Feels like a blink of the eye, but Open Networking is now over 4 years in the making. And by the looks of things the proverbial genie is out of the bottle and there’s no turning back. The proposition back then, remains the same today, disaggregate the traditional networking stack and innovation will follow, for the industry and for the customer.Just like how when the compute industry transitioned from mainframe to client-server technologies we witnessed a massive wave of innovation combined with an inherent democratization of the technologies, a similar effect is now taking hold in the networking industry. This means a whole lot of ‘new’ – new technologies, new architectures, new economics, new ways of operating networks.Organizations deploying and managing real networks are grappling with real and practical issues. Across the board, big and small, network operation teams are faced with a number of critical requirements as demands on the network and overall complexity increases. In spite of differing industries and businesses, the challenges these companies face and the problems they are trying to solve through Open Networking are consistently similar, as evidenced through a recent IDC study. They include:Increasing network agility to support virtualized applicationsMaking the network more automated and programmableImproving securityProviding greater operational efficienciesFrom the interviews IDC conducted with Dell EMC customers, it is evident that Open Networking is having a dramatic effect, in terms of addressing the requirements outlined above—and ultimately transforming operations. For example, according to Alex Kurgan, a senior network engineer at AFEX, a private company that provides global payment and risk management solutions, they chose to deploy Dell EMC Open Networking with Big Switch Networks:“The resulting operational agility and operational efficiencies have been considerable, abetted further by visibility into the VMware vCenter orchestrator and related infrastructure like vSAN and NSX. The provisioning of the systems is now much easier and a lot faster, and it requires a lot less involvement for me and troubleshooting has become easier.”And Andrew Martin, network engineer at LogicMonitor, who is using Dell EMC Open Networking paired with Cumulus Linux is experiencing significant operational efficiency improvements, through automated and self-service networking. Andrew states:“In the past the network team was segregated from the rest of the operations team. Not everyone knew the ins and outs of the various vendor-specific interfaces. This made it difficult and a little bit stressful for the networking team. Now our deployment model is to use Ansible. Everyone on our operations team has access to the Ansible playbook, and anyone can do it. They can deploy the full configuration from nothing to everything in just a few clicks, which is awesome.”These customers’ perspectives are a tribute to Dell EMC’s vision of an open, democratized Networking industry. Today, we offer a complete line-up of Open Networking products spanning data center top-of-rack, fabric, and interconnect; campus/branch; and enterprise access/edge environments all with mix-and-match software capabilities from Dell EMC and Open Networking ecosystem partners. And earlier this year at the Open Networking Summit, we advanced the conversation once again moving the focus of Open Networking toward software disaggregation. And at Dell Technologies World we unveiled our new Virtual Edge Platform (VEP4600) bringing Open Networking to universal CPE (uCPE)/virtual branch environments with our partners Silver Peak, VeloCloud (VMware), and Versa Networks.To hear more from customers like Andrew and Alex, I would encourage you to:Download the report, learn more about these customers, their challenges, and the problems they were able to solve.Determine for yourself what would make sense for your network and your organization.Schedule time to meet with us to explore and test-drive options.Let’s transform together. We’re here to help you every step of the way.https://www.dellemc.com/en-us/it-transformation/index.htm#cobrand=intel&overlay=/collateral/white-paper/idc-how-network-facilitates-datacenter-it-modernization.pdf
“If you looked around the industry, you’d find most funds have had a playbook to deal with liquidity obligations at least of the magnitude we’re talking about, on a moderate, even to severe, early release scenario.”Patrick said COVID-19 had put a spotlight on liquidity, but the reality was that liquidity was not a new challenge for the industry.Telstra Super CIO Graeme Miller agreed that liquidity stress was far more likely to come from option-switching behaviour than from early release.“While that’s probably not true of every super fund in Australia, I’d say it’s likely to be the case for the great majority of funds in Australia,” he said.“(It) is a much bigger deal from a liquidity perspective than any COVID-19 or early release scheme.”Mark Delaney, AustralianSuper’s CIO, said it was still early days for members’ option switching.“We’re not sure how this is going to pan out,” he said. “Most funds I’ve spoken to on this panel have adopted a very conservative approach to managing to make sure they’re not caught out.”AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest super fund, has so far paid A$319m to 40,000 members who requested early release of part of their superannuation savings.The fund has received requests from 85,000 members representing total super savings of A$650m.“I don’t think the super system has too many illiquid assets”Mark Delaney, AustralianSuper’s CIOThe Australian government is allowing members to take up to $20,000 as early release from their savings in two tranches to meet COVID-19 financial stresses.The participating CIOs were unanimous in believing the industry would not have a liquidity problem of the type suggested by some critics because of the sector’s high exposure to illiquid assets.Delaney described such claims as “a furphy” – Australian slang for an erroneous or improbable story that is claimed to be factual.“I don’t think the super system has too many illiquid assets. Most funds would have two thirds of their portfolio in liquid assets.”The CIOs said allocations to illiquid assets gave members exposure to the broader economy, and that the risks often justified the returns.Telstra Super’s Miller said: “Some of the very best assets, some of the very best companies and some of the very best investment opportunities will present themselves in liquid form.”Another panelist, Troy Reick, CIO of Queensland-based LGIA Super, said it was “very hard” to make a case to buy a bond at 80 basis points per annum for the next 10 years.“(How do you) tell members that that’s going to meaningfully contribute to their retirement outcomes?” he said. Members switching to cash options will present a bigger liquidity challenge than early release of savings for Australia’s A$3trn (€1.8trn) superannuation industry, according to industry leaders.Chief investment officers from superannuation funds managing a total of A$600bn have told a virtual online roundtable hosted by Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) that option-switching is a “much bigger deal” for the sector.Ian Patrick, SunSuper CIO, said his fund had learned from the 2008-09 global finacial crisis that member behaviour could drive people to make an investment switch from balanced options to cash.Liquidity stress testing, he said, had to anticipate meaningful moves away from today’s investments, whether by member behaviour in switching options or in choice of investment funds.