A Yankee Dandy

September 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

“Nothing, not all the armies of the world, can stop the power of an idea whose time has come.”
– Victor Hugo

The networking industry has received a mighty thunderbolt from Zeus — Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala, that is.

In its groundbreaking whitepaper, “The Virtual Enterprise Requires a Network That Is More than ‘Good Enough’,” the Yankee Group makes a clear argument about how virtualization (from server to desktop) has turned the network into a strategic point of competitive advantage for enterprises.  And that, they say, requires big changes.

For networks to achieve the kind of capability required by a virtualized enterprise, it’s time to slap the vermin off of us and approach network infrastructure selection in a radically new way. For that to happen, Yankee calls out two very fresh attitudes that must rule the day:

– “… network decision-makers can no longer settle for any part of the network infrastructure that is ‘good enough’ simply because it is from the market brand leader.”

– “Open and standards-based solutions need to be the norm, not the exception… closed, proprietary systems will only act as long-term barriers to adoption [of virtualization].”

These are huge statements.  And they’re about as subtle as a stucco bathtub.

Yankee’s rationale stems from an earlier whitepaper of theirs projecting that corporate network loads will increase 1,000% during the next five years, driven by worker mobility and the fact that supply-chain connectivity has eroded the border of the enterprise.  Clearly a change of this magnitude requires more than just accommodating more bandwidth; it requires having far more flexibility in how networks are deployed and managed.  Supporting a virtual enterprise network is a whole new game.

It means modern infrastructure must be in place everywhere, not just in the datacenter. Network edge infrastructure must be evaluated with the same kind of diligence traditionally given only to the data center iron. Product capability must rule the decision, not brand leadership because “All of the top inhibitors around broader use of virtualization are network-related or have network-related implications.” Key inhibitors they list, in order:

  • Adding / moving virtual machines (VMs) among data centers
  • Access and security policies to VMs
  • Virtualization’s impact on compliance
  • Isolating VMs from each other
  • Inspecting traffic among VMs

One very interesting part of the paper is that Yankee did not advise the “incumbent vendor” to improve its edge infrastructure. The opposite, in fact; they seem to accept that won’t happen fast enough and defer to history saying, “… legacy vendors can’t protect their large install base and transition with the market simultaneously.”

Instead, they highlight the following guidance to customers:

  • “Take an open, standards-based approach to networking.”
  • “Be willing to use alternative vendors.”

It’s clear:  Open Networking’s tipping point is here, and virtualization is driving it.  Importantly, Vyatta is unique in our ability to meet the new requirements:  Open, standards-based, high-performance, secure, and virtualized.  It’s our time.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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