An interesting write-up at Informationweek details plans by Cicso, Juniper and others to transform data center intelligence from servers and endpoints to their respective network platforms.
Using virtual servers, application APIs and XML acceleration, network vendors hope to usher in an era in which servers, storage and other devices can be plugged into virtually any network, like telephones.
Some users are enthusiastic about this plug-and-play approach because it eliminates things like remote file servers. Others are questioning whether shifting the intelligence (and the cost) from the server to the switch is really all that helpful.
The network vendors say the rise of software services is pushing everything onto the network anyway, so it makes sense to have an infrastructure that can benefit most from this trend.
It's certainly a bold move, considering it would upend just about every design philosophy that has guided network infrastructures for the past half century. Then again, even the Roman Empire was considered invincible at one time.