The Winds of Change From January

Some quick thoughts on networking from my last couple of weeks at Networking Field Day 17 and Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe:

  • Cisco is in the middle of turning a big ship away from hardware. All their innovation is coming in the software side of the house. Big announcements around network assurance. It’s not enough any more to do the things. Now you need to prove they were done and show your work. Context and Intent only work if you can quantitatively show that they were applied.
  • Containers are still a thing. Cisco has a new container platform. I also had the chance to chat with a startup called AppOrbit that’s doing some interesting things around containers but including storage and networking. They should be primed for some announcements soon, so stayed tuned for that!
  • Automation is cool again. Well, maybe it never stopped being cool. But thanks to Extreme Networks and Juniper people are really hopping on the train to talk more about removing the limitations of the CLI and doing it with tools like Slack. Check out Lindsay Hill and Matt Oswalt showing this off to people in some finely crafted demos.
  • 2018 is the year that the CLI dies. Sure, we’ll go with that. Between Slack and Github and even Cisco’s push to drive ACI through literally everything we’re going to see more and more people configuring networks with a mouse instead of a keyboard. Which is a bit crazy when you think about it, but it’s not so far fetched as you might think compared to the way people are configuring AWS right now. I dare you to find the CLI for AWS’s switches in your control panel.
  • Lastly, change is inevitable. People reading through the above items may say to themselves that their job is going to away. They may worry that they’re going to be an old fuddy duddy before they know it. If you never want to change, that’s fine. As Truman Boyes said this week: But if you want to really succeed and move along, you can’t be afraid to change. You need to pick up new skills and learn new things. Oceans and rivers don’t erode mountains because they are there. They wear them down because they are incapable of moving and changing. Change is thrust upon them.

Tom’s Take

Go out and make a change this week. Do something different. Use a different treadmill for your workout. Visit a store you’ve never seen before. Place yourself in a different situation and see how you respond to it. Then come back to your desk and look at your work. Look at containers and automation with new eyes. I bet it will look a lot less scary and lot more fun to you. Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it and grow.


3 thoughts on “The Winds of Change From January

  1. Even as a small shop, I am looking forward to the day when api’s are just a given. Would be nice to write my own scripts that power up the POE ports on a switch that are connected to the WiFi APs, and power it down each night, after looking at my config file to see if it is a holiday (skip those days) or if there is a night meeting (sleep shutdown x hours). I do this now, but have to use POE injectors plugged into a Digital Loggers power switch that /is/ api driven – our current Cisco switches cannot be api controlled with a Perl script from our server. A number of other ideas will be possible soon I think.

  2. Pingback: The Winds of Change From January - Tech Field Day

  3. The automation “visionaries” are living in a field unconnected to reality. Their assumptions about the network assume network resources and operations which exist only in 24x7x365 datacenters. I was at a seaside residence where network connectivity depended on the weather and clouds. Will their automation frameworks include network problem determination, wait states and queues, application notification and management of network instability, and other real world mitigation?

    I could find a network with API architecture and framework useful. But the computer field continues to ignore where the applications intersect with reality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s