The networking industry continues to see rapid innovation through open source, and an ever-growing set of communities and projects. If you need evidence, take a quick look at the various sessions covered at this year’s Open Networking Summit. With this innovation, we also see a fundamental shift in the way that networks are procured, architected and operated by our customers.Form Follows FunctionFor the better part of the past 20 years, the Network Administrator/Engineer was responsible for all things related to the network – from the lowest level of silicon running in a switch, up through the network operating systems (NOS), and into the highest level of orchestration and automation of the overall network. As open source projects disaggregate that networking stack, the operational model is evolving as well – much of it driven by a shift to DevOps.In this DevOps-centric model, the decisions made at the hardware, operating system, networking stack, and orchestration levels become distinct and de-coupled from one another. Given that “form follows function” the operational model in supporting networking is becoming distinct as well.Which poses a couple of interesting questions:How are the support models of networking evolving to keep pace with the architectural and operational shifts?Within these new support models, how are elements of that stack based upon open source (in particular the NOS) incorporated?Step One: De-Coupling Hardware and SoftwareAt the lowest level of the networking stack we have physical switching hardware and the operating system that runs on top of that.More than four years ago, Dell EMC allowed for any of its networking switches with an ‘-ON’ suffix to be purchased without an operating system.This was all made possible via the work of the ONIE effort within the Open Compute Project, and Dell EMC evolving its ProSupport offerings to include a hardware-only option, that allows for diagnostic and remediation of any hardware issue, independent of the NOS running on it.Step Two: Credible Support for Open Source NOSIn terms of open source NOS projects in the industry today, Dell EMC has invested heavily in two of them: OpenSwitch and SONiC. A key reason these two programs moved to the top of our list was their common approach to interfacing to the underlying network processing units via SAI. This provides us with a common framework upon which we can incorporate a broad cross-section of the merchant silicon ecosystem, and ultimately providing our customers with maximum choice.For customers interested in running either of these open source NOS solutions, our support for them begins with a list of certified Dell EMC platforms upon which specific versions of OpenSwitch and SONiC have been validated; with the added peace of mind provided by a credible vendor offering a class-leading global support model.To that end, Dell EMC took that first step with its OS10 Open Edition offering. For customers interested in running OpenSwitch on Dell EMC networking hardware, we offer a combined hardware and NOS support model in the form of OS10 Open Edition. Customers can embrace disaggregation and open source with minimum risk. A recent presentation by Rick Davis from Verizon Connect at this year’s Open Networking Summit; provides credible evidence that open source networking can indeed power mission-critical, industrial solutions.We’ve Only Just BegunDell EMC pioneered a new way to design, obtain, and operate networks and we recently announced that we are moving Open Networking forward by enabling the next level of disaggregation and modularity through composite, expandable network stacks or “composable networks.” We believe this will be the next defining moment for Open Networking.
Over the last couple of years, we have witnessed a massive transformation in the telecom industry with a shift away from proprietary, expensive IT equipment in favour of standard, cost-efficient computing blocks.Software and Cloud ruleThanks to these open standards, multiple virtual machines and multiple operating systems could be managed on a single, physical IT platform, which enabled software virtualisation. Now, enterprises could quickly update and upgrade networking functions without the need for expensive hardware swaps. This delivered increased flexibility, speed to market, agility and cost-reduction – all critical factors in an increasingly competitive, global market.Today, this software trend continues apace. Business leaders are increasingly asking their IT teams to revamp existing solutions in favour of software-and cloud-centric approaches with virtualisation initiatives like software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) proving particularly popular.A hardware strategy is still requiredI believe that all these developments are hugely positive. However, it’s not an “either/or” scenario. In my book, hardware and software need to be part of a single over-arching strategy with hardware regarded as a critically important component in its own right. As the world swings towards disaggregated white boxes, I believe that more than ever, Network Equipment Providers (NEPs) and System Integrators (SIs) need a hardware approach that will deliver value while still supporting their customers’ NFV initiatives.NFV is not all about softwareAfter all, a true NFV solution needs a hardware ecosystem, featuring servers, storage, switches and networking. Due to bandwidth, latency and security issues, not everything can and will go to the Cloud. With 5G, and the proliferation of mobile phone and IoT devices together with the growth of high content delivery services, edge computing and IoT Edge Gateways will become increasingly important, particularly for analysis. This all points back to the importance of having the right hardware approach to set you up for success over the longer-term.Best practicesWhen you have questions, who