Posts tagged Networks

The Challenge With Legacy Networks

This excerpt from ZK Research’s white paper Compute Transitions Drive the Need for the New IP Network is sponsored by Brocade. It reflects the views of the sponsor, not ReadWrite’s editors.

The architecture and infrastructure used to build legacy networks have not changed in almost three decades. There have been great leaps in the speed of network connections and the density of ports, and link latency continues to fall. 

However, the network is fundamentally the same as it was 30 years ago. Many limitations need to be overcome if organizations are to make the shift to a New IP network. 

These limitations include:

Rigid architecture and topology

The architecture used to build traditional networks was designed for an era when IT resources such as compute and application infrastructure were fairly static. Therefore, the network, too, could be rigid in nature. When an event occurred that required the network to change, such as adding or deleting a new application, long lead times were often required to make even simple changes. 

In today’s era of increased agility requirements, this is not acceptable because the IT infrastructure can only be as agile as its least agile component—which is often the network. Too often, the rigidity of legacy network infrastructure is a huge impediment to organizations becoming agile businesses. 

Siloing of the network inside IT

The network has always been treated as its own silo within the IT department. Network changes can certainly impact the performance of applications and compute infrastructure, but historically the network was managed independent of the technology that sits “up the stack” from it.

Legacy networks built on closed, proprietary protocols

Market-leading vendors have used closed, proprietary technologies as a way to deliver features faster instead of waiting for industry standards to be developed. Often, this leads to “vendor lock-in” and inhibits customers from implementing a best-of-breed technology. 

Despite these limitations, closed, proprietary networks were sufficient when the network existed in its own silo. The cloud has driven the need for greater integration among applications as well as compute and network infrastructure. Closed and proprietary technologies can hinder cloud ecosystems and limit innovation.

Inefficient use of network resources

Traditional, multi-tier networks use Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to protect against routing loops and broadcast storms. When multiple paths exist between two points, STP will enable the fastest path, disable the alternative route, and only make it active when the primary connection fails. 

STP was a great leap forward for networking a few decades ago. However, as networks have grown, the use of STP has caused organizations to overbuild networks. Today, as a result of STP, up to half of network ports are inactive because they are passive links. 

Consequently, service providers and enterprises have had to overbuild networks significantly, resulting in a less-than-optimal average network utilization of approximately 30%, according to ZK Research.

Hardware-centric

With legacy networks, any kind of scaling for additional capacity or new services must be done through the addition of new hardware. This typically requires “forklift upgrades” of the existing technology over a long period of time, resulting in lower application and data availability. 

In addition, the hardware-centric nature of legacy networks makes running a network very expensive, particularly for service providers and global enterprises that often need to add capacity or services quickly.

Manual configuration processes

Traditional network devices, such as switches and routers, are designed with integrated control and data planes. Therefore, the majority of configuration and management must be done on a box-by-box basis. This leads to lengthy change management periods and a high amount of human error.

The ZK Research 2014 Network Purchase Intention Study reveals that human error is the number- one cause of network downtime today (Exhibit 2). To enable rapid, accurate changes, automation has become a top priority, with IT leaders and business executives looking to automate changes to their compute and application infrastructure based on business policies. The device-centric nature of managing network devices makes it difficult, if not impossible, to bring automation to the network. 

Lack of programmability

Because converged infrastructure has become more commonplace, it’s important that the network is able to interface with a wide range of applications and infrastructures to optimize performance. For example, when a video call is being initiated, the application needs to direct the network to reserve a certain amount of bandwidth for the voice and images. 

This is challenging today because legacy infrastructure lacks programmable interfaces, which prohibits application developers from programming the network to automatically accommodate these types of random traffic spikes. 

Designed for “yesterday’s” applications

Traditional networks were optimized for old-school applications such as email, voice, CRM and other static applications. Today’s applications are enabled by the cloud and include mobile applications, big data analytics and social business. These new-age applications have significantly different network requirements from their old-school counterparts, though there is still a need to simultaneously support both. The shift to cloud computing is ushering in a new era in networking. A New IP network that is optimized for the cloud era is now required. 

