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There is not a ton of value in “Cloud Scaling” network technology

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“Cloud scaling” is all the rage this week at the Interop conference in Las Vegas. Those who build and sell networking equipment and solutions are determined to focus their networking technology around the rise of the cloud.

The idea is that cloud computing will increase the need for higher performing, secure, and resilient networking infrastructure. As I walked around the expo floor, the common theme was to refresh your networking technology around the use of public and private clouds.

Last week, three major vendors — HP, Arista Networks, and Brocade — took their platforms beyond the data center by adding server access density and software programmability. These are features needed for cloud computing, according to these network technology providers.

The aforementioned companies released new switches, modules, and software, including software-defined networking (SDN) tools.  This technology is designed to scale their platforms and fabric architectures to huge amounts of 10G-attached servers.

The new SDN tools exist now to automate provisioning and management of those large-scale cloud environments. This includes quickly rising cloud-computing standards and interfaces such as OpenStack-based private and public cloud distributions, or the AWS public cloud.

The trouble comes in when defining the core value of network upgrades, including the move to SDNs and the value it actually brings to enterprises that are moving to the cloud. In many respects, there is no significant value. This simply becomes a way to position network technology rather than solve a true problem.