Further 8-bit Adventures at Interop
In April the CNI team was in Las Vegas for Interop ’14, presenting the latest installment of the “infinite game” series, titled “The New Rules of the Infinite Game.” This presentation was built upon the story we developed for networking company Brocade and presented at Supercomputing ’13 and VMworld in Barcelona, Spain.
While the existing game scenarios in our narrative were still quite relevant to this audience, at Interop there was a desire to spotlight the themes of interoperability and automation. We used our intrepid 8-bit video game character to explore and illustrate these concepts.
Interoperability through the use of open technologies means building a solution that may include components from multiple vendors, but that all work together due to their support for open standards.
Here our 8-bit friend is once again trying to reach his goal (symbolized by the golden grail). To get there, he must progress from platform to platform, slowly moving higher and higher. Geometric pieces fall from the sky, Tetris-style. When these pieces interlock neatly, a tower grows in the middle of the screen, providing a means for the 8-bit adventurer to climb upwards, step by step. Along the way he realizes that monolithic, closed solutions – as represented by the massive blue piece in the center frame – can actually block his progress. But by continuing to use multiple, varied pieces that fit together seamlessly he can finally achieve his goal.
(Yes, that particular blue RGB value in the middle frame does represent a competitor – but notice that it reappears in the last frame, as part of an integrated, not monolithic solution!)
This story illustrates the the benefits of solutions built with open components that work together, in particular the idea of avoiding being locked out (or locked in) down the road. In contrast, closed, monolithic solutions may look compelling initially, but when one is locked into such an approach, ultimately one’s progress can be hindered. This is an important concept to network architects facing a dynamic technological landscape: they need to make decisions, now – but they want to know they will have a range of options to deal with new developments in the future.
Automation refers, simply, to doing more with less – an important topic for network administrators and architects who are increasingly being asked to provide more robust services while facing shrinking budgets.
This scene begins with our poor 8-bit friend running and running, jumping at regular intervals to grab a prize. Sure, he’s scoring some points, but it’s a lot of work! A much better approach is to devise a skillful strategy, an expert maneuver that allows him to score multiple times with one simple action. Here, a single quick move knocks out all the menacing opponents and drops all the prizes down to within his reach. Now that’s doing more with less!
We also introduced some technology for tracking the audience experience in the booth at Interop ’14. Read more, here.