Thursday, November 20, 2008


I was thinking about road rage this morning while sitting behind a massive truck pulling a construction tractor. This was the second time I was en route to work. The first time I went to work didn't fare so well. I pulled into a parking spot and realized I had forgotten my laptop. This is moments after leaving my apartment where I realized I had lost my wallet...somewhere.

On the second attempt to get to work, I was cognizant of time and my emotions were buzzing in the 'annoyed' section of the spectrum.

I wondered if the speed of things these days makes it easier to get frustrated in slow situations. I get up-to-the-minute updates via text when my pals update their twitter. I can search google (or text google for that matter) if I am lost or in need of entertainment, and I have the fastest internet access at work.

What was it like before all this? I am starting to forget. Granted, I didn't have a drivers license when I was chatting friends on BBS via a 1200 baud modem, so I can't comment on what road rage was like then.

Do you think there is any merit to the thought that the technological speed at which we're moving today makes it all the more painful to be stuck behind a snail-speed semi? Or am I just making excuses for why I am so impatient?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Keith Redfield interview on Juniper's KB

Keith Redfield, director of eSupport at Juniper Networks, talks with me about some of the new changes to the KB. For more information, check out

Knowledge Base Know-How

The Knowledge Base is new and improved, now with more fast acting power and kung fu grip! Take a look at this short video to get pointed in the right direction.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Media Highlights from Juniper / Ixia Event [part 2]

Below is a video highlighting the first part of the day: initiating the live demo. Areg Alimian, Technical Product Manager, introduces the equipment being used. Juniper Networks T1600 is connected to Ixia's XM12 chassis. The demo will drive full 640Gb of IP UDP traffic through the router. The demo is conducted in Ixia's 'iSimCity' - a virtualization environment that simulates the traffic a small city would create. So, while we all spent our time chatting and eating delicious catered food, the T1600 was stoically sitting on it's rack pushing a city's worth of video, email, web pages, etc through it's ports.

Next, we reconvened in the main presentation room to participate in a panel discussion. There were four members on the panel: Vic Alston, Sr Vice President of Product Development at Ixia; Juniper's Luc Ceuppens, as mentioned before; Andrew Fanara, Team Leader of Product Development with the EPA; and Bruce Nordman of the Energy Analysis Department with Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. The video below only shows highlights of the panel discussion. Both Andrew and Bruce are not shown in it, but that is not to discredit their insights. (More on their involvements after the video.)

Bruce Nordman, a fellow Cal grad, revealed statistical data concerning the amount of energy being consumed. He informed us how each KWh for IT means another KWh for power and cooling. "The server data center is 10% of the IT load and gets more attention than other networking equipment." He stressed how ECR has been a long time coming. Bruce works closely with Andrew Fanara of EPA, and related the test procedure and metrics of ECR to that of Energy star which is where Andrew's expertise lies.

Andrew said that good cost-effective strategies of the data center came into his radar when a report was sent to Congress. He mentioned how every sector has to be looked at, whether it be warehouses, hospitals or schools, and notes how "benchmarking allows for improvements"

The final video shows the results of the demo. Since this is the first time a piece of equipment has been put through this Class One test, the results are not what you would typically anticipate. No one won a gold medal or received a seal of approval. Ixia provides an un-biased comparison of what level of energy networking products are consuming. The results show that there is a reliable, repeatable and accurate testing methodology for power utilization based on real world loads. The T1600 is the first product to go through this testing.

I am curious to see what happens after more tests have been performed. The more products that are tested, the more we will be able to try to beat our own performances as well as the performances of other companies. From my own "un-biased" opinion, if I can even have one from the place I am sitting, it’s not [only] about competing product against product, company against company. ECR allows us to do a bit of self-assessment on the grounds that change needs to be made. I hope that everyone hops on board and continues to work in the direction of lowering the amount of energy we are consuming.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creating Energy Standards for Networking Equipment [Part One]

On November 6, I had the privilege of attending an event at Ixia for a new Energy Consumption Rating (ECR). Juniper Networks T1600 Core Router was the first piece of equipment to be tested under the new standard. It was an amazing event, and one that I am grateful to be a part of.

When I first heard about the event, I started talking to people from both Juniper and Ixia about what the event was and why it was so important. I kept hearing how "ECR is going to effect networking equipment the same way EnergyStar effected home appliances." I didn't know what to expect walking in to the event, but when I walked out I was full of questions and speculations about how this could change the world of networking.

Whenever I see a car commercial on TV that touts their car has amazing fuel economy, I can't help but scoff at the absurdity of it all. I wish there was a law in place, not only for the well being of the world but for the well being of my pocket book, that would make it mandatory for a car to obtain a higher mile-per-gallon. ECR is not a law, but it will act as a means of measurement. Atul Bhatnagar, CEO of Ixia, said "what you do not measure, you cannot improve." I was struck by this statement because it is so relevant to the here-and-now.

The event lasted from 9am until 3pm and was broken up into a few sections. In the morning, we talked about the state of networking, and focused on the amount of energy that Data Centers are currently consuming. Luc Ceuppens, Sr Director of Product Marketing High-End systems Business Unit at Juniper Networks, mentioned how he often hears "it costs me more to run my network than it does to own it." This issue is something that has gained a lot of attention. Data centers have a substantial amount of information pulsing through them at all times, it costs an equal amount of energy to cool the system down as it does to power the system.

I think it is safe to say that we all expect for technology to constantly improve. We want to be able to surf the internet, exchange email, and text message amongst other things. The capability is there. Luc mentioned how it takes the same amount of energy to power the bandwidth required for an iPhone as it does to power 5,000 regular phones. But, if you waited in a 4 hour line for an iPhone and pay the $100 or so dollars a month for a phone and data plan, you don't want to sacrifice any more money in order to watch YouTube, or check your mail. Of course not--we're consumers. We want more features, faster, and for less money than the previous version. Behind the scenes, the data centers are working overtime. They need more equipment, and more energy to power and cool that equipment. The only remedy? Efficiency.

We are exceptional creatures. Our ability to produce new products with time-saving and mind-stimulating features is an incredible one. Unfortunately, we don't see the ramifications of our creation until we are in the crux of it. ECR shows our cognizance of our present-day issues. As Atul mentioned, ECR is a ways of measuring so we can make change.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Interview with "Pentin Processor"

Josine (also known as "Pentin Procesor" on J-Net) and I sat down to talk about her involvement with our J-Net community. It was an amazing day, unlike the last few dreary and soggy days we've been having. 

Josine is a great contributor to our community and helps provide a lot of solid support for our forum member. Take a look and see why we think Josine is amazing.