Tech News – Gartner, IoT Security, Plexxi Switch

On 27th of July, Gartner published its annual Hype Cycle for Networking and Communications. It assesses network technologies that are most relevant and scores them on benefits rating and maturity levels. Key areas that are at “Peak” levels are SD-WAN, WAN Optimizations, SDN Applications, Cloud Managed Networks and White-Box switching.

Markets are looking to find ways to cut costs and benefit from ROI. All those areas mentioned above are in their “Peak” and moving fast to next phase of “Sliding into the Trough” SD-WAN offers the ability to combine and secure diverse links; drastically reducing WAN costs. Viptela (SD-WAN company) recently signed a Fortune 200 global retailer that are currently deploying the technology to thousands of stores. I’m interested to see what SD-WAN brings to the future and how all these POC pan out. One thing to keep in mind is that every SD-WAN startup has some kind of magic sauce for overlay deployment – creating perfect vendor lock-in.

White-Box switching saves costs by using ‘generic,’ off-the-shelf switching and routing hardware. It’s a fundamental use case of SDN controllers. The intelligence is moved to the controller and white-box functionality is limited to forwarding data packets, without making key policy decisions. It is, however, important not to move 100% of the decision-making to the controller and keep some time-sensitive control planes protocols ( LACP or BFD ) local to the switch.


Internet of Things (IoT) – Another Security Breach

When you start connecting computing infrastructure to physical world, security vulnerability take over a whole new meaning.

Hackers have remotely killed a jeep on the highway in St. Louis. According to Wired, the hackers remotely toyed with the air conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers. They also caused the accelerator to stop working. These exploits will probably continue and part of the problem is that there are a lot of malware factors out there with malicious intent. It’s always been a cat and mouse games with security as hackers come up with ingenious ways to execute exploits. This explains why so much money goes into security and the IoT will definitely drive more money into the security realm. Security prevention mechanism will mitigate these attacks but can they prevent all of them?

Hackers always find a way to move one step ahead of prevention mechanisms. New product development should start with secure codes and architectures. Product teams should not put priority on release dates in front of security. Hackers connecting to real things like cars that can kill people is worrying. The story goes on and on as the creators of technologies do not think the same way as a hacker. Inventors of product and people who attempt to secure those products are not half as inventive as hackers. Hackers get up every morning and think about exploits, they live for it and are extremely creative. The mindset of product innovations must change before IoT is safe to connect physically.


Plexxi – Generation 2 Switch

Plexxi is an SDN startup that recently came out with a new Plexxi  Generation 2 Switch. They are probably the first SDN company to have a working solution for the data centre. Their approach to networking allows you to achieve the full potential of your data and applications by moving beyond static networks.

They have a unique approach that uses a wave division multiplexing on their fabric. They change the nature of physical connectivity between switches. They use unique hardware with merchant silicon inside that allows you to change the architecture of your network at any time without causing data loss. Their affinity SDN controller can rejig the network based on changing bandwidth requirements.

With traditional networking, we create as much bandwidth as possible but generally don’t use all the bandwidth. Plexxi challenge existing network approach and dynamically control the networking bandwidth between switches. Their generation 2 switch can determine what bandwidth is being used on the network and re-architect the network to use as much bandwidth as needed. The network architecture changes based on the flows in the data path. Now, you have a network that changes on demands to meet dynamically changing traffic flows. For example, if you have two switches communicating at 1Gbps but a spike occurs and they now need 40Gbps. Plexxi affinity SDN controller can detect this and automatically allocate more bandwidth to that link.


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