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Role of hardware in networking remains critical
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of June 2016 Vol 7 / No. 5
Mark Twain famously claimed to have told a reporter -- in refuting erroneous rumors of his own passing -- "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." It seems that reports of hardware's demise may be similarly overblown. Software has unquestionably brought significant changes to the industry and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but the days of hardware in networking are hardly numbered. Dependable physical gear remains critical in virtually all of today's enterprise networks -- even the virtualized ones. In existing software-defined environments, physical gear must enable the greater scalability and reduced complexity that virtualization promises. In other words, rather than disappearing, hardware in networking has adapted to meet evolving needs. After all, as we discuss in this edition of Network Evolution, virtual overlays need underlying physical networks ("In virtualized environments, importance of hardware remains"). SDN fabrics such as Cisco ACI rely on physical infrastructure -- often in the...
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Features in this issue
It's tempting to get swept up in the hype around software-defined everything and cloud mania, but even in virtualized environments, networking hardware is still critical.
Super-sized media companies have used content delivery networks for decades, but recently CDN services have also become affordable for the typical enterprise next door.
SDN analytics promises to make software-defined networks smarter than ever, culling insights from vast amounts of big data and updating operations accordingly.
Thanks to donated undersea cabling from AT&T, the ALOHA Cabled Observatory provides real-time data from the ocean floor. It took a longtime networking pro to get it up to speed.
Vonage has won this month's Network Innovation Award. The VoIP provider's SmartWAN delivers high bandwidth at a low price point, coupled with quality of service and scalability.
Columns in this issue
Will hardware in networking soon be "gone, but not forgotten"? Not a chance. Even in the era of software-defined everything, physical gear still matters.