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Episode Info:

Nick Apuzzo is one of my oldest friends, and we had some time to sit down and talk about networking and servers. This podcast is the result of that discussion:

  • How we met in 1985 at IBM Research in NY when Nick picked up his pre-product IBM RTPC
  • Why I joined Nick at IBM Storage Systems Division in 1994, hint Adstar
  • How Scott ended up in performance networking by way of NEC, Myricom and now Solarflare
  • What a server is, and types of servers by purpose, CRM, ERP, Dropbox, etc..
  • Servers that are pre-built called appliances
  • What types of connections do these typically have?
  • How computing and servers have changed over the years.
  • Types of networking available to servers, gigabit Ethernet versus 10Gb Ethernet and beyond
  • What about 25 GbE and 40GbE?
  • Copper cables versus fiber optic, and limitations.
  • Connectors, SFP+ and SFP28.
  • Networking in versus networking out of a server, and when it’s asymmetrical
  • Software load balancing and networking
  • The balance between network bandwidth into an organization versus bandwidth required across the organization
  • Run up to 25GbE and possibly even 50GbE in the near future and how we get to 400GbE
  • The role of PCI Express, speeds, and how we need PCIe Generation 4 to move beyond 25GbE to dual 50GbE cards
  • How 25GbE can use the same cables as 10GbE so the hardware costs to move are easier, but the underlying technology becomes more challenging for the companies supplying it.
  • New features found in NICs, like Solarflare’s X2 series, that includes security and high-performance packet filtering
  • Solarflare ServerLock and how it contrasts to IPTables
  • The difference between a hardware firewall appliance in-front of a server, and doing hardware filtering in the NIC
  • How people can find Nick and his role at CC Integration, and what a technology integrator does

We then wrap up our chat with how this discussion ended up as a podcast.

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