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SN blogs: Software infrastructure products to blossom in 2015

SN blogs: This week, an analyst gives his 2015 IT infrastructure predictions; an engineer discusses when to use a router versus a switch.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Mark Bowker says that the technology community has a lot to look forward to -- at least in terms of IT infrastructure -- in 2015. Bowker says that vendors are hoping for a shift in thinking when it comes to enterprises and their networks. Suppliers, he writes, predict that customers will stop wanting to accessorize their systems and start converging them instead. He predicts that big vendors such as Cisco, EMC/VCE, HP, Dell and IBM will enhance their portfolios to include more options for full rack and stack legacy gear to software infrastructure products, including hyperconverged approaches. Bowker also believes that open source initiatives will move out of the experimentation phase and into the production phase, particularly in the data center. He says that these are all ways convergence and hyperconvergence will work to improve operational processes and solve the infrastructure complexity problem.

Read Bowker's other predictions for IT infrastructure in 2015.

IT vendors should stick with technology, not management consulting

One of the trends that engineer Keith Townsend has noticed is that IT vendors are trying to cross over into the consulting domain of the business. According to Townsend, this is easier said than done. He writes on his VirtualizedGeek blog that IT vendors fall short when it comes to the perspective from which they approach a situation. Townsend explains that if a customer is having an agility problem, a technical vendor/consultant will try to sell a cloud management product because a vendor's job is to sell technology. Townsend says that management consultants are focused on solving problems in the best way possible, not necessarily using technology to do so. He suggests hiring management consultants for business problems and technical consultants for technical issues.

Read more of why Townsend says IT vendor consultants are not always the best choice for handling management problems.

How to choose between a router and a switcher

Computer networking expert Derek Pocoroba takes to PacketPushers to answer the question of when to use a router or a switch for certain functions. From a cost perspective, Pocoroba says switches seem like an obvious choice, given they are the fraction of the price of a router. But depending on the features and performance required, using a router may be a good decision. Pocoroba says technicians should first make a list of what features they might not have use for today, but might need in the future -- such as a router to help manage a dynamic multipoint VPN (DMVPN). "There is also the issue of performance, mostly related in terms of routing tables, forwarding rates, buffer sizes, etc.," Pocoroba writes. "Be sure to review the data sheets on any device you are looking to insert into your network especially for larger networks. A 10g switch might only support 256k IPv4 routes while a 10g router might support over 1 million."

Read what questions Pocoroba says to ask yourself when choosing between a router and a switcher.

Software containers will not render programmers useless

New York Times Technology Bits writer Quentin Hardy says that programmers don't need to worry about software containers taking over their jobs. As software products continue to develop, much of the work that used to be done manually is now automated. Some people question the effect that automated software coding will have on the people who used to do those jobs themselves. Hardy says concerns are misplaced; there will always be jobs for coders. In fact, the ability to perform specific skills will increase the value of an employee. Hardy cites online shopping company Gilt as an organization whose fortunes are driven by software developers. Gilt uses algorithms instead of marketing teams to customize the customer experience. Those dollars formerly allocated to marketing, a Gilt co-founder explains, are now being shifted to engineering.

Read what Hardy says about the future of programming jobs and how software development fits in.

This was last published in January 2015

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