The Network is the Message

The presentations this week at Networkers had a very clear message on the integration of services into the network itself. John Chambers keynote had many of the same ideas shown by Microsoft in their Live Server promotional material.

It is clear that network architects and application developers need to share more information for things to work. Since networks have typically been viewed as a fairly ‘dumb’ service, it has been easy for networks to run on their own and server guys pile on whatever they like.  It has been uncommon for an application developer to understand how their creations interact over a network and vice – versa.

The presentations this week at Networkers had a very clear message on the integration of services into the network itself. John Chambers keynote had many of the same ideas shown by Microsoft in their Live Server promotional material.

It is clear that network architects and application developers need to share more information for things to work. Since networks have typically been viewed as a fairly ‘dumb’ service, it has been easy for networks to run on their own and server guys pile on whatever they like.  It has been uncommon for an application developer to understand how their creations interact over a network and vice – versa.
That is not going to be the way forward. There are simply too many ways for the server and network to work at cross purposes.

Metro Ethernet

There were two sessions Wednesday Afternoon on Metro Ethernet. The concept of vendors using Ethernet as a standard way to deliver services of various bandwidths seems to be a common theme. The challenges were well laid out in these two sessions on Security and Standards. The security presentation was a solid well laid out piece of work that was very engaging. It demonstrated the risks and laid out the steps that should be taken. While there was questions about Cisco products the presenter was reluctant to turn his presentation in to a product pitch. The second presentation was a very enthusastic discussion on the Metro Standards.

There were two sessions Wednesday Afternoon on Metro Ethernet. The concept of vendors using Ethernet as a standard way to deliver services of various bandwidths seems to be a common theme. The challenges were well laid out in these two sessions on Security and Standards. The security presentation was a solid well laid out piece of work that was very engaging. It demonstrated the risks and laid out the steps that should be taken. While there was questions about Cisco products the presenter was reluctant to turn his presentation in to a product pitch. The second presentation was a very enthusastic discussion on the Metro Standards. Like many of the Cisco presentations these are the same engineers develop the process and work on the committees so they CREATE the standard. However this one started to sound like my 4th year number theory class. A humourous enough fellow but just didn’t connect with me.

Cisco Networkers – Tuesday PM

This afternoons sessions including work on 802.11 location services and Network Security.

The first session of the afternoon presented an interesting use of 802.11 as a multi-service network providing data, voice and location managment. Several vendors are coming to market with RFID tags that are based on 802.11 that can be tracked by an enterprise Wireless network. This cuts down on interference of having multiple networks.

The Network security session was discussing the secure way to manage your network infrastructure. Key points included ‘if you were under attack – would you know it?’

This afternoons sessions including work on 802.11 location services and Network Security.

The first session of the afternoon presented an interesting use of 802.11 as a multi-service network providing data, voice and location managment. Several vendors are coming to market with RFID tags that are based on 802.11 that can be tracked by an enterprise Wireless network. This cuts down on interference of having multiple networks.

The Network security session was discussing the secure way to manage your network infrastructure. Key points included ‘if you were under attack – would you know it?’ and how to preserve management data for forensic follow up.

Networkers – Opening Session

The morning Keynote by John Chambers focused on business transitions and ‘where we are going’ talk. The demonstration section showed and example of how tecnology could be applied to entertainment (specifically a baseball game) to drive a better customer experience. Access to replays at your seat, presence aware kiosks, and integration between live events and home techology. The goal there to drive better ‘experience’ and provide better revenue oppoutunities.

At the first break out session, the room set up with tables and chairs so you are not writing on your lap. This is a major improvement from recent conferences. Given the size of the Las Vegas convention center, space is not a concern so adding tables isn’t a huge problem. The announced attendance at the conference was 10,000 this morning up from 6,000 last year.

The morning Keynote by John Chambers focused on business transitions and ‘where we are going’ talk. The demonstration section showed and example of how tecnology could be applied to entertainment (specifically a baseball game) to drive a better customer experience. Access to replays at your seat, presence aware kiosks, and integration between live events and home techology. The goal there to drive better ‘experience’ and provide better revenue oppoutunities.

