A decade ago, data centers were much smaller, and applications were typically huge, monolithic affairs, deployed using the classic client-server model. The core-distribution-access architecture model for networking served those applications well in data centers with north-south data flows because the application was hosted on a single server that communicated with clients outside of the data center.
In contrast, applications nowadays are built using microservices, which run on different servers within the data center. Microservices must communicate with each other to achieve the functionality of the wider application, requiring more east-west traffic than their monolithic counterparts. So the microservices of today’s applications require a change in data center architecture, namely to spine-leaf deployments with two switching layers.
Another change that is seeing increased adoption in the data center switching space is the use of disaggregated solutions. These types of solutions distance themselves from integrated hardware and software provided by a single vendor in exchange for bare metal or bare-metal hardware appliances and separate network operating systems (NOSs).
This approach allows data center operators more flexibility and control over the networking infrastructure. While we don’t expect to see all data center infrastructure shifting towards disaggregated solutions overnight, vendors who focus only on integrated solutions may well be left behind.
With new architecture models and disaggregated solutions, along with the increased demand for data and the consolidation of data center operations resulting in fewer and fewer players, the key characteristic to assess in any solution is scalability. In this context, scalability is highly dependent on how vendors support design, deployment, and operation activities.
Intelligence and automation around activities for Day 0, 1, 2, and beyond will differentiate the market between leading vendors and laggards. A highly scalable data center solution can support features such as one-touch deployments, AI-based network troubleshooting and diagnostics, and batch policy configurations.
Finally, today’s application-first mentality positions networks as a support function, reframing our approach from a bottom-up view—network to application—to a top-down view—application to network. Borrowing from the DevOps methodology, the NetOps approach remotely provisions, configures, and determines networking policies to support application performance.
Chris is one of the most brilliant technologists and charismaticspeakers I’ve met in a long time. He’s an absolute creative, has amind focused on solutions, and is driven by a deep belief in whathe does. He’s both an inspirational leader and great colleague. I’d work with Chris again any day of the week.
Lia Kiessling, Internet Society
Together we conquered many challenges, won impossible battles in the vendor industry and created a unique security practice. He has an interesting set of talents of being an engineer, innovator, and a thought leader, but never mixes any of these roles. That is what makes him successful as a leader. “Never be comfortable” is what Chris would tell me, which is what pushed me to do my first tech talk. I now have dozens behind me within some of the largest conferences known in the security vendor industry. Chris is nothing short of supernatural.
Leo Cruz, Myriad360
One thing everyone should know about Chris, he always providesnothing less then quality customer service and technical support. His professionalism and skill far exceeds all expectations because he always goes the extra mile.
David Corbett, tw telecom
Chris excels at finding best practices for a company which in turn make processes more efficient and reliable. He uplifts those that report to him with encouragement for their work. His confidence in his role reflects in his work!
Kenyanna Cornely, GigaOm
I enjoy working with him on a professional and personal level.
Diane Turley, tw telecom
Chris is highly technical and has excellent organizational andfollow up skills. I assigned Chris several initiatives whileassigned to my team and his performance was exceptional. He isself motivated and has extensive technical knowledge.
Ray Whinery, Time Warner Telecom
Chris is technically creative, hard working, and extraordinarilyeffective at working with both internal and external technicalexpert communities. A pleasure to have had on the team atCableLabs. I fully expect him to significantly move his organization and the industry.
Tom Lookabaugh, CableLabs
Through the several tasks that we spent together in a professional environment, I have seen Chris accomplish things that many would consider impossible – both as a professional and technically – and neither has been a disappointment. Chris is a calculated risk-taker. He has an uncanny way of determining what the target market needs and has the capability of tweaking his designs and implementations accordingly. As a pragmatic leader and a realist, he can grasp ideas in a holistic manner and still pay attention to minor details. Chris has a well-deserved reputation as someone who is diligent and personable – two qualities that define him completely. As someone who is a creative thinker and possesses a can-do attitude, Chris is a pleasure to work with.
Kyle Smith, Markley
Chris is a superior problem-solver withgreat people skills and ability to ask the really hard questions. Ateam player who is engaged and approachable, I expect Chris will have significant impact in the tech industry.
Deb Gerring, CableLabs
Chris is an exceptionally energetic individual, a talented thinkerand an accomplished public speaker. He is a very rewardingperson to work with due to the level of organization he brings toevery project. He has vision and probity, a rare combination. I has been a great privilege to work with him.
John Springer, ARIN Advisory Council
Chris was always on top of current technology and how thistechnology would fit into his current network environment. Chriswas a pleasure to work with and will be an asset to any organization lucky enough to hire him.
