots of money in public transportation systems. The reasons were many fold, including reducing the number of individual vehicles being driven in too, and parked in, congested "downtown" areas, and increasing traffic to businesses in those areas, increasing their commercial viability. Many of these systems are sold to the public with the idea that they will (at least) break even against capital and operational expenses over time, but the reality is far different. more»

Building a Base of Knowledge for Advocacy Abroad in the Digital Age

Answering questions at the Internet Association's Virtuous Circle conference last week, Secretary Kerry presented the U.S. Department of State's effort to prioritize global digital economy issues abroad in order to reflect the growing importance of these issues in both economic and foreign policy. The State Department has made real progress on this initiative in the last year and hopes to continue our momentum going forward. more»

The Internet's Climate Quandary and the Inconvenience of Practicing What We Preach

It all started earlier this year in June. I was coding transcripts of the past global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meetings as part of a data mining exercise for DiploFoundation's Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). Pouring over transcript after transcript, the work was tedious, but I was learning a great deal about the Internet governance community as well. My interest was piqued by the conversations, the familiar names I came across, and the multi-stakeholder manifestation of politics, perspectives, and positions. more»

Transformation - the Real Business Case for NFV and SDN

2016 has seen a steady flow of announcements on successful Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Proof-of-Concept deployments, mostly focused on virtualizing Customer Premise Equipment (vCPE). This has been a relatively straight forward starting point because unlike many other NFV applications, the vCPE use case does not involve complex activities like having to scale in or out individual services. more»

The Lean and Antifragile Data Centre

Cloud is a new technology domain, and data centre engineering is still a developing discipline. I have interviewed a top expert in cloud infrastructure, Pete Cladingbowl. He has a vision of the 'lean' data centre and a better kind of Internet for users to reach it. He also has a roadmap for how these can be practically realised. The key is to apply established theories of value flow from more mature industries. more»

What's Holding Back NFV Deployments?

Back in early 2012, the media was all over stack wars that reportedly were taking place between Cisco and VMware. This culminated in VMware's Nicira acquisition in July 2012, paving the way for the coming of software-based networking. Four years later, the market still remains in development mode. Many service providers and enterprises are trying to come to grips with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN). more»

AfPIF Brings Together Internet Players

If you are passionate about ICT policy, Peering, and Interconnection, then the Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) is the place to be. The 7th annual AfPIF takes place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 30 August – 1 September 2016. AfPIF is a multistakeholder forum organized by the Internet Society that brings together a diverse range of business leaders, infrastructure providers, Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), international financial institutions, policy-makers, and regulators from all over the world. more»

Complexity and Crashes

It's a familiar story by now: on the 8th of August, 2016, Delta lost power to its Atlanta data center, causing the entire data center to fail. Thousands of flights were cancelled, many more delayed, and tens of thousands of travellers stranded. What's so unusual about this event is in the larger scheme of network engineering, it's not that unusual. If I think back to my time on the Escalation Team at a large vendor, I can think of hundreds of situations like this. And among all those events, there is one point in common: it takes longer to boot the system than it does to fix the initial problem. more»

Hyperconvergence, Disaggregation, and Cloud: The Foggy Future of Network Engineering

The world of networking tends to be bistable: we either centralize everything, or we decentralize everything. We started with mainframes, passed through Lotus 123 hidden in corners, then to mini's and middleware, then to laptops, and now to the cloud, to be followed by fog. This particular cycle of centralization/decentralization, however, has produced a series of overlapping changes that are difficult to decipher. You can somehow hear someone arguing about disaggregation and hyperconvergence through the fog -- but just barely. more»