Internets of Interest for 8th March 2012


Collection of useful, relevant or just fun places on the Internets for 8th March 2012 and a bit commentary about what I’ve found interesting about them:

Health Checking On Load Balancers: More Art Than Science « The Data Center Overlords – Health checking is not considered by most people – and it’s worth taking the time tunderstand that time intervals are not easily understood by your lizard brain. Nerd Up people, Tony Bourke is laying it down.

TRILL Q&A: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions | Ethernet Fabric – Reality check on TRILL and looking at some practical issues and misconceptions. Nicely done by Jon Hudson.

The Effortless Network – Brocade has a new technology arriving in 2013 but you can buy the switches today. This article outlines the features “HyperEdge” as part of the “Effortless Networks” strategy. They have some fancy software tricks that could reduce the cost of owning lots of switches.

Building a Cisco data center network core? Don’t get fancy – I wrote an article for Tech Target about the cost of selecting Cisco products for your data centre

Cisco strongly promotes the last four options, but the first two options are cheaper and go far. After all, a stack of 3750 switches will have the port density and routing to support a lot of servers. What’s more, the Catalyst 4500 is a very good choice for data center networking now that it supports a cross-bar fabric and the software quality has finally reached acceptable levels for critical applications. It also has good port density. This makes the last four options much more difficult to justify.

Build a Smarter Data Center with Juniper Networks QFabric IBM Red Guide – PDF File that does a better job of explaing QFabric than I can.

Real World Technologies – Sandy Bridge-EP Launches – Real World Tech does a deep dive on the Intel Sandy Bridge EP and says this about it’s networking performance

A simple 64B L2 forwarding tests showed that a single 10GBE port generates around 600-700MB/s of memory traffic, but this is entirely eliminated when using DDIO. The L2 forwarding performance improved by around 20% on lightly loaded systems and nearly 80% when using 8x10GBE. Other tests indicated that DDIO can reduce system power by around 8W per 10GBE port for L3 forwarding and 2W per port for virtualized workloads. Generally the benefits are largest for 64-128B packets, and decrease for larger data payloads

Not perfect for soft switching, but there might be hope it will work well enough.

Aerohive – Solution Brief – Bonjour Gateway – Aerohive – Bonjour Gateway. Apple’s Bonjour Protocol supports auto discovery of printers, Apple TVs, Fax machines and a wide range of add on services. You will need to have this support for the flood of Apple iPads in your corporate networks. It’s a lot better than Microsoft NetBIOS – but that isn’t saying much.

Bonjour underlies many services that are widely used on Apple-centric networks. By monitoring Bonjour advertisements, clients can learn the location (IP address and port) of any service, and then connect to it as with any other service. Bonjour transforms the manual process of configuring IP addresses and port numbers into a “plug-and-play” experience where users reference services by type and a human-readable name. Two notable examples are AirPrint and AirPlay.

Aerohive’s patent-pending Bonjour Gateway capability takes service advertisements that are restricted to a single broadcast link and makes those services available network- wide, without any client modifications or networking gymnastics.

Brocade VCS Fabric Technical Architecture – PDF – Brocade VCS Fabric Technical Architecture described in lustrous detail. This is a great document to download and keep on your laptop.

This document is intended for data center networking and server architects. It describes the technical architecture of Brocade® VCSTM Fabric technology. It explains how the control, data, and management planes function, how a VCS Ethernet fabric operates, and how VCS Fabric technology supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet. Key concepts and important functions are explained.

Why Infrastructure As A Service Is A Bad Deal – Cloud-computing – Infrastructure as a Service – Informationweek – Art Wittman at InformationWeek compares some real numbers for Cloud Storage – and finds that the Cloud is much more expensive than ownership.


Creating Your Own SSL Certificate Authority (and Dumping Self Signed Certs) « The Data Center Overlords – Tony walks through using F5 as a certificate server. Something I do myself.