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Politics sometimes trumps technology

Feb 06, 20062 mins
Data CenterRegulationSecurity

As appliance functionality migrates to the switch, political issues can outweigh the technological ones.

Whether organizations move to deploy switches with embedded security and other functions, their availability may depend more on the political makeup of the organization than the technology itself, analysts say.

Much of this functionality is addressed by appliances that may have been purchased by the server group, the network group or the security group, each of which may balk at moving it to the realm of a network switch.

“When you look at these things, you find that the networking professionals can come up with a number of good reasons for why the functionality should live on the network,” says Abner Germanow, program manager for enterprise networks at IDC. “The people in charge of servers have a whole other set of very good reasons why the functionality should live in the blade server, and the security folks have another set of good reasons for why it should remain independent.”

Some of the friction is because of turf wars, and some is because of the regulatory environment, he says. But right now, there is no good answer about the best place to deploy the functionality that vendors propose to move to next-generation switches.

“It’s a place where we’re doing quite a bit of research,”Germanow says. “The bottom line is that today, we don’t know how it will shake out or how quickly it will shake out. We just know that it will shake out.”