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To prevent SDN failing, prepare to fail, says Cisco

Cisco AfricaCom

In his keynote at AfricaCom, Cisco’s Paolo Campoli emphasised the possibilities brought by SDN to create new jobs and opportunities for service providers in Africa.

“The revolution for programmable networking is to develop a new ecosystem of data developers,” he said. “We believe that in the African environment there’s a unique opportunity to train people and develop new opportunities and create these data developers.”

He went on to say that one of the most prosperous ways of harnessing the potential software defined networking platforms is to push them to the point of failure time and again.

“One of the lessons we have learned is that there’s no point in using present models of operation or clichés of the past to define the future of software driven networking,” he said. “One of the best principles is the Amazon Chaos Monkey principle, that to prevent failure in the future, one must consistently push systems to the point of failure, in order to prove its capabilities.”

Providing hyper-connectivity to devices and machines is the easy bit, with WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, LoRA and many more, said Campoli. The tricky bit, he implied, is then managing those connections appropriately to analyse and understand the data.

“You can’t imagine the layer of connectivity without a layer in the network that’s responsible for distributing computing or to conduct analytics, in order to deliver the internet of things,” he said. “A lot of service providers are thinking about IoT, IoE, smart cities; they’re looking at how the value is shifting, a complete revalue of business for operators, which is focussing less on the actual connectivity of devices, and more about their management and the analysis of the data they output.”

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