Why open network systems are so difficult to find

Bloggers explore open network systems, look into the development of unified security operations and analytics, and recommend how to tweak an Ansible playbook.

Andrew Lerner, an analyst with Gartner, has seen increased interest from Gartner clients in open network systems since the beginning of the "SDN craze" four or five years ago. Lerner said although openness is widely preferred, it falls on a spectrum -- one that is complicated by marketing claims from leading network vendors.

Most vendors offer closed, proprietary products, where openness boils down to either support for Border Gateway Protocol or to a published API. At the controller layer, Ethernet fabrics don't interoperate, and multichassis link aggregation groups aren't supported across vendors.

When it comes to open network systems, Lerner said proprietary network systems will continue to exist in most enterprises for the foreseeable future. He cautioned network professionals about claims that a proprietary feature is the only way to solve a requirement and to be wary of standards.

Professionals need to be careful of proprietary standards that inhibit interoperability. In many cases, it may be best to simply ask a networking vendor about its level of support for open network systems, such as third-party software or management with another vendor's automation platform, and discount unqualified claims.

Explore more of Lerner's thoughts on open network systems.

The benefits of security analytics and operations

Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass., said he sees security operations analytics platform architecture (SOAPA) catching on since he first began writing about it a year ago. ESG research indicated that 21% of enterprises are beginning to integrate security operations technologies and to consider the creation of a security operations architecture a priority. An additional 50% of respondents were somewhat active in this field.

According to Oltsik, the move to SOAPA is driven by a variety of factors in IT departments, including goals of better identifying and communicating risk to the business, automating manual processes and overcoming lags in incident response time.

Oltsik suggested enterprises, together with the government's National Institute of Standards and Technology, need to partner to create common standards for SOAPA. In Oltsik's view, standards would increase technology options, allowing chief information security officers to, for example, add security analytics in one year and endpoint detection response tools the next, even as they improve innovation and increase security efficacy.

Additionally, he said SOAPA would help to create a global sense of community in the cybersecurity industry, with professionals trained on a common security architecture.

Read more of Oltsik's thoughts on SOAPA.

Changing up your Ansible playbook

Ivan Pepelnjak, writing in ipSpace, took a look at making changes to an Ansible playbook. In a previous article, Pepelnjak wrote about a playbook he uses to collect secure shell keys and the tedium of having to write ansible-playbook path-to-playbook every time to run the collection. Because Ansible playbooks are YAML documents, which use # to start comments, he reasoned that by adding a shebang character sequence, he could convert the YAML document into a script.

From there, Pepelnjak used a Bash shell to execute the file. First, he entered chmod+x playbook to make the playbook executable and found the path using "which ansible-playbook." Lastly, he recommended adding a symbolic link to the playbook in one of the directories along the search path. At the end of the process, the Ansible playbook became executable just like other Linux commands.

Dig deeper into Pepelnjak's thoughts on Ansible playbooks.

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