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New framework needed for open source switching

This week, bloggers look into open source switching, enterprise network security changes in 2016 and how to assemble reliable technical teams.

Writing in Packet Pushers, blogger Carlos Cardenas considers the trends in open sourcing, particularly open source switching.

According to Cardenas, the development of open source switching has proved challenging given Broadcom's dominance in the market. Obtaining the vendor's software development kit (SDK) isn't necessarily easy nor does receipt of it guarantee that a vendor's subsequent product will be as full-featured as it should be, Cardenas said. He suggests that to make open source switching a reality, developers and competitors should escalate the pressure. Cardenas cites Mellanox's Linux kernel derived project, switchdev, as an example of what can be done. Bottom line, writes Cardenas: "Without an open source framework to drive merchant silicon, we won’t truly have an open source NOS."

Explore more of Cardenas' thoughts on open source switching.

Enterprise network security shifts in 2016

Eric Parizo, an analyst with Current Analysis in Sterling, Va., examines three trends he believes will shape enterprise network security in 2016. Among them is a slowdown in venture capital, which will accelerate security vendor acquisition and mergers. The combination of low interest rates and heightened concerns about security breaches boosted the market last year, but that bubble is now deflating.

Integration is another influence, Parizo writes. Case in point is a project underpinned by IBM, Intel and Cisco to develop interoperable security platforms that will be able to mesh with third-party systems. The goal is to help eliminate the multiple security products enterprises use -- today, many companies rely on as many as a dozen separate platforms -- to protect their assets.

Read more of Parizo's thoughts on enterprise network security.

Putting together reliable technical teams

Damian Huising, a blogger with Packet Pushers, recently explored the best ways to build technical teams. Especially in small and medium-sized businesses, it may be common for IT leaders to be asked to assemble small and highly effective teams to address the business' IT needs.

Huising suggests starting with functional roles, identifying the degree to which a company is siloed, its relative centralization and reliance on custom technology or software as a service. Understanding these aspects allows a leader to pick out process developers, communicators, innovators and so-called "worker drones" to fulfill tasks. From there, Huising recommends quantifying the scale of the team in terms of full-time equivalents, putting together organizational charts, accessing talent through social networking or provisional hiring, and assessing the team for 90 days. As a final step in the organization process, Huising advises leaders to "optimize" the team by tracking goals, giving people immediate feedback and removing unsuccessful workers quickly.

Read more of what Huising has to say about designing technical teams.

Next Steps

Understanding bare-metal switches

Analytics in enterprise network security

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