Being a coach and a player

This is kind of an off-topic post but something I felt worth sharing. I get asked two questions quite often, so thought to answer them in a broader forum.

Before I discuss these questions, it might be useful to provide context behind these two questions. My job as the engineering leader of Hybrid connectivity for Azure focuses on setting direction for overall Hybrid connectivity business, building a strong, diverse & inclusive team, motivating people to take on bigger challenges, cultivating grassroot innovation, talking to customers, talking to partners, handling escalations, tracking KPIs for our services and all the associated things that most leaders in similar roles do. We build & operate some of the most critical connectivity services for Azure such as ExpressRoute, Azure S2S and Client VPN, Virtual WAN, Bastion etc. I truly enjoy this role and together with my team members and colleagues, in last 5 years, we have grown the business to more than 10x and team from 8 engineers to 80+ engineers.

With this role and a relatively hectic life, people wonder why I do coding or how do I find time for it, and this is what I am going to talk about in this post.

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SDN != OpenFlow

Lately there seems to be a lot of hype around software defined networking and in some of the articles OpenFlow is equated with SDN or vice versa. While OpenFlow has a role to play in SDN and it is what created the concept of SDN, I don’t think it is accurate to think of SDN == OpenFlow. This post is my attempt to¬†describe OpenFlow, SDN and why SDN != OpenFlow. This is important for us engineers as we need to focus on the right problems and solve them using the right technology, instead of getting distracted by the hype that we see or hear in the press. (more…)

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