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Rethinking the Network

Marten Terpstra

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Top Stories by Marten Terpstra

Through http://blog.ipspace.net I landed on this article on acm.org discussing the complexity of distributed systems. Through some good examples, George Neville-Neil makes it clear that creating and scaling distributed systems is very complex and “any one that tells you it is easy is either drunk or lying, and possibly both”. Networks are of course inherently distributed systems. Most everyone that has managed a good sized network before knows that like the example in the article, minor changes in traffic or connectivity can have huge implications on the overall performance of a network. In my time supporting some very large networks I have seen huge chain reactions of events based on what appear to be some minor issues. Very few networks are extensively modeled before they are implemented. Manufacturers of machines, cars and many other things go through extensive ... (more)

Pay Attention to Big Data By @MartenT1999 | @BigDataExpo [#BigData]

Network Engineers, Pay Attention to Big Data You have probably realized we are having a Big Data kind of week here at the Plexxi blog. And for good reason. The amount of development and change in this big bucket of applications we conveniently label “Big Data”, is astonishing. Walking around at Hadoopworld in New York last week, I initially felt somewhat lost as a “networking guy”. But that feeling of “not belonging” is only superficial, the network has a tremendously important role in these applications. The challenge is that many “networking” folks don’t quite understand or r... (more)

Cables, Transceivers and 10GBASE-TX

In the past few weeks at Plexxi we spend probably an unreasonable amount of time talking about, discussing and even arguing over ethernet cables and connectors. As mundane as it may sound, the options, variations, restrictions and cost variations of something that is usually an afterthought is mind boggling. And as a buyer of ethernet networks, you have probably felt that the choices you make will significantly change the price you pay for the total solution. During our quarterly Product Management get together, my colleague Andre Viera took 25GbE as a trigger to walk the rest o... (more)

Red Sox, Pumpkins and Packet Encapsulation

[This is not really about the Red Sox or pumpkins this Halloween, but how could I not use those in the title? Go Red Sox] I left an awful teaser at the end of my article last week. In Brent Salisbury's original article that triggered some of these additional virtualization thoughts, he articulated two very clear differences between native network based L2 virtualization mechanisms and the mechanisms that are being provided by overlay solutions based mostly in server vSwitch infrastructure. These two fundamental functions are MAC learning and tunnel encapsulation. In today's post... (more)

Many Waze to Cambridge

I work mostly in Plexxi’s office in Nashua, NH. That is about a 12-minute commute for me, backroads only through two sleepy towns. Very convenient and a great improvement over my previous commute. Every now and again I make the trek out to our Cambridge office and it is painful. About 40 miles and around 45 minutes of mostly highway on a good day; early morning this is easily a 90-minute exercise, and finding myself on the road for two hours is not unusual. I am not very attached to a GPS, but whenever I travel a distance or know I am going to hit traffic, I turn on Waze on my p... (more)