|By Michael Bushong||
|January 8, 2014 06:00 AM EST||
I have commented a few times (here and here) that the move towards software-defined everything means that new combatants will be stepping into what has been traditionally been a fairly sparsely populated networking boxing ring. If one of the end games for SDN is a tighter link between applications and the network, then it was always only a matter of time before the networking guys stepped into applications, and the application guys stepped into networking.
And so as Oracle announces another acquisition in the SDN space, this appears to be playing out as predicted.
In case you missed it, Oracle announced this week that they were acquiring WAN virtualization player Corente, whose “policy-defined and enforced abstraction layer…replaces the hard-wired enterprise network with an intelligent software-defined one.”
There are a few stories about the acquisition here:
So what does this mean for the networking industry?
This is the next step in what will likely be a long journey from enterprise software into broader IT infrastructure. The future of IT is not silos of compute, storage, networking, and applications. So any company whose ambition is to be the leading IT vendor will need to broaden their portfolio to include the various elements. This means that companies like Oracle will need to add aspects of networking to their existing compute, storage, and application assets.
It also means that traditional networking vendors will need to, at some point, expand their own reach across the infrastructure/application boundary. And the faster that Oracle moves, the more quickly those changes will play out.
None of this is lost on Cisco, by the way. At their Insieme coming-out party, CEO John Chambers didn’t talk about networking. His dialogue with analysts and reporters has consistently targeted Cisco’s objectives to be the leading IT company.
Two titans squaring off in a bout with stakes as large as the whole of IT spend will have repercussions for the entire industry.
- Selling motions will evolve, which will change infrastructure insertion. If the IT silos do in fact come down, then what triggers new infrastructure purchases? Today, infrastructure purchases are largely capacity-based. I need this many new servers, which will drive this much new storage and network capacity. But is it possible that you start to see application-led sales? I want to deploy this enterprise application for this many users across this many data centers. Over time, it is conceivable that supporting infrastructure is pulled through. Obviously, this won’t happen overnight, and it certainly won’t happen everywhere.
- Product bundling will match the selling motions. If the purchasing behavior is around these broader IT solutions, then vendors will start to bundle their products that way as well. This means that purchases at the largest enterprises become even more about volume purchase agreements. This makes life hard for anyone who is competing in the networking space on price. If the network is getting pulled along with compute, storage, and applications, the larger vendors can just drop the price contribution for networking gear, effectively negating any cost advantages. Blending margins across a portfolio (particularly one that includes software products) is common practice already.
- Differentiation will move from price to value. This is one of those Oh Duh! observations that ought to be happening anyway, but it is worth pointing out that if you are not competing at the overarching IT solution level, you better be offering value of some sort underneath. Being cheaper won’t cut it. You have to be able to demonstrate how you contribute to the broader IT experience. This should expand the double-Ex discussion from CapEx and OpEx to CapEx, OpEx, and AppEx (application experience).
- In solutions, orchestration of workflows and workloads is key. Once the universe moves to these broader solutions, there will be an even more urgent requirement to make all these disparate systems work together. This means that integration will become a major sales attack vector. For the big guys, this will shift a larger part of the competitive battle to professional services. How will a company like Oracle who has mastered the professional services business fare in a more technical environment? How will a company like Cisco that has mastered the technical side fare when they have to turn it into a stronger business? And what happens to systems integrators (looking at you, IBM) who will want to compete in the same space? For the smaller players, professional services can help mitigate risk, but it means that gear will need to be designed expressly with integration in mind. Any vendor who doesn’t talk in very explicit terms about this already is in trouble. You have to build integration in from the architectural beginnings; as a bolt-on, integration is not effective.
- The partner landscape will be interesting. If professional services are important for the larger customers, imagine the opportunity that exists for VARs in the mid-sized space? The VARs that are adding integration skills (orchestration, DevOps, and so on) will have a marked advantage over those who do not. There will be large VARs who will be put out of business because they failed to identify and evolve with the shifting sands.
- There will be some wildcard changes as well. I don’t know what they will be (they are wildcards, after all), but what happens to companies that typically lead these large IT transformation initiatives (Accenture, Deloitte, Infosys, PRTM, and so on)? Does this create more opportunity? Does this create more competition? Do they compete with the vendors they support?
- Where are IBM and SAP in all of this? It is probably unfair to call out IBM as they are active in OpenDaylight and have been pursuing DOVE for some time. But what happens to these giants if the battle shifts?
Those of us in the networking industry typically focus on our industry fairly exclusively. But disruption rarely occurs from within. If we are too insular, we will collectively miss the moves at the periphery, which could leave a lot of us out in the cold (even those of us who call the warm West Coast our home).
To read more on this topic, check out:
The post It’s happening – Oracle moves closer still to networking infrastructure appeared first on Plexxi.
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,142
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,545
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,385
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,165
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 715
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,586
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,195
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,153
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,145
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,456
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,427
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,256
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,328
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,154
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,097
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,560
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,686
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,573
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,704
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,731