Today, HP Launches Industry’s Most Complete Software-defined Network Fabric for Cloud. This network fabric is built on HP FlexNetwork architecture, enabling business agility for clients by delivering two times greater scalability and 75 percent less complexity over current network fabrics while reducing network provisioning time from months to minutes.
This is possible by:
- Improving IT productivity by unifying the virtual and physical fabric with new HP FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5900v software, which, in conjunction with the HP FlexFabric 5900 physical switch, delivers advanced networking functionalities such as policies and quality of service to a VMware environment. Integrated Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) technology provides clear separation between server and network administrations to deliver operational simplicity.
- Reducing data center footprint with the HP Virtualized Services Router (VSR), which allows services to be delivered on a virtual machine (VM), eliminating unnecessary hardware, by leveraging the industry's first carrier-class software-based Network Function Virtualization (NFV).
As organizations move to software defined networks, some fundamental changes in the approach will be required and these products are a start down that path. Here is a video with a bit more high level discussion and some details:
I wrote a post about what a technologists can do to be relevant a while back and at the time I thought that a list like this would be relatively transient. It turns out that unlike buzzwords, the underlying technologies are usually here for the long haul -- just ask a COBOL programmer. The half-life of the experience is likely much longer than I thought.
I was in a discussion today where we talked about a list of experiences a technologist needs to have in order to talk with some degree of authority about the next big thing in an enterprise context. Naturally, a person can’t know everything to the same level of depth, but there is a basic, useful level for every strategic technologist to have.
Some of the obvious ones I’ve mentioned before were:
- Install a public cloud-based virtual machine and use it for something
- Write an application for a mobile device and get the app listed in the app store
- Take an on-line class (or maybe a couple every year) through a tool like coursera
A couple of those items would have been as applicable 2-3 years ago as they are today. Some have changed quite radically in their capability in that timeframe. I’ve done each of them at least twice for one reason or another and each time I learned something new.
If I were to add a new one that I haven’t touched in a very long time, it would likely be something to do analytics. There is a bit of a problem with this one though, since having enough data to do something useful and interesting may be tough.
I mentioned I was going to experiment with 3D printing. I now need to find something in the Internet-of-Things space as well.
I’ve probably looked at all these things enough to understand what their good for, but actually tackling a project brings that perspective to a whole other level. The hands-on experience doesn’t need to be production ready quality, since the goal is as much generating the exposure to the issues and ideas as it is solving a particular problem.
What other areas should a technologist tackle? And how? I haven’t even mentioned anything in the networking space. Anyone who has looked under the covers of Software Defined Networks probably knows the depth of impact changes in this space will have for the future.
The book Outliers talked about spending 10,000 hours on an area to become great. I wonder how tackling 400 technology domain experiences allows you to be successful - that’s 10 a year for 40 years.
Lately when I’ve been thinking about an organization’s application portfolio, I’ve begun to evaluate them from a few strategic directions. Sometimes the work that needs to be done may be boring, but prioritizing the portfolio spend defines the innovative nature of a business and our measures may need to change...
Yesterday, on 60 minutes (a prime-time TV news program in the US) there was a story: Are Robots Hurting Job Growth. In this session, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT were interviewed – they wrote Race Against the Machine a couple of years ago. They discussed the changes taking place during this econmic downturn at the technological intersection of automation and employment. The concept of a jobless recovery is one that I’ve mentioned on this blog a few times before. This news interview added some other perspectives about the implications, showing that the employment situation may not be as bleak as some say.
There are a number of things that we can all do to help with this shift in expectations and skills:
1) Support STEM education in schools – more of these skills will be required going forward.
2) Invest time and resources on innovative ideas, turning them into actual innovation – and of course encourage others who are doing the same.
3) Collaborate since diversity of perspective accelerates innovation
I always use cloud computing as an example of the kind of automation and innovation that will be coming to other business processes (outside of IT). In a very short time, it has become the expectation that an organization can spin up hundreds or even thousands of virtual machines. Something that was inconceivable just a few years ago. We are all benefiting from cloud automation and whole new types of opportunities (and jobs) are developing.
I was reading the top X lists that always come out at the end of a year. It made me think about stretch targets for technologists. These lists can be divided up into categories. It made me wonder what others thought important.
Some items are relatively straightforward tasks expanding the depth and breadth of experiences. These are usually fairly transient based on the changing technology trends of the day:
- Install a cloud-based virtual machine
- Write an application for a mobile device and get it into the app store
- File a patent
- Take an on-line class (or maybe a couple every year)
Some or focused on the development of others and through that effort, ourselves:
- Participate in a high school targeted STEM activity (judge, mentor, lecturer)
- Read blogs and post your own about things that interest you or make you question what you know
- Find a mentor and mentor others
- Participate in a service/standard organization startup
Are there other categories? What others items could you add? Frankly, I need some new items on my list. :-)
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss, but that it is too low and we reach it. —Michelangelo