Campus Networks

Does SDN Have a Role in Campus Networks?

by Jim Metzler on ‎09-29-2014 04:31 PM - last edited on ‎09-30-2014 10:36 AM by (4,160 Views)

The vast majority of the discussion about SDN to date has focused on the data center. Since the network is a lot bigger than just its data center LAN that begs the question “Does SDN have a role in campus networks?”


The 30 Years of Network Evolution, A Three-Part Blog. Part Two: Disruption in Layer 2 and Layer 3.

by Abdul Wahid on ‎07-22-2014 10:44 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 01:13 PM by (3,474 Views)

In part one we talked about disruption in Layer 1. After Cabeltron, other companies entered the market with innovations in Layer 1. Notably Synoptics and Chipcom who were challengers to Cabletron. Chipcom came up with improved hardware with high-density ports. 


Wired networks are dead. Long live wired networks.

by Rick Freedman on ‎07-03-2014 06:10 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 01:25 PM by (3,533 Views)

The expansion of wireless networks in recent years has been phenomenal.  The rapidly growing use of smartphones, tablets and corporate acceptance of BYOD has forced businesses to offer wireless connectivity virtually everywhere.  Pundits have forecasted the decline of the wired network as we know it and, perhaps, the demise of wired-only network companies. 


How then, can a network company that only makes wired network switches still be growing?  As with most technology companies, it requires a business to adapt and change, to survive and thrive.  The end-user connectivity may be changing, but the importance and dependence on the wired network has never been greater.


SDN Hybrid Mode: Connecting the Dots

by Simon Pollard on ‎06-10-2014 05:00 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:14 PM by (2,958 Views)

Combining all the elements of a modern IT infrastructure can often feel like solving a technological dot-to-dot puzzle; there aren’t any visible relationships between all the points that must be interconnected but when they are joined up they form a coherent picture. Every IT professional is painfully aware that the reality is somewhat different; the relationship between the different components – network nodes, servers, storage and applications – runs deeper than mere connections;


Elastic Networks

by Simon Pollard on ‎06-10-2014 12:27 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:15 PM by (2,800 Views)

One of the biggest challenges when designing any new system that requires an element of capacity planning – computing, networks, transportation, to name a few - is deciding what the primary criteria are; should you go for a big initial costly build-out and hope that all of the capacity is used? Or aim for something more flexible that can start smaller and be expanded as required to deliver greater capacity. Factors such as the need for up-front investment and sketchy predictions of future demand need to be considered and the result can sometimes be a difficult compromise.


SDN Killer Apps for the Campus

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎05-16-2014 06:22 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:27 PM by (3,735 Views)

The data center is getting all the SDN attention these days, but the applications that will help SDN cross the chasm may actually very well come from the campus.


SDN has the ability to radically transform campus networks over the next few years and address today’s most acute management challenges.  Campus networks require application specific policies like security & access control, VLAN traffic isolation and QoS policies to be provisioned across the network one switch at a time. This consumes a lot of resources and results in a static network that cannot be easily updated as business requirements evolve and new applications are deployed.


Lego Networks

by Simon Pollard on ‎10-28-2013 01:04 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:42 PM by (3,481 Views)

The Effortless Network is about making campus networks fit the environment that they are being deployed into, making things simpler and more flexible by allowing network managers to build networks that are only limited by their imaginations. By using Ethernet as the connection medium within a switch stack we allow far greater deployment flexibility.


Tee it up!

by plaporte on ‎10-26-2013 05:02 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:44 PM by (2,212 Views)

For campus networking, customers have been challenged with a convergence of trends that are forcing them to rethink their architectures and technology. For the last year or so, we’ve been saying that campus networks have moved beyond “best effort” and are now as critical as your datacenter network. While some early visionaries “get it”, many campus network architects have not….yet.


Taking the Network outside of the Wiring Closet with Enterprise Compact Switches

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎10-26-2013 02:31 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:46 PM by (3,104 Views)

So, what do you do when you need to convert an existing room into a conference room or a classroom where you are going to need more ports than what’s currently wired in the walls? Essentially, the network admin faces two options, deploy an enterprise switch inside the room or let users bring their own switches to solve the problem on their own as they often do. 


Deploying consumer class unmanaged switches in an enterprise network is a bad idea, the problems are numerous: no security, no quality of service, no traffic management, no monitoring, no visibility to the network administrator and the biggest of all, no spanning tree.  What if a user inadvertently creates a loop through improper wiring and brings part of the network down?



What is The True Cost of Your Campus Network?

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎09-29-2013 07:02 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:49 PM by (1,733 Views)

According to Gartner, enterprise customers  expect a useful life of 5 to 10 years for their network infrastructure.  Over such an extended ownership period the initial cost of acquisition is going to represent only a fraction of the total cost.


So it’s important for IT departments to evaluate the total cost of ownership, including the cost of service and support, power, cooling and floor space, over the expected life of the network when making the vendor selections.


