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Busy, Busy, Busy!

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say! People who know me know that I very rarely shut up for more than a few minutes. It’s just that I have been fairly busy lately. A lot of different things have been eating into my time and writing things for a network blog take a lot of time and effort. I have a 4 day Cisco ACE class next week in which I will be out of town, so I hope to get several posts done at night when I am sitting in the hotel. You don’t actually think I will be going out at night do you? Hmmmm…..a week away from the office and a training day that ends at 4:30pm. That leaves me all sorts of time for the following:

1. Catch up on the billion or so web pages I have bookmarked.
2. Get some things written for the blog that revolve around possible competitors to the Nexus 7000. With HP, Arista, Brocade, Force10, and Juniper selling competing products, there’s a lot of data to sift through. I honestly have no idea who will come out on top. It might just be the Nexus 7000!
3. Comment on my experience with the ACE class I will be taking with Global Knowledge. I’ve spent the last several days at work focused on ACE, so I am very interested in filling in the gaps of my knowledge regarding this interesting product.
4. Read up a little more on the Cisco/EMC/VMware vBlock concept. I went to a presentation today about that and am intrigued to say the least.
5. Write about the concept of baselining your in-house applications. This would be focused on knowing what the normal TCP/UDP operations look like from a packet capture standpoint.

I try and keep a running list in Evernote of the things I would like to write about. The list continues to grow, but the time it takes to transform just one of those ideas into a somewhat coherent post just hasn’t been there.

I hope to have some new content up early next week. The last thing I want is to end up abandoning this blog and waste all my time playing mindless games on my iPad, although I do enjoy doing that a few times a week.

  1. September 27, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    Am very curious to see your data center switch comparison (meaning you’re now committed to writing one, lol). I’m planning on a similar thing myself. One of the things I’m becoming obsessed with is power consumption. Feeding power to these higher-end chassis switches with 10G capability, perhaps PoE for switches like the 4500 being used for access layer, and zippy sup engines is becoming a real nuisance. The 10G agg/core switches are beastly electron consumers in the Cisco line up. Listening to Doug Gourlay of Arista talk about newer silicon manufactured with smaller dies, it seems you get more for less, which theoretically puts the N7K at a disadvantage. What I don’t know is if any of the players are really making less power hungry systems that perform similarly.

    Maybe it seems silly to think about power consumption, but in my world, it’s starting to matter. I led a project to install N7Ks, and power wasn’t really a consideration in the buying process (heck, not much was considered other than whether it said Cisco on the front and could aggregate 10G), right up until we had all sorts of trouble finding power budget to feed the dual-feed x 3 power supplies in the monsters. We worked it out, but it’s definitely given me pause when I look at future installations.

  2. September 28, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    I think it was you who posted a link in Twitter today about the Facebook data centers. In that article, they mentioned that DC’s for Facebook are priced around power capabilities and not so much on square footage. I thought that was fairly interesting.

    Yes, I am committed to writing about the N7k competitors, but finding the time to put something together that is quality seems a bit difficult to come by. Jeremy Filliben put together a nice post on 10Gig switches here which I am sure you have already seen.

    Like you, I am intrigued by the things Doug Gourlay said in the Packet Pushers podcast about Arista. Of course, you got a more intimate presentation out in CA, so you are most likely more excited than I am!

    Your thoughts on power are dead on. Ten years ago, nobody REALLY cared about DC architecture in terms of hot aisle/cold aisle and power consumption. That was left to a building maintenance person or someone similar. Now it is a full blown art form on par with actual network design. Hopefully I will get it all done in the near future. I have to finish up my ACE boot camp posts firsts, but I rolled right into a network refresh over the past weekend, so I was on site somewhere else and didn’t get a chance to complete the posts. No rest for the weary!

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