better to ask than the people directly at the coal face? And so, together with Intel, we commissioned AvidThink to conduct research and speak with leading telecom providers to understand current best practices in hardware strategy and likely future trends. Hot off the press, the report makes for interesting reading.Three NEP solutionsFrom the core to the edge, the report confirms that NEPs need a strategy for handling hardware integration for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and enterprises. In general, providers indicate that they will consume NEP solutions in one of three ways:As tightly-integrated software and hardware stacks — even if the underlying platform is x86-based. This does not preclude the NEP from creating integrated bundles and, in some cases, these appliances could have built-in elements of hardware acceleration.As pure software solutions, independent of the underlying hardware in a fully disaggregated scheme. This model sees CSPs deciding on the NFV infrastructure first and expecting the NEP software to execute seamlessly on the platform of choice.In a hybrid approach, where the NEP provides soft-integration or pre-integration stacks with their software functions pre-certified on a specific supplier’s hardware platform.All the indicators are that all three formats will persist for some time and across all locations: data center, mobile edge, and enterprise WAN edge with different locations likely to favor one format over powered by Intel® Xeon® Scalable processorHybrid – the best of both worldsHowever, according to the report, the consensus is that a hybrid or soft-integration approach can reduce risk and provide benefits to all members in the value chain. In this configuration, NEPs would offer pre-integrated or pre-certified solution stacks to their customers. These are different from the branded, tightly-integrated appliances that were typical in many NEP solutions.Instead, the hybrid format would see the NEP work with one or more hardware partners to ensure that their software solutions work well on specific platforms. These platforms could be uCPEs, single servers, or a full rack of servers.Faster time to market and reduced riskIt’s true that in the past, system integrators performed similar tasks, putting together solutions by loading, integrating, and testing software on server platforms. However, and here’s the important point, this new hybrid approach involves moving these activities upstream in the value chain.This research report shows that if you’re a NEP being pushed to become a purely software vendor, taking a hybrid strategy will deliver faster time to market, reduced risk during deployment, faster troubleshooting, and optimized performance.Be future-readyAdopting this strategy can also prepare you for the goal of delivering a fully disaggregated platform. A hybrid approach, coupled with the right hardware partner, ensures that you can provide end users with time savings, convenience, and the peace of mind that comes with a pre-integrated, pre-certified software and hardware stack.As the world marches toward software-defined infrastructure and the industry ideal of disaggregation, it’s important to remember that these functions are still dependent on specific hardware platforms. I believe that a hybrid model that is future ready, open and democratized represents the best of both worlds.What’s your take on the market and the best hardware strategy? Do you have insights to share? We would love to hear your comments and questions.Learn more about the research! Read the full report here.Learn more about Dell EMC OEM Telecom Solutions at: https://www.dellemc.com/en-ie/oem/telecom2.htm#accordion0=0Join our LinkedIn OEM & IoT Solutions Showcase page here.Keep in touch. Follow us on Twitter @dellemcoem
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish media reports say pirates who kidnapped 15 Turkish crew members of a cargo ship off the West African coast, have made contact with the shipping company. All 15 sailors were unhurt the state-run Anadolu Agency reported Thursday, quoting a statement from the Istanbul-based company. The shipping company however, did not say whether a ransom demand was made. The Liberian-flagged M/V Mozart was sailing from Lagos Nigeria, to Cape Town in South Africa when it was attacked on Jan. 23, some 100 nautical miles northwest of the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe. One crew member, an Azerbaijani national, died during the attack.
Directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West first came across the name Pauli Murray while working on their Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG.” Murray was a pivotal figure in shaping litigation and thinking around gender and racial equality, years before the civil rights or women’s movements. Murray, who was also Black and gender fluid, organized a sit-in to protest segregated lunch counters in Washington, D.C., in 1943, 17 years before the more well-known Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in. Cohen and West track the extraordinary life of this little-known trailblazer in “My Name is Pauli Murray,” which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. The mostly virtual festival runs through Wednesday.
BANGKOK (AP) — A military coup in Myanmar has left the country’s elected civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, back where she was just over a decade ago — under house arrest. But this time, her standoff with the military comes after she has sorely disappointed many once-staunch supporters around the world by cozying up to the country’s generals. Leaders in the West still denounce her detention, but they no longer view her as the paragon of democratic leadership. With her reputation abroad tarnished and the military firmly in power, it’s not clear who can lead Myanmar out of the wilderness.