Enterprise Networking Week in Review: Networking Career Crossroads, Cloud on the Horizon, NAC Market News, and Open Networking in SDN

By Jude Chao | Aug 16, 2013 | Print this Page
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Jude ChaoFriday's here, bringing with it our regular wrap-up of this week's networking coverage on Enterprise Networking Planet. This week brought earnings calls, new product news, career tips, and much more.

Networking job news and career tips

Whether you call it downsizing or the more politically correct "rightsizing," the fact remains that Brocade and Cisco this week both announced plans to reduce their workforces. Our ever-prolific Sean Michael Kerner covered both vendors' earnings calls, reporting on how Brocade has been doing since CEO Lloyd Carney took over in January and on Cisco's plans to eliminate 4,000 jobs moving forward.

Routine corporate "rightsizing" isn't the only threat to careers these days, either. Automation's on the rise, and that includes the automation of once-manual network tasks like installation, maintenance, provisioning, and configuration. So how do you make sure you don't get automated out of your job? I discussed that question with Network Automation founder and CEO Dustin Snell in a recent interview.

While you're considering ways to future-proof your own career, make sure to read Elizabeth Harrin's list of the five soft skills every networking pro needs. Having technical expertise is crucial to a technical position, of course, but communication, leadership, and business skills grow ever more critical the more IT departments begin to align with broader business goals.

What's up in the cloud?

Speaking of business goals, more enterprises are turning to the cloud for critical applications. Cisco's banking on that with its new cloud-managed wireless access points. But cloud app hosting has its own problems. The performance of cloud-hosted applications often depends on external factors, like the performance of the public WAN. In a guest post, Rob Marson of JDSU offers some suggestions for ensuring optimal app delivery performance over public wide area networks.

NAC becomes EVAS, plus some SDN talk

BYOD can also support business goals, but it also brings greater security risks. Do the benefits outweigh those risks? They can with the proper security measures, like NAC, which is now evolving into the bigger, more mainstream Endpoint Visibility, Access and Security (EVAS) category, according to the Enterprise Strategy Group. I spoke with Gil Friedrich of NAC market leader ForeScout to learn more about what EVAS will bring.

And, finally, a week at Enterprise Networking Planet wouldn't be complete without some discussion of software defined networking. This week, Data Center blogger Art Cole examines the importance of interoperability within a software defined network, how open platforms support SDN, and whether the time has finally come for Linux to emerge as the dominant enterprise networking platform.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading Enterprise Networking Planet—enjoy your weekend, and be sure to check back next week for more networking news, reviews, and how-tos!

Jude Chao is executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.