Networks Generation

Oct 22 2019   11:35AM GMT

More From The Gherkin

Steve Broadhead Steve Broadhead Profile: Steve Broadhead


More Gherkin And IT As A Business Strategy – Back at the Gherkin event, two of the primary vendors who were present for the discussions actually substantiated the previous blog comments about basing a security strategy around the business, rather than as a bolt-on.

Both Apstra and NetFoundry have somewhat “challenging” strap lines – “intent-based networking” and “Network as a Service meets Connectivity as a Code” respectively, but dig beneath the marketing-ese in each case and you get to some real foundational IT – proper building blocks for the artist formerly known as networking and WAN connectivity. We went through that whole “middleware” phase 20 years ago, but no one really knew what it actually was. Apstra and NetFoundry do, but they don’t call it that. But in both cases, this really is “glue” code – layers that pull networking, apps and services together, and optimise the management and delivery thereof.

Apstra does the “orchestration” job that, again, many vendors once claimed to do, but a) couldn’t and b) didn’t really know exactly what it was they were trying to do in the first place, hence point a). It automates the conversations between the network elements and the life-cycle they create – hence it works as the business itself works – as a flow of information and services that makes a business, well, a business. And optimises it in turn. Equally, NetFoundry plays an equivalent role outside of the data centre, controlling the destiny of applications – essentially turning apps into secure private networks. Years ago, many of the major networking vendors were talking up the idea of “the application is the network”. But it wasn’t – not back then. By that they simply meant some prioritisation mechanisms. Ones that no one ever enabled on their routers and switches. This is proper embedded code so, again, it is a fundamental building block.

I like this approach. I can throw another layer into the mix too – the control of the basic business flow process, and that is – if you haven’t checked these guys out, then do. It’s what turns the likes of ERP and related processes into something designed to work in 2020 and beyond, not 1980.

Who knows – IT might actually work one day -))))



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