Archive | March 21, 2014

Don’t do SDN, don’t get SDN – do “networking outcomes defined by software”.

Don’t do SDN. Quite simply there is nothing to be done as such. If the current industry hype is compelling you to “do SDN” or “get SDN” you may find you already have it (or a version of it). If you are a user of server virtualisation solutions with hypervisors and virtual switches you are already leveraging networking elements defined and delivered by software (but elements the MUST still drive hardware). To extend the discussion further if your organisation uses carrier based services (delivered by one of the major telecoms companies) you are already using network services like MPLS and VPLS that massively leverage elements defined in software to deliver the networking outcome you need (many call this network function virtualisation but this is somewhat semantic).

Therefore are you missing anything now or are you already a customer of the next big thing but were blissfully unaware? Enter that horrible response “Yes and Yes”, modern enterprise customers have embraced software defined networking ideals for quite a while however equally the software defined storyboard has been somewhat invisible to all but those learned technologists employed to design, build and support the platforms in question.

But now those more recent networking elements defined in software and grouped together under the SDN banner, paint a totally different picture even if many of the legacy network infrastructure elements are retained. The brave new defined world of SDN is all about open standards (preventing vendor lock in), accelerated innovation (by using open source ideals), potential for cost reduction (due to the hardware abstraction or any network hardware vendor ideology), true network agility (massively reducing time to market of applications and new business services) and most compelling of all, application awareness (to ensure applications control the network not vice versa).

It means that striving to “do SDN” makes little sense unless you are clear on the business outcome aligned aspects that are essential to realise.  With that in mind the “big tip” is to understand the SDN or network virtualisation elements that can deliver tangible value against a realistic operational plan. This must be the primary action for now, not an unchecked move to a new platform based on a features biased evaluation.

To that end now is the time to evaluate how ready your current networking platform (and security footprint) that underpins your business is to deliver the speed, agility and dynamism your business requires. And maybe is not a valid response. By understanding and leveraging the most viable elements of traditional networking approaches, interfaced with validated software defined and network virtualisation outcomes, the best of both worlds has the potential to deliver the best in the world outcome for your organisation.  The new dawn of the software defined IT enterprise will potentially be your best dawn ever……

Big claims maybe – try me !

Until next time

Colin W

Twitter @colinwccuk

The first update from our new Associates

Welcome to the first blog written by Computacenter’s 2014 intake of new associates. The success of previous programmes has allowed this year’s intake to be bigger than ever, including a new programme for Service Manager Associates.

“We were fortunate enough to receive an insight into the company
from high profile employees such as Neil Muller”

Computacenter provided the 14 of us with a jam packed induction during our first three weeks. The information we received during this time will be invaluable during our 18 month programme. During the induction, we were fortunate enough to receive an insight into the company from high profile individuals such as Neil Muller (UK Managing Director) and Clare Parry-Jones (Director of Business Enablement) as well as a number of Sector Directors. We also benefitted from a number of 101 (introductory guide) presentations including an introduction to hardware and software. This came as a huge relief to me, because I started the programme with zero technical knowledge, and although we were told this was not an issue, it was reassuring that this level of knowledge was catered for!

On behalf of the 2014 Associate Programme, I would like to take this time to thank all of those who took the time to present to us; as well as to Sue Harris and Adriana Mills who organised such a smoothly run and informative induction.

“With having fun being the main emphasis”

The next stage of the programme was one that we were all very much looking forward to; getting stuck into our rotations. I, along with three other Sales Associates, began my journey through the programme with a month in Partner Management. The objective of this programme was to network with all members of Partner Management, with having fun being the main emphasis; we certainly did this! The team could not have been any more welcoming and were happy to get us involved with events and vendor meetings, which we all found informative and enjoyable. Thank you to all of those in Partner Management!

“The feedback that we received from the day will be vital to us”

All of the associates were fortunate to get the opportunity to attend a presentation skills training day during our second month. The feedback that we received on the day was vital to us, as throughout the programme we are required to present to a number of senior people, up to and including Mike Norris. This is just one of the ways that we are being assessed during the programme, so good presentation skills are something that all of the associates want to master early on!

I hope you have enjoyed reading the first blog brought to you by the 2014 Associates. Please tune back in next month to hear from one of our Line of Business Sales Associates, Ben Parry.

Sales Associate