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Network redundancy design does not always equal resiliency

Bloggers explore network redundancy design, WLAN setup using IBwave and creating a secure cloud management plane.

Network redundancy design isn't everything, according to Ivan Pepelnjak, who tackles the subject of whether redundancy equals resiliency in an IPSpace post. His conclusion: Full redundancy doesn't necessarily result in greater resiliency, but network redundancy design can help decrease the probability of a failure occurring.

Many companies have adopted site reliability engineers, a term that Pepelnjak suggests is becoming watered down. In some cases, these engineers sometimes trigger unanticipated failures -- either manually or automatically -- through mistaken actions intended to shore up redundancy. What's more, statistics suggest that added redundancy decreases availability during "gray failure" events, when components' performance may only be subtly degraded.

"In reality, we keep heaping layers of leaky abstractions and ever-more-convoluted kludges on top of each other until the whole thing comes crashing down resulting in days of downtime," Pepelnjak said, adding that Vint Cerf may have said it best in a recent article, when he wrote that, when it comes to network redundancy design, "We're facing a brittle and fragile future."

Read more of Pepelnjak's thoughts on network redundancy design. 

WLAN design with iBwave

Lee Badman, blogging in Wirednot, shared his assessment of the new IBwave R9 software for WLAN design. Badman identified pre-existing features with earlier versions of the software that he liked, among them 3D modeling of the WLAN environment, modeling for inclined surfaces and synchronization with the cloud for survey projects. The software package also included a mobile app and a viewer for customers to gain insight on the design team's viewpoint, without requiring the purchase of the IBwave software.

In the new version of the IBwave design suite, the software offers an improved user interface and the ability to institute coverage exclusion zones, as well as interoperating with software-defined radios. Badman praised the software's inclusion of smart antenna contouring, which allows users to manipulate simulated access points to determine signal strength once a floor plan is known. Additionally, IBwave includes auto cable routing, a feature that maps cables virtually after a cable tray and router location are placed.

Dig deeper into Badman's thoughts on IBwave for WLAN design.

Adding a secure management plane in the cloud

Jon Oltsik, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., sees many cases of cybersecurity professionals installing management servers on their networks to avoid disruptive change. "Given the history of cybersecurity, this behavior is certainly understandable -- I control what happens on my own network but have almost no oversight what takes place on Amazon Web Services, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Yup, there's a lot of history and dogma here, but I believe it's time for CISOs to reconsider," he said.

Oltsik recommends a secure cloud-based management plane because of reduced costs, more rapid product upgrades and more rapid evolution and rollout of products. He also sees security operations and analytics platform architecture being deployed more rapidly through cloud-based management planes. To gain control, Oltsik recommends that buyers request standard documented APIs from vendors so that users have a say over when and how much data to ingest. "The benefits of moving to a cloud-based security management model speak for themselves. Given this, old school CISOs should think long and hard about maintaining the status quo," Oltsik added.

Explore more of Oltsik's thoughts on a secure cloud-based management plane.

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