The WLAN, or wireless LAN, sector is pretty hot at the moment, as user endpoints break free from their previously wired existence. A wireless LAN links devices together over a spread-spectrum or OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) network within a limited area: your home, school, or office building, for example. From their humble beginnings, when they were not very stable, WLANs have become a staple of our always-on lifestyle. We now have connected cities, in which you can walk from one end to the other and always be connected to a Wi-Fi link.
Yesterday I was reading about Cisco’s fourth quarter earnings results, as you do when you are bored and waiting for the next episode of EastEnders to start—well, we all have to take a rest from SDN goodness every now and then. Now, this was interesting for two reasons. It was the last quarter under the leadership of big bad John Chambers and the first announced by new head honcho Chuck Robbins (sounds like a cross between a cage fighter and a liberal comedian). Firstly, congratulations are in order on the results—Cisco exceeded analysts’ predictions of $12.6 billion in revenue, with $12.8 billion and a per-share profit of 59 cents, up almost 4% over the previous year, and an overall year-over-year increase of 4%. Continue reading Another Missile Fired in the Cisco vs. VMware SDN War
There have been quite a few new products announced in the last few months. Some I have received as briefings, others I have researched. These security and data protection products show the changing face of virtualization and cloud. Continue reading Technology Roundup: Security and Data Protection
Brocade has stated they will buy Vyatta for an all-cash deal. This is good news for Vyatta and perhaps a way for Brocade to partake of software that could rival VMware’s purchase of Nicira when Vyatta’s own SDN features are married with Brocade Ether Fabric technology. Brocade has been in the software business for a while now, but only with respect to their own hardware. With the acquisition of Vyatta, they will shortly own a building block that can extend Ether Fabric into the virtual and cloud environments. It would be shortsighted to say this is just an SDN play—this purchase shows there is quite a bit of benefit to Brocade. Continue reading Vyatta: Building Block for Brocade SDN Plans
FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) is a relatively new industry effort designed to combine the lossless features of FC with the ubiquity of Ethernet. FCoE is essentially Fibre Channel (FC) frames encapsulated in Ethernet packets using Ethernet links instead of Fibre Channel links. Nonetheless, at the upper layers it is still Fibre Channel which allows for the preservation of existing FC infrastructures – a major design goal. FCoE allows storage and network traffic to be converged onto one set of cables, switches and adapters thereby reducing cables, energy consumption and heat generation. Storage management using an FCoE interface has the same look and feel as storage management with traditional FC interfaces. Nonetheless, FCoE is Layer 2 only and this fact greatly impacts its capabilities. This industry standards effort depends on the coordinated work of three standards bodies:
- IEEE for Ethernet extensions
- INCITS/ANSI T11committee for the Fibre Channel protocols
- IETF for routing