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SN blogs: Wi-Fi vendor segment needs 'code enforcers' to cut glitches

Networking analysts discuss the state of Wi-Fi vendor quality, how BGP can be made to work more efficiently and why enterprises should consider startups.

Lee Badman, writing in Wirednot, examined the state of wireless LAN and Wi-Fi vendor quality, and, well, he's not encouraged. "I know well that I'm not alone in feeling a bit behind the 8-ball when it comes to our networking vendors," he wrote. "There are too many code bugs impacting far too many components, end users and networking teams."

Badman said his Wi-Fi vendor concern is being fueled, in part, by the introduction of SDN technologies in the Wi-Fi space. Worried that a new generation of bugs will be unleashed on users, he said it's time for vendors to tread cautiously before they release APIs that could saddle Wi-Fi users with more performance issues.

A possible solution? Wi-Fi vendor code enforcers, Badman said. "As silly as it sounds, I'd love to see independent code enforcement officers for the networking industry," he wrote.

Their role? To keep vendors on their toes in a bid to prevent the release of sloppy code. It won't happen, Badman said, but past vendor behavior doesn't give him much confidence that the next iteration of Wi-Fi software will be bug-free.

Read what else Badman has to say about the state of Wi-Fi software development.

Where BGP optimal route reflection can help

Networking architect Russ White took a look at Border Gateway Protocol Optimal Route Reflection (BGP-ORR) and how it's used to compute the best path for data to travel through the network.

The technique allows routers to understand optimal transmission paths because it permits BGP to gather the information it needs to determine which state will allow route-reflector clients to perform most efficiently, White said.

White provided a step-by-step assessment that illustrates how BGP-ORR works, its benefits and where it fits among the three ways that BGP can be deployed within a single autonomous system.

Take a look at what White has to say about the best way to apply BGP-ORR.

Gartner explains rationale for Cool Vendors

Gartner analyst Andrew Lerner detailed the thinking behind the selection of vendors highlighted in the 2017 Cool Vendors in Enterprise Networking study. This year's class includes Apstra, FixStream, SnapRoute and Veriflow, with a look back at Appcito, which was acquired by A10 last year. To Lerner, these companies -- whose products range from delivering intent-driven networking to reducing downtime during config changes --"align with the necessary shift in networking to evolve or transform networks from fragile to agile."

At the same time, the vendors represent a new way of thinking about conventional networking, a benefit that enterprises shouldn't overlook. "Many mainstream enterprises are risk-averse when it comes to their network selections," Lerner wrote. "But it is wise to invest appropriate resources to evaluate new vendors or technologies that can provide a competitive advantage."

See what else Lerner has to say about cool vendors.

Next Steps

How SDN changes Wi-Fi landscape

A new role for BGP

Intent-driven networking and its impact

Dig Deeper on Network Design

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How should code for Wi-Fi networks be reviewed and audited?
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