Steve Braden, Streakwave Wireless
Chris is smart, diligent and focused, and knows how to lead a tight team. His hands-on experience and industry analysis is second to none, but he’s still grounded and approachable. At GigaOm, Chris conducted, then was a key player executing on an end-to-end review that was pivotal in shifting the company from a smaller analyst business dealing with rapid growth, to an established player in the analyst market.
Jon Collins, GigaOm
Chris is just phenomenal. I met him a few years ago when he was starting with GigaOm and I saw him becoming one of the pillars of this organization in months. He is committed, talented, organised and full of enthusiasm. I don’t know how he manages it, but looks like his days are 36 hour long! In fact, he is not only a good manager but he has a boatload of other activities in parallel: blogs, podcasts, events, videos, and more. All developed with quality and users in mind. I enjoyed working with him and this collaboration also taught me a lot.
Enrico Signoretti, Juku consulting
Chris is an excellent organizer and leader with vision and energy.He pulled together the Colorado Chapter of the Internet Society,wrote the inital by-laws and saw the process through to the actual chapter formation.
Karen Mulberry, Internet Society
Chris was an excellent coach, mentor and problem solver. Chris consistently possesses a “can do” attitude while taking on more and more responsibility and taking the time to fully understand, upskill and learn as required for success. Chris is very organized and patient. He is proactive in identifying and addressing risks and issues that could erstwhile derail hard-earned successes. Chris’ list of talents and intangibles is long, but never a surprise once you get the opportunity to work with him.
Scott Perricone, Myriad360
Chris is always happy to contribute to a discussion or to an issue and is more than happy to lend a hand to both assist team members with their tasks or to lend his expertise in order to benefit the requestor. He is constantly providing knowledge transfer in a peer to peer manner, engaging others to work together to move a project forward or to resolve an issue. Most importantly, Chris is an open and honest communicator about whatever the topic of the moment is, something that is refreshing in today’s world. I could always count of Chris to lend his opinion or his ideas to any subject matter, and this becomes an important contribution for any team. Chris has tremendous talent and is a very hard working, team player. I would welcome Chris to my team at any point in the future.
Paul Diamond, Markley
As Chris’ Editor for Exploring IPv6, a Day One book, he kept tohis schedule, output exceedingly lucid prose, and gave a sense ofinstructional design to an extraordinary tough technology todeploy. On time, better than could be expected, and executed with grace.
Patrick Ames, Juniper Networks
I’ve never met anyone who worked as hard as he did at learning and absorbing new skills and technologies and then applying them to his work. He’s a very fast learner and an asset to anyone who has the fortune to work with him.
Kaelyn Bowman, Virtella Communications
Chris Grundemann was among the most energetic and competent members of our Council throughout his time as an elected member. I found(find) Chris a most thoughtful man who brought insight and experience to the role, but was also always a genuine and professional member exerting leadership with tact and good humor. I think highly of Chris both as a technical professional and community leader, but also as a trusted friend.
Bill Darte, ARIN Advisory Council
Chris is a focused individual, willing to go the extra mile to helpcustomers, and do the job correctly. He is a great teacher, and a smart man.
Tyson Schaetzle, Tikkom Wire
He would always be available as a sounding board for complex issues and provided me with amazing insight on long term planning and ways to scale up teams and business processes.
Alex Tief, Myriad360
I have worked with Chris on several projects over the years. His leadership, cooperation, and execution skills are first class. Chris looks at the big picture, identifies necessary actions, builds a plan, and gets the project done
Richard Jimmerson, ARIN
Chris is an engineer and leader of the highest caliber as demonstrated by his ongoing volunteer responsibilities within the Internet technical community and his unwavering drive.
Connie Kendig, Internet Society
Chris helped us build our security and networking practice success that continues with us today. He also contributed across the organization by conducting listening tours to identify and then help design operational strategies for areas of the business we wanted to better optimize. Chris’s focus on execution helped set the standard for delivering high quality and important research to the market.
Ben Book, GigaOm
Chris has the talent to completely embrace and encompass atechnology and from that drive results. It is obvious that Chrisenjoys sharing his knowledge base and ideas with others. It wasa pleasure working with Chris.
John McQueen, Broadcom
We appreciated his work ethics andclarity of thought. His mind was always on the “next step” and kept us all on our toes.
Ed Partch, American Tech Support
Working with Chris has been a real pleasure. He is open, friendly, intelligent, discreet, skilled, productive, driven, resourceful and trustworthy! Our organisation has really benefitted from Chris’s skills and knowledge.
Howard Baggott, Internet Society
In a wireless organization the network your products operate on needs to be reliable, dependable and operating at top efficiency. Chris made sure that was a reality. Chris was a leader in the day to day operation of our network, on initiating improvement designs for the future and helping out the other departments to close performance gaps. There was never a problem to hard to solve, a solution he was not willing to seek out or a cutting edge idea he hadn’t already researched.