Networking blogs: Cisco lays out ACI strategy

This week's networking blogs cover the gamut from Cisco's SDN strategy to steps enterprises should take to ensure they have enough network capacity.

Two roads diverged in an SDN strategy: Cisco ACI and VMware NSX

The SDN lines of demarcation have been drawn: on the one side, VMware NSX; on the other, Cisco ACI, its application-centric infrastructure Insieme offshoot. Now that the big boys in the room have released their game plans, which SDN approach will dominate?

Virtualized Geek Keith Townsend doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but one thing he knows: the billions of dollars that will be spent to migrate to software-defined networking is incentive enough for the two suppliers to pursue their respective agendas. And how will the Cisco/VMware partnership fare?

Get Townsend's take on the bets each supplier has placed on the emerging SDN market.

CISOs on the hot seat

With bring your own device, cloud computing and IT consumerization all on the upswing, it's no surprise that chief information security officers (CISOs) aren't always sure about the type of devices, or traffic, that's connected to their networks.

Enterprise Strategy Group senior principal analyst Jon Oltsik has some suggestions on the steps CISOs should take to regain control. And those steps begin with this bit of advice: Even if CISOs can't oversee everything, they better control what they can. Other tips: Ensure that every entity that's attached to the network has a strong identity. Next, create a granular, not binary, security policy that applies to every employee throughout the organization.

Read about some of the other steps Oltsik recommends to create a strong cybersecurity foundation.

Fast reroute: Looking at Remote LFA

Network architect Russ White examines fast reroute system Remote LFA. The mechanism is an extension of so-called "normal" loop-free alternates (LFA), which permits the quick rerouting of traffic in the event of link failures or other disruptions. In his detailed discussion, White spells out how Remote LFA works, and states it can support any type of tunnel that might be used to funnel the rerouted data packets -- from multiprotocol label switching to generic routing encapsulation.

Get White's analysis of Remote LFA and how it can be used in an enterprise environment.

5 ways to streamline capacity planning

Network analyst Chris Greer has some handy advice for enterprises and organizations examining whether or not to increase their network capacities. As bandwidth-hungry applications such as video and voice over IP jockey for position, a robust infrastructure is critical, Greer says. Understanding bandwidth resources is just one of the five tips Greer shares in his post. An important point to keep in mind: "Bad performance does not necessarily mean that bandwidth is not sufficient," Greer says.

Take a look at Greer's other four tips, including how to make sure you have the right tools to measure network performance.

This was first published in November 2013

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