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Netronome offers P4 support on server adapters

This week, networking industry bloggers examine Symantec's decision to buy Blue Coat and whether cloud-native applications have merit.

Packet Pushers contributor Drew Conry-Murray took a look at Netronome, which is launching support for P4, an open source program for packet-forwarding devices. Netronome, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said engineering its server adapters to support P4 will make x86 servers better positioned for use in virtual networking environments. The move is part of a bigger effort to make it possible for general-purpose servers to be used more strategically in network functions virtualization deployments.

In addition to its support of P4, Netronome is releasing a P4 compiler and C-based modules for its Agilio Intelligent Server Adapters line. P4 lets developers customize how packets can be processed in network devices. The framework is expected to help give telcos and cloud infrastructure-as-a-service providers greater flexibility.

Read more of Conry-Murray's thoughts on P4.

Symantec buys Blue Coat

Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass., explored Symantec's recent purchase of Blue Coat Systems Inc. Oltsik said he sees the merger as largely positive for buyers, with some caveats. Blue Coat brings with it network proxy and web security offerings, as well as network security analytics, endpoint security, data loss prevention and managed service options. He said he foresees Symantec becoming a leader in threat intelligence as it combines its assets with Blue Coat, which Oltsik said will help Symantec more effectively compete with companies such as Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro and Cisco.

But Oltsik said he also has some concerns. It will take time to integrate the cultures of the two companies, forcing sales teams and the channel to catch up. He said he also foresees some remaining product gaps in the Symantec portfolio, with few offerings for network security and security analytics.

Dig deeper into Oltsik's ideas on the Blue Coat acquisition.

Why should you care about cloud-native?

Engineer and industry observer Ethan Banks assessed the cloud-native application market and explained why it isn't going to make the impact some people say it will. The way vendors view the market, he wrote, it appears every enterprise will soon be running cloud-native applications on hybrid cloud networks.

Banks' response? Nonsense.

"If you're a typical enterprise, note that deploying code in this manner does not mean upgrading your MS Windows Active Directory servers more quickly, adding new functionality to SharePoint in some cloudy way, patching Oracle servers or any of those other things you do to maintain the legacy applications you bought from 'Big Software' vendors," Banks wrote.

Instead, Banks said, enterprises should look at software as a service as the model to emulate --not infrastructure as a service.

This is especially true for small and medium-sized businesses, which don't, as a general rule, have the applications or operations that mesh with the cloud-native application model.

"The way I see it, you don't have the problems that the DevOps movement coupled with cloud is solving," he wrote.

The best option? Hyper-convergence.

Take a closer look at Banks' thoughts on cloud-native applications.

Next Steps

Buying hardware for virtualization

Symantec impacts security industry with Blue Coat purchase

Mobile cloud vs. native apps

Dig Deeper on Network virtualization technology

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