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Q&A: HP ProCurve CTO Paul Congdon

Our interview takes a deep dive into networking, with Paul Congdon, HP ProCurve's chief technology officer. Congdon not only opines on managing network sprawl, but he's playing a big part in the solution. As the vice chairman of the IEEE 802.1 working group, Congdon is hard at work on the data center bridging standard, which seeks to make Ethernet the single converged fabric in the data center.

In our talk, Congdon explains why better management tools are needed to deal with the literally millions of server instances--physical and virtual--now on many networks. He also sheds light on his advocacy for a distributed approach to networking architectures, which pushes more of the intelligent management and aggregation decision-making out to the edge. This stands in contrast to Cisco's more centralized philosophy.

Finally, we talk about how many enterprise data centers are likely to morph into internal cloud providers, or possibly even something akin to public hot-spot providers to their employees.

Our chat was longer than many other discussions I've conducted; this enabled us to dive deeply into the dense -- and timely --- subject matter. Accordingly, I've abandoned my usual practice of cutting the raw interview way down. Instead, I've left it nearly at full length. I think Paul's deep knowledge and passion come through better this way. I hope you'll stick with it.

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