People seems love hearing about big technology companies like Google and Amazon for inspiration and ideas about infrastructure and operations. This is a bad idea. Lets say that you like baking your own bread and you want to improve your technique. Where do you go ? Lets abuse some metaphors in Small, Medium and Factory-sized IT.
Many people are predicting that networking will become a heavily commoditised with cheap white box hardware in the next few years. But I don’t believe commoditisation will happen the way that most people expect. So in this article I’m working through different ideas and concepts on product pricing and perceived value of networking as a whole. I would welcome discussion on this, I’m not completely confident that I’ve got my ideas locked down here. See you in the comments !
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.
Where do you want Ethernet ? Everywhere apparently.
I’m at a conference about “Cloud Ethernet Forum” and subsidiary operation of the Metro Ethernet Forum that seems to want to invent a new Ethernet. The fundamental premise of the is that customers need/want/demand/must have more Ethernet in the WAN.
Why ? Because Ethernet is better for data centre managers.
Stumbled over “AgilePorts” feature in Arista products this week: Arista’s AgilePorts technology enables the combination of four 10GbE SFP+ interfaces into a single 40GbE interface leveraging the parallel lane technology present in the 40GBASE-CR4 and 40GBASE-SR4standards. With AgilePorts, each 10GbE interface emulates one of the four parallel lanes, which are then driven by a 40GbE […]
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.
i’ve writer about OpenCompute hardware standards a few times. Today has seen a few announcements that make me think networking could be about to change significantly. In this post on Gigaom, Rackspace is planning to build their own servers based on OpenCompute standard: Rackspace is contracting with Wistron and Quanta, two server manufacturers that also […]
I was going to call this article “Ethernet Switches for Virtualisation Engineers” but, really, everyone should have some understanding of the internals of an Ethernet switch. But particularly I want to focus on how multicast and broadcasts are handled in a high speed, low latency environment like a Data Centre Network.
It’s vital to understand that latency is critical to your application performance. It is common for a single transaction to take hundreds of round trips so a small increase in latency on each round trip has a large impact on the perceived performance. The client will send a chunk of data and wait for acknowledgement. Even setting up the TCP connection takes a few round trip – remember that TCP sessions are setup, and each data transfer is confirmed.
A modern network switch will have latency around 10 microseconds. The Cisco Nexus 7000 is about 8 microseconds & Brocade VDX 8770 claims less than 4 microseconds. There are many reasons why a switch can be faster or slower but I’ll look at a specific example
Remember, the latency interval is the time taken to receive a packet, decode the address, lookup the forwarding table, switch the packet (and copy it if needed) and transmit out of an Ethernet interface. That’s really fast processing. How does an Ethernet switch do this ?