New Network Meme

Warning, there is a nothing really new in this post – it is more of a rant by me.  I am not grumpy, just curious as to how all the “Scale-Out, SDN, New Network Era” meme developed.  I just happened to look at the Arista Network’s blog today and saw a posting from Jayshree that agrees with the SDN posting from Nick Lippis.  This triggered a thought on internet memes and what are the sources of thought around the new network meme.  Where is thought leadership coming from and how is it propagated?  This is my attempt to list a few external sources that I think have had an impact on the networking industry thought leadership and then analyze how it has developed on my blog which is a personal reflection.

February 11, 2008: Vyatta and Liquid Computing use the phrase “scale-out networking” in a press release.  From my limited searches, this is the first use of the phrase, but it is used in a bit of a throw away manner.  I would not be surprised to get mail from people saying that they deployed their Hadoop cluster and found 483,011 entries prior to 2.11.08.

September 2, 2009: Amin Vahdat writes a blog post and cites a paper by Nathan Farrington, titled Data Center Switch Architecture in the Age of Merchant Silicon.  Personally I think this is the starting point of a lot of industry thinking around what would become the third wave of networking meme.

October 31, 2010: James Hamilton Networks are in My Way.  A year later, this was one of the big thought catalysts for the SDN movement or at least the catalyst around what should the network do or look like.

I decided to go back and read through a few of my old postings on my blog to see how I was thinking and what was influencing my thought process.

May 11, 2011: End of the Era of Large Scale Venture Capital Backed Innovation post.  A year ago I wrote this post and in the intervening time I seen disagreement and agreement.

July 4, 2011: Moore’s Law Exhaustion post. This was about networking – not silicon.  I still think it is valid unless someone wants to show me a terabit ethernet switch.

July 11, 2011:  The Inventor’s Dilemma post.  When I wrote this post, I had not met anyone from Plexxi (where I work now), but I was definitely thinking we had been building the same network over and over for 20 years and something had to change.  This is the first time I had thought about what Nick Lippis would write about in terms of “network epochs.”

September 16, 2011: When I wrote the Stream of Consciousness on the Data Center and Networking I was back into the world networking reading and talking to a lot of people on a weekly basis.  This was my first attempt at a post about the feeling I was getting talking to people about networking.

October 1, 2011: Scale-Out Networking and Solving Big Problems Matter.  When I wrote this post, it was clear in my mind that networks were going to change.  It was not a hunch; it was not a guess – I knew.

October 10, 2011: Hypothesizing About the Future of Networking post. More of the same.

October 27, 2011: The Network is at Apogee post.  When I wrote this post and called out the Rise of the Stupid Network, a colleague told me I would get hate mail. Surprisingly there was no reaction.

October 16, 2011: What was I thinking in 2005?  I highlight this post because I included a presentation I gave in January 2005.  I was thinking a lot about the Cloud, we were just calling it grid computing in 2005.

Those posts really define my thinking on my way to joining Plexxi.  Since I started working at Plexxi and now spend many hours a day thinking about networking, it has only accelerated my thoughts about how the network will change.  The Plexxi effect has shown up in these posts:

That is the end of my rant.  It turned out to be an abbreviated list of reading that summarizes how I have been thinking about the network, the evolution of the network and the fusing of concepts around building networking products and networking companies.  It is probably pretty boring for most people, but I think there are at least a few people who appreciate the index.


* It is all about the network stupid, because it is all about compute. *

** Comments are always welcome in the comments section or in private. ** 

3 thoughts on “New Network Meme

  1. Pingback: SDN Thoughts and Interesting Interactions « SIWDT

  2. Pingback: SDN: What it Means, Max Hype Level Achieved and Code Words « SIWDT

  3. Pingback: Working Thoughts on SDN #2 | Plexxi

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