VCE chooses Cisco ACI as SDN Strategy Instead of VMware NSX

I doubt that anyone bought a Vblock because it was a market leading networking strategy. I’ve been a supporter of VCE but today I’m doubtful that choosing Cisco ACI is good strategy for their customers. My view is that most customers buy VCE Vblocks as a VMware platform. What VCE offers is a services package of fully supported storage, compute and networking that removes customer risk around VMware deployments while reselling EMC & Cisco hardware.


Understanding SDN: Services, Commodities and Value

One of the key business drivers behind SDN is to extract value from network connectivity. Before SDN, the functionality derived from connecting servers to switches was inherently valuable. In the post-SDN era, the network has services value instead.

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Response: Netronome 100GE Cards Target SDN | EE Times

Dual 100G interface and 24 MILLION flow table entries for Open vSwitch ? And flow setup rates to match.


Understanding SDN: Connectivity is Commodity, Services Are Valuable

In short, connectivity is now commodity and it is services that are hard. Understanding this point is key to understanding the SDN market. I take the view that SDN assumes that connectivity is a cheap, low cost and low value business function.


OpenFlow, HP Sentinel and Security SDN

HP Sentinel is an SDN Security application that combines a reputation database, HP VAN Controller and OpenFlow to build a Campus security solution. Here is a quick overview of the process and how you can mix existing security technology with standards-based OpenFlow/SDN to provide a useful campus security tool. This product is expected to reach the market later this year.

SDN Strategy Map (Click for Larger Image)

Blessay: Categorising SDN Network Solutions and Architectures for Understanding

I’ve been digging deeper into the SDN architectures over the last few days and there may be a pattern starting to emerge. I’m currently figuring that there are four broad classes of SDN technology that you can fairly neatly classify the current products from vendors. I’m classifying SDN Solutions into three categories of Micro, Centi and Kilo as well as classifying physical devices for SDN systems into three classes of Breve, Medius and Magnus.(Yeah, OK, I’m not good at names.)


Response: Cisco Extends ACI’s APIC to Campus & WANs – Reactions and Thoughts

Cisco announces that it has expanded its ACI Strategy to include the Campus and WAN in the scope of the product as well hybrid cloud functionality. Some thoughts on what this means for network architects and engineers: My View – Cisco wants to maintain control and ownership of customer budgets on networking by having a […]


Overlay Networking & VXLAN Means MPLS in the Data Centre is Dead

Overlay networking has been around for a year or so now and the ideas behind it are well established. It was about 3/4 weeks ago while researching VTEP functionality in Dell and Arista switches that I realised I could build manually configured tunnels with VXLAN and get the same results as an EoMPLS x-connect with almost zero effort. More importantly, I don’t have to pay for expensive hardware that has MPLS functions or pay again for software licenses to upgrade with MPLS features.

A Tunnel Fabric is an Abstraction of the Physical Network - Click for Larger

◎ Blessay: Overlay Networking Simplicity is Abstraction, Coupling and Integration

Lots of talk about simplicity recently and the fact that networking is too complicated and inflexible. There are a number of choices that you deliver simplicity in Overlay Networks. Least Functionality  - One choice is to reduce the network to most minimal and least functionality. But we tried that with L2 ECMP protocols like TRILL […]


Musing: Cisco ACI Validates The Independent Network Operating System Model

The Cisco Nexus 9000 supports two versions of network operating system on the device. You can buy some models of the Nexus 9000 family today that run NX-OS just like the NX6K, NX7K etc and late in 2014 “NX-OS Plus” will be available. Two operating systems for the same switch isn’t new for Cisco if you remember the switch […]


What Does Programmable Networking Mean ?

In a recent discussion someone asked the relatively simple question “What does Programmable Networking even mean ?” and, after I stumbled around trying to explain, agreed to write something that attempted to explain what I see as the basic requirement that networking has not met. Here are some ideas just jotted down to open the discussion a bit wider.

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Uncollected Thoughts on VMware NSX

VMware NSX got it’s official launch this week at VMworld. As a measure of how important VMware regards NSX, the first keynote on the first day is Martin Casado doing the official presentation.

My general view is the NSX is the real deal. I have been talking and writing about OpenFlow since May 2011 and many have complained that SDN isn’t important and I should focus on real network issues. Well, it should now be clear that SDN is a serious strategy issue and we might have been ahead of the market.


Published: Evolving SDN: Tackling challenges for web-scale deployments

I was commissioned by GigaOmPro to write a report on “SDN Challenges in Large Scale Deployments”. I spoke with a number of network and virtualization engineers about their perspectives on SDN, the challenges they faced and how they would use Software Defined Networking in their data centres. It was evident during the research phase is that many people are not clear on what Overlay Networking is and just how deeply Overlay Networking will change Data Centre architecture and especially the nature of the networking and security domains.


Integrating Overlay Networking and the Physical Network

The next topic of a technology discussion to consider is whether the overlay network needs to be integrated, in some way, with the physical network. To recap, an overlay network uses modern tunnelling protocols to connect software Network Agents in Hypervisors or Operating Systems. Today, these Network Agents are little more than “robot patch panels” (you probably call them vSwitch’s) but in the near future these agents will be complete networking devices performing switching, routing & filtering inside your server.


◎ Introduction to How Overlay Networking and Tunnel Fabrics Work

In this blog post I’ll make an attempt to summarise Overlay Networking in a couple of paragraphs to act as reference for upcoming blog posts that discuss the nature of Tunnel Fabrics in Physical Network environments. It also has pictures.

Response: Open Networking Foundation – OpenFlow Driver Competition

This is a clever way to kickstart a much needed technology to support OpenFlow. Kudos for trying something new.   To accelerate adoption of the OpenFlow protocol, ONF is running a competition to create an open-source “OpenFlow Driver”. ONF intends this driver to be of use to developers of OpenFlow products by making it easier […]


◎ Overlay Networking is More and Better while Ditching the Toxic Sludge.

In the process of building cloud networks over the last 3 months,  it has become clear that a lot of people have problems accepting that Overlay Networking is a viable technology. The current1 version of the future in Software Defined Networking (SDN) in the Data Centre will use overlay networks using technologies like VXLAN, NVGRE […]


SDN White Paper Nuage Networks VSP – Delivers SDN in a Big Way

I wrote a white paper for Nuage Networks that is the first Packet Pushers White Paper. Nuage Networks have announced their version of SDN and I think it’s solid vision of what Software Defined Networking will become over the next couple of years – tunnel fabrics, software network agents in the server with load balancing and routing capabilities and controller/application software that can manage multiple data centres and their WAN networks.

Jump in and take a read.


◎ SDN Use Case: Firewall Migration in the Enterprise

Looking at using SDN & OpenFlow to perform a firewall migration on a rule by rule basis instead of using any of the other nasty, crufty hacks. Very useful when you want to find an easier and low risk way to get rid of those pesky CheckPoint firewall products.

Response:Remembering The Management Plane « Network Heresy

Nicira is attempting to explain why they have chosen to use Open vSwitch Database protocol to configure network devices. By network devices, I mean virtual switches because I read this article as “we are making our own standars & API for configuring devices”. My question is why? There is a requirement to configure network device itself, […]

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