Brocade Healthcare Network Architecture

by pbal on ‎09-09-2013 07:11 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:05 PM by (1,338 Views)

Healthcare makes up a large segment of all worldwide economies. It is a very diverse environment made up of many entities, which can include large health systems, children’s medical centers, rural hospitals, ambulatory facilities, urgent care centers, laboratories, medical testing facilities, pharmacies, therapy centers, surgical facilities, long-term care facilities, teaching and research organizations, ambulance and mobile units, component and equipment manufacturers, vendors and distributors, etc. These entities are often spread over a large geographical area and are heavily regulated by each respective government. Correspondingly, the networks employed by the industry reflect the inherent complexity.


NEWSFLASH: Brocade Delivers HyperEdge Architecture for Campus Networks

by Dawn.Morris on ‎09-03-2013 09:31 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:15 PM by (1,235 Views)

Today we are pleased to announce the availability of our pioneering HyperEdge Architecture, which provides a holistic wired and wireless edge infrastructure and supports the next phase in delivering “The Effortless Network” to customers.


Going with the Flow

by Simon Pollard on ‎05-23-2013 01:18 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:18 PM by (1,335 Views)

"You can't manage what you can't measure" is a quotation that we often hear thrown around the business world by people who forget that organizations are populated by human beings who can be somewhat unpredictable as they are often respond in ways are governed by what Human Resources professionals call “hygiene factors”, in other words, unpredictable things driven by emotion and instinct. KPIs are not the only answer to management headaches. I’m not suggesting that data and statistics have no part to play in managing modern IT systems just because they are used by irrational and unruly human beings, what is important is the interpretation of the data and the best decisions are made when we have the maximum amount of information available at our fingertips.


Why You Need an Effortless Network Now: Watch the Video

by Dawn.Morris on ‎03-05-2013 11:51 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:19 PM by (1,077 Views)

We are so used to, and so busy dealing with or working around, the complexity of our networks that sometimes we need reminding that it doesn't have to be this way.  Network complexity is an issue of the way legacy campus environments are designed.  It wasn't an inherently bad design when campus networks began to be deployed for the first time; it’s just that it isn't a design that could cope with the massive changes in scale, volume and mobility that have come into play since. 


Build a Campus Network as Dynamic as its Users

by Dawn.Morris on ‎03-04-2013 06:39 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:21 PM by (1,184 Views)

Last year Brocade unveiled our vision for campus networking under the banner “The Effortless Network”.  Our proposition; that we need to make things simpler not more complex to create campus networks that can not only cope with but can improve the performance of wireless devices, applications, video, unified communications and cloud services etc, clearly hit a cord.


As Simon Pollard wrote in his post on this site titled Lego Networks; “If only networks could be built the same way [as Lego]. We seem to have got bound up in a dizzying array of complex protocols and technologies that have been designed to solve relatively simple problems. Whatever happened to plug-and-play?”


It’s Good to be Taken for Granted

by Simon Pollard on ‎02-04-2013 10:07 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:24 PM by (954 Views)

Possibly the most common back-handed compliment that utility providers get on a daily basis is that they are taken for granted. When you turn a tap you never doubt that water will flow and when you need light or power, well of course it will be there at the flick of a switch. Being taken for granted is a good thing because the underlying message is that the service is simple, reliable and efficient, or in other words; always-on and effortless. If everyone knows the intimate details of a service that they are using it’s because they have to continually battle with challenges to get what they need. To quote the fictional character Mike Engleby“I don't like being rumbled, I like to be invisible.”


Network Admins, Stuck in the Middle

by Simon Pollard on ‎01-14-2013 04:14 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:28 PM by (876 Views)

Like so many elements, such as heat, power and light, that are fundamental to the running of a modern company no-one takes much notice of the network until it fails to deliver,  Unlike those basic services though,  people’s expectations of the network are multi-faceted. And those “people” are not just the users, they are the developers that build the applications and services that businesses rely on. So Network Administrators, to quote Stealers Wheel, find themselves “Stuck in the Middle” between users and application developers who both make very similar assumptions about the network and what it will do for them. The most common assumption is that bandwidth is limitless, there will always be sufficient regardless of the location of the user. It’s a similar story for WiFi coverage, users expect wired-like performance and no gaps in coverage. And of course it’s all cheap and it never fails, ever.



Intelligent economy, dumb networks?

by svalliap on ‎01-11-2013 05:03 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:31 PM by (847 Views)

“As the intelligent economy continues to transform the business landscape, enterprise networks must be ready for a new set of demands”, says IDC.  Or to put in another way; we need intelligent networks to support that intelligent economy opportunity.  Legacy networks with low-scale, high-latency, complex architectures  that are difficult to manage, don’t match up to requirement.


Bridging the Gap: Customers, campus, and cloud

by Dave.Stevens on ‎01-08-2013 07:51 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:36 PM by (960 Views)

As data centers across the globe benefit from more virtualization and flatter, faster and more resilient and scalable networks, the campus environment has been put under immense pressure.  Although innovation has been rampant in the data center, campus has remained the poor cousin in terms of development, design, and investment.  But with more mobility, more video, more cloud and frankly more everything, the campus network has become a serious bottle-neck for many businesses, preventing growth, killing commercial edge, and impacting productivity.