While at Cisco Live today, I was struck by the traffic patterns on the show floor. Wherever there was a traffic jam, it seemed as though it was caused by a few people walking slower than everyone else, or by a momentary obstruction that halted traffic. Enterprise networks share many of the same attributes (and problems) that show floors do in that respect. The part that makes it worse for enterprise networks (vs. show floors) is that there are mission-critical applications that run on top of these networks. When networks have performance issues (even momentary ones), the impact on these applications can be catastrophic.
As Interop once again draws near, the InteropNet infrastructure stands ready and waiting to provide critical connectivity to the thousands of visitors and hundreds of exhibitors who attend the show. Each year, InteropNet is provided by a dedicated band of volunteer vendors, whose preparation starts early in February at the UBM hot stage. There, the network is designed, constructed and tested, so that it is ready to be shipped to Las Vegas in time to provide the network for Interop. Each year, the team reviews the latest technology to determine what is needed to provide a state of the art network that can showcase emergent trends in the networking space.
“Spot the bad guys, stop the bad guys,” are rational and valid goals when it comes to securing your network. In fact, many organisations commit the majority of their security resources and investment to defense and detection, often by deploying automated technologies and solutions. But by their very nature, such solutions focus on protecting against known vulnerabilities and threats, have little context of your own network and can’t be a complete security solution.
The Sochi Winter Olympics are officially underway, and as you may have seen, NBC will once again be providing viewers access to live streaming in a multitude of mediums. On the NBC Olympics page, computer users can enter their cable or digital television provider personal user name and password and watch live video of the events. Mobile viewers can also download the free NBC Live Extra App. The iPhone, Droid and iPad app will have live and recorded events, and on demand HD video. And for the first time, NBC Universal will stream video on Facebook as part of a partnership deal with the social media giant.
I don’t know about you, but the winter holiday season is a bittersweet pill for me to swallow due in part to two occurrences which are aptly named “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” The connotations themselves conjure up images of sinister malevolence. Black Friday might as well be called “The Black Plague” and Cyber Monday could very well be the title for the next Terminator movie, “Cyber Monday – Rise of the Machines.” The two lexicons of retail mind-control methods are emblazoned in the pre-frontal cortex of every consumer out there…unless by chance, you have been one of the lucky few individuals who is stuck in the 1950’s and opts to buy their holiday presents from the Sears Roebuck Holiday catalog, I envy you.
Earlier this month, I enjoyed some time working with LAN Assistans, our Nordic partner, as we co-exhibited at Nordic IT Security 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. As part of our participation package, we had a short “open mic” session over lunch to talk about our security topic of choice. Being stripped of my familiar presentation support aids like PowerPoint slides and asked to just stand up and talk really focused my mind (and increased my adrenaline levels!).
I often hear our team talk about our network recording and visualization solutions’ technical innovations, performance and features. In truth, Endace solutions have grown up from a DNA of engineering excellence, so it’s not so surprising that we love talking about our great technology! But for this open mic session, I thought I’d take a different approach and think about what our solutions enable our customers to do…here is a snippet of my “open mic” session:
We use technology in our everyday lives without a thought of how that content is delivered. We conduct credit card transaction over a smartphone app for taxi fare, and stream live sporting events like the World Series not just to our television sets but to our smartphones, tablets and PCs. We connect to the corporate VPN while in mid-air over the Atlantic with an expectation that it should be seamless.
Innovation in technology continues to propel us forward from the physical to the virtual world. Server, storage and network virtualization, along with the cloud, has made it easier for the workforce and applications to be agile and mobile. Keeping applications and people connected is vital for any businesses to operate and generate revenue streams.
Network operations (NetOps) and security operations (SecOps) teams can now take advantage of our Endace Fusion Connector for Splunk, which will dramatically lower time-to-resolution (TTR) for network issues that typically take days to resolve in the absence of readily available packet data. This Connector (available here on splunkbase) easily installs into any 5.x Splunk deployment and provides a seamless bridge between logs and packets.
In the world of application delivery and performance management, it’s not easy on the applications or networking operations side to troubleshoot and resolve end-to-end issues. I‘m sure you have heard of Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR); frequently used for measuring how long it takes to resolve a particular problem from the time a trouble ticket is open to when the problem is resolved (i.e. when the ticket is closed). Have you heard of Mean Time To Innocence (MTTI), which is basically the metric for how long it takes to prove the issue wasn’t your responsibility?
There is something very “je ne sais quoi” about traveling to New York which brings out the “I wanna be Michael Corleone” in me. The first step in my ritualistic preparatory precursor is that I break out my extensive catalog of Frank Sinatra tunes and drink a stiff martini (dirty, with extra olives). Every time I leave for New York, I take the time to re-learn every quotable line from my Godfather trilogy Blu-Ray box set (well, except for part three because it was a travesty) because having a tradeshow in New York and not honing in my “Godfather” lingo would be sacrilegious when speaking to partners and customers. It’s equally crucial to maintain that visage of confidence and cool collectiveness that only Marlon Brando could pull off while sitting at the table during one of his many sit-downs (or Robert DeNiro in “The Godfather Part II”). That said, the standard khaki slacks and one-size fits all black company logoed trade-show booth pullover are not exactly the cut of clothes that Michael Corleone favored, so I guess I’ll have to keep dreaming…