One of the more rewarding aspects of my position with IP Infusion is when we get industry recognition by noted influencers. Last week, Kevin Myers of leading independent network consulting group IP ArchiTechs was featured on the Packet Pusher’s Heavy Networking podcast. Packet Pushers Co-founder Ethan Banks interviewed Kevin on the state of white box networking for Heavy Networking Episode 650.
IP ArchiTechs is a completely independent, vendor-agnostic consultancy focused on design and network protocols. They are not a value-added reseller of systems; instead their market expertise is to provide networking methodologies and tools that align more closely with actual business goals of their clients. Their clients range from enterprise networking to service providers, and everything in between.
Because of the independent nature of their business, IP ArchiTechs’ primary focus is to procure and research best-of-breed networking practices and technologies for their clients without the pressures of selling hardware or systems. This has created a unique market niche for them, and they continue to be recognized in the networking industry as credible and knowledgeable experts with deep networking expertise in both closed and open systems.
On the podcast, Kevin gave some great insights into some of the pros and cons with white box networking adoption today. With more than two decades of networking industry experience, he’s got a great perspective on industry trends and fads.
IP ArchiTechs are experts in open networking, and this expertise has had increasing relevance during the pandemic. Supply chain issues are still affecting the networking industry, so much so that some organizations that might have discounted open networking in the past are now put in a position where they no longer have an option to wait on their primary systems vendor. Open networking can be a viable market alternative.
Additionally, some of the other historical barriers to open networking are finding new work arounds. For example, support and troubleshooting used to be a major hurdle because of the disparate nature of open networking vendor support. But today, with an increasing number of open standards vendors combined with advances in manufacturing, trouble shooting on open networking installs is comparable to closed systems. Kevin highlighted several vendors, including IP Infusion and Edgecore Networks, as being effective technology partners and contrasting the speed of bug fixes in installs.
Kevin also was quick to praise the maturity of the resellers they work with in open networking. Often being the front-line customer facing contact, the VAR industry lagged a little in understanding the real value of open networking, but today that market has also matured with some real experts available now. Kevin mentioned in particular EPS Global, an IP Infusion partner, as really understanding how the white-box ecosystem worked.
In closing, Kevin and Ethan point out how white boxing and open networking can help align business objectives with infrastructure needs more closely. Having open standards in networking will allow for better point solutions to be deployed without the fear of complex vendor lock-ins or bloated deployments.
Beating the Supply Chain Crunch: A Case Study For Open Networking
The Critical Lowdown Episode 12
IP Infusion partner EPS Global also published an episode of its podcast, which echoed many of these sentiments of white box networking, through an actual customer case study. Its podcast The Critical Lowdown devoted an episode to MetaLINK Technologies. MetaLINK is an advanced broadband service provider based in Ohio, facing exponential demand for its products and services during the pandemic. Work from home, school from home and general lockdown requirements saw demand for Internet services grow 400% within the first few months during this period, so upgrading their capacity quickly and effectively became an immediate project.
Contacting various black box and closed systems vendors they typically worked with, their project managers weren’t satisfied with the 12-18 month product lead times they were being quoted. Out of necessity, they looked into other options with EPS Global and Vince Schuele of IP ArchiTechs.
Quickly they drafted a plan to provide a white-box solution with IP Infusion software. Within a 3-4 month timeframe, they were able to power up their new network, and in the process discovered some other huge benefits of white-box networking and working with IP Infusion, including simplified licensing and seamless troubleshooting.
The entire podcast, available on Spotify, contains details to the project and advice for other service providers looking at open networking options.
Make sure to check out Packet Pusher’s Heavy Networking #650. https://packetpushers.net/podcast/heavy-networking-650-whether-and-how-to-adopt-whitebox-switches/
Also connect with IP ArchiTechs: https://iparchitechs.com/
Kevin Myers is the co-founder of IP ArchiTechs and is active on social medias, including Twitter. Connect with him @stubarea51.
Vince Schuele is Senior Network Architect at IP ArchiTechs, and can be reached on Twitter @schuele22.
EPS Global publishes The Critical Lowdown podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4LQ2bCvQAN5FCmozr7EqZF?si=YTK0XIgWROuwhydP3dlf-w
Kelly LeBlanc is the Chief Marketing and Product Officer for IP Infusion.