At the first break out session, the room set up with tables and chairs so you are not writing on your lap. This is a major improvement from recent conferences. Given the size of the Las Vegas convention center, space is not a concern so adding tables isn’t a huge problem. The announced attendance at the conference was 10,000 this morning up from 6,000 last year.

The Cisco guys seem to be pretty happy and all indications are they are making the numbers. So business must be good.

Networkers

Blogging this week from Cisco Networkers in Las Vegas. This is one of the better vendor focused conferences you are likely to attend. If this week holds up to past precident. The sessions are lead by the technology and engineering folks rather than the more common marketing types. While Cisco hype is all over the place the information provided is top grade.

This morning started with another romp throught the CCIE routing and switching exam. Which I had completed but had not done the lab in the alloted period of time. Getting that lab done and the ‘CCIE’ designation is the gold standard in networking.

Blogging this week from Cisco Networkers in Las Vegas. This is one of the better vendor focused conferences you are likely to attend. If this week holds up to past precident. The sessions are lead by the technology and engineering folks rather than the more common marketing types. While Cisco hype is all over the place the information provided is top grade.

This morning started with another romp throught the CCIE routing and switching exam. Which I had completed but had not done the lab in the alloted period of time. Getting that lab done and the ‘CCIE’ designation is the gold standard in networking.

While the sessions are on a wide range of topics, as with any conference, you need to pick a couple of themes. Network Security and support of VOIP are the real draws this year. Both relate to the important topic of bandwidth management. You will find little philosophical debate about Network Neturality around here. This more – whatever it takes to get it done – stuff.

Parallels Virtualization Software released

Parallels Desktop for the Mac was offically release today after a few months of public beta. Running operating systems like Windows XP, Suse and Ubuntu. The release version implements the hardware-based virtualization that is part of the Intel Core Duo chips. This feature was not enabled in the beta. Attempts to run the Vista Beta 2 were unsucessful leading to and ACPI error when booting from the install DVD.

Application testing with Office, Quicken, and Simply Accounting has been very sucessful. Simply Accounting was an application that stubornly refused to work in other emulators.

Parallels Desktop for the Mac was offically release today after a few months of public beta. Running operating systems like Windows XP, Suse and Ubuntu. The release version implements the hardware-based virtualization that is part of the Intel Core Duo chips. This feature was not enabled in the beta. Attempts to run the Vista Beta 2 were unsucessful leading to and ACPI error when booting from the install DVD.

Application testing with Office, Quicken, and Simply Accounting has been very sucessful. Simply Accounting was an application that stubornly refused to work in other emulators. Overall performance is good with no obvious interface lag and the responsiveness is on par with a contemporary PC.

WinXP on a Mac

Following in the steps of Steve Dembo of teach42.com I also dropped PCs out of my office in favor of a Windows on Mac solution. A $1000 Mac Mini replaced a PC, DVD player, and home media server.

Using the Parallels Desktop  solution and a copy of XP Pro all the software that was previously on the Athlon 3500+ is now on a virutal environment on a Mac.

Noteable differences from previous emulation (VPC7), Speed! and getting Simply Accounting working.

Following in the steps of Steve Dembo of teach42.com I also dropped PCs out of my office in favor of a Windows on Mac solution. A $1000 Mac Mini replaced a PC, DVD player, and home media server.

Using the Parallels Desktop  solution and a copy of XP Pro all the software that was previously on the Athlon 3500+ is now on a virutal environment on a Mac.

Noteable differences from previous emulation (VPC7), Speed! and getting Simply Accounting working. Simply accounting was a critical application for many small business users that did not work with the Virtual PC product on the PowerPC. Just to be safe I kept the the harddrive from my PC and put it an external USB case. Despite the fact the drive is formated NTFS the files are readable (and copyable) from OS X