Historically, organizations made network infrastructure decisions based on brand, incumbency and market share versus technical superiority because “good enough” was adequate to support legacy compute models. 

But as the cloud era gains momentum and hybrid clouds become the dominant compute model, the network will continue to increase in value. Infrastructure that was good enough for Internet computing will not be sustainable for cloud computing. A New IP network is now a business mandate.

Photo by dominik99

This excerpt from ZK Research’s white paper Compute Transitions Drive the Need for the New IP Network is sponsored by Brocade. It reflects the views of the sponsor, not ReadWrite’s editors.

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SEO 101: 6 Strategies For Building Private Blog Networks That Work

There is a lot of talk about private blog networks and whether they are an SEO goldmine or a high risk that should be avoided. After all, SEO is all about “quality content” these days right? Wrong. I am here to tell you that private blog networks still produce amazing results when done correctly (emphasis on correctly). Do they work? If they didn’t would Google continue to sniff them out and take action against them? A private blog network is a network of websites that are created to look like real sites, but they only exist to pass link juice around. […]

The post SEO 101: 6 Strategies For Building Private Blog Networks That Work appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Google Takes Action On More Link Networks In Poland

Google’s Karolina Kruszyńska confirmed this morning that Google has taken action on another link network based in Poland. Karolina wrote on Twitter, “today Google took action on a large link network in Poland.” This is one of many manual action penalties delivered by…



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Aruba Networks Enables “Blue-Dot” Indoor Navigation With Beacons

WiFi provider Aruba Networks used to offer retailers and others “blue-dot” indoor navigation using WiFi triangulation. However Apple’s recent decision in iOS 8 to randomize the iPhone’s MAC address changed all that — and may have effectively killed WiFi as an indoor…



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Google’s Knowledge Graph Finally Shows Social Networks Not Named Google+

Years after a controversy over a decision to promote its own social network, Google+, in search results, Google has begun linking to other social networks in its Knowledge Graph. As first spotted by Bernd Rubel and reported by Search Engine Roundtable, Google is now showing icons for social sites…



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Get Creative by Spreading the SEO Love Among Networks – Tech Cocktail

Get Creative by Spreading the SEO Love Among Networks
Tech Cocktail
If 60 seconds is too much, how about 6-seconds? You can create 6-seconds looping teasers of your post or any content you are looking to promote and share with users on Vine, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Vine is a big hit for SEO as the viewer only gets to

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Google Targets Sites Using Private Blog Networks With Manual Action Ranking Penalties

Google has reportedly taken action on sites participating in private blog networks, also known as PBNs. On September 18th, Google sent out widespread manual action notices via Google Webmaster Tools to these sites for “thin content” spam. Private Blog Networks, BPNs, are generally…



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Anti-Router Stops Google Glass From Connecting to Wi-Fi Networks by @mattsouthern

Those who are paranoid about being spied on by things like drones, security cameras, hidden microphones, or Google Glass will now have some peace of mind. The Verge reports that there’s now a new little device on the market called Cyborg Unplug. Stick Cyborg Unplug into a power outlet and it will sound an alarm whenever surveillance device such as the ones listed above enters the vicinity of your home. Cyborg Unplug also gives you the ability to prevent those devices from connecting to your Wi-Fi network. If you really have something against Glass users, you can take it a […]

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YouTube Converts More Customers Than All Other Social Networks [STUDY] by @mattsouthern

VentureBeat reports that, when it comes to paid advertising on social media platforms, YouTube is king. YouTube is the clear winner in a few key areas compared to other social platforms, including introducing new products to customers, and helping consumers make purchasing decisions. The information was taken from a new study Aol Platforms released today. The report looked at data found within 500 million clicks and 15 million conversions during the first quarter of 2014. Social purchase interactions were tracked through Convertro’s attribution technology. This then determined which platforms had affected online sales and at what point in the purchasing […]

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Google Wages War on European Link Scheme Networks

Google has taken action against two fraudulent link networks as reports surface of manual penalty notifications hitting inboxes in Europe.

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