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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.

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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.

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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.

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Quick Look: Netronome for Network Acceleration

Netronome makes silicon that accelerates networking by enhancing the network adapters to very high performance. Want to run Open vSwitch at 15 million flow setups per second ?

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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.

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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.)

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Response: Taking the Wraps off of Intel’s New SDN Products at IDF

Intel announced the FM6700 chipset at the Intel Developers Forum in Sept and I missed this particularly interesting piece of information that will upset the OpenFlow haters: For the SDN networks, the FlexPipe frame processor can be used to parse and process SDN packets. The switch also supports 4,000 complete OpenFlow 12-tuple table entries that […]

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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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Response: Three Bits of Advice from Discussing the Impact of VMware’s NSX at VMworld | IT Connection Blogs

This article from Mike Fratto at Current Analysis is great observation. Here is my view on the core topic: Networking vendors need to embrace homogeneity—that’s my first bit of advice—and present the most homogenous network to the virtual environment they can. By being homogenous, enterprises can swap out networking with far less disruption than having […]

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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.

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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.

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Internets of Interest for 1st April 2013

I’ve been very busy lately with several large analyst/research writing projects so less links than usual this week. It will be sometime before I return to a more regular blogging schedule. You should check out Packet Pushers in the next few days where we will be launching a new feature – we are writing our own […]

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◎ 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, […]

Visualizing Openflow/SDN flow – Big Switch SDN flows in Hyperglance – YouTube

Here is an example of an SDN Application using the Big Switch OpenFlow controller to provide flow monitoring of your network. Stace Hipperson from Real Status has  linked their HyperGlance 3D visualisation tool to capture flow data and display it in an quite useful way. Watch the video and consider what this means for troubleshooting a path […]

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Software Defined Networking & OpenFlow – So Far and So Future

Over the weekend I published the latest Packet Pushers show about Software Defined Networking in the Priority Queue feed which focussed on Cisco and how you can implement SDN in an EXISTING network with some of key people from Cisco.

As I was editing the show I realised that the first time we discussed OpenFlow was in May 2011 on Show 40 – Openflow – Upending the Network Industry – a show where we identified that the future of networking was going to change. I can remember clearly during the discussion with Matt Davey from Indiana University being struck by how obvious the idea was. It was obvious to me that once you grasped the technical concepts behind OpenFlow , any decent engineer can perceive the impact on networking. While OpenFlow makes sense, it took another six months before Software Defined Networking became a thing.

Strap yourself in, SDN is just starting and it’s going to be a fun ride.

Cisco Value in vCider is All Programmable Networking

Cisco recently bought vCider. vCider gives Cisco tools for cloud bursting and a proven network driver to deliver overlay networks. It’s a significant boost to their Programmable Networks strategy and definitely an SDN play.

The vCider technology was architecturally similar to Nicira by building tunnels overlays in a network and, in my view, many people are incorrectly misinterpreting this as the core value on the acquisition.

I would posit that there are two aspects to vCider that Cisco is likely to extract value from. 1 – Network driver in Linux. 2 – Cloud burst networking

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ACM SigComm12 Keynote – Nick McKeown

I’ve watched through Nick McKeown’s keynote at SIGCOMM conference in Helsinki. It’s not boring and I made the following notes and links to the relevant places

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Northbound API, Southbound API, East/North – LAN Navigation in an OpenFlow World and an SDN Compass

Have been receiving email with questions on OpenFlow/SDN and looking for a definition blog post that explains how East/West and North/South LAN design can work with Northbound/Southbound APIs

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