Random Musing on Networking Semi

I’m finding it tuff to write on tech stuff lately. I’ve got lots of thoughts, but they are not gelling.

For the past few years I’ve been thinking that developing networking gear for the “Internet companies” like Google, Yahoo, Akamai, etc is the right thing to do. This fits with my view of the network which is not kind to incumbents. Probably why I like the Telco 2.0 guys so much. But the reality is that this market is still in “innovators dilemma land” ( ie not big enough today to gain traction within a public company … but great for startups because the big guys can’t really go here yet. )

Way back in the ’90s I went to a “clustering/super-computer” conference in Monterey and heard a founder of Inktomi speak. It was so cool that they were using a “clustered” computer ( ie hundreds of PCs) and wrote their search software on that.

Anyways, Google has taken this to whole new level and along the way has designed their own servers and now networking gear. In Andrew@Nyquist’s recent post on Google 802.3 switches there were interesting comments from providers of Silicon & Hardware for these applications. It is interesting that they believe that BRCMs enterprise ethernet silicon can be beaten. This may be true because back in the ’90s the latency of Ethernet was an issue for clusters.

On another front I’m liking all the traffic shaping articles. The coolest was Telco 2.0’s review of PlusNet. These guys show the customer the results!

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