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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: 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 […]

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◎ Debating Whether Network Engineers Need to Learn Programming

The rise of Software Defined Networking has led to a steady stream of emails from network engineers asking whether they need to learn to programming in the future. After consideration, I currently think that the answer is mostly no but some percentage of networking people will gain and use specific programming skills for good business outcomes. You need to decide where you want to be.

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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.

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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 […]

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Musing: Cisco ACI and UCS are made for each other

The first thing I thought of when I saw this slide is that Cisco UCS will be integrated ACI in short order. It seems like the obvious competitive response to VMware ESX ability to virtualise the hypervisor. I asked the question during my briefing and got an answer that indicated that wider integration of Cisco products, including […]

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The Unicorn Powered SDN Data Centre of Today

Welcome to first ever tour of the Unicorn Power SDN Data Centre of Today. Here is guided tour of the latest in networking and data centre technology as modelled with our “Unicorn Poo™” Design Methodology.         If you were to peer through the only “Window in the Data Centre” you might see […]

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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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Response: Facebook Tech Director Reveals Open Networking Plan – Its Really About Reliability

Can you imagine focussing so much on the performance of a single application, spending so much time and resources on the problem that eventually you conclude that the problem is happening inside the switch. Well, clearly Facebook has the luxury in this article where they talk about what drives their open networking strategy: A few […]

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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 […]

Musing On the VMware “versus” Cisco Thing

The VMware versus Cisco thing is overstated. It’s easy to conflate issues with all the excitement. The reality is that many customers have Cisco networks and will use VMware. They want Cisco & VMware to be partners. Customer first is corporate policy at both of these companies therefore Cisco & VMware will be partners. VMware has a software defined […]

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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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◎ So You Dont Like Overlay Networking

If you don’t like Overlay Networking, it’s probably worth remembering that all of the alternatives solutions have failed to gain acceptance. Early alternative standards like Edge Virtual Bridging/VEB/802.1Qbg and VEPA/802.1BR have achieved only minor adoption for specific use cases such as blade server networking and fancy NICs.

Replacing Spanning Tree with TRILL for scalable & reliable L2 ECMP has not seen significant adoption. In part due to cost of software licensing but also because of the long delay in new hardware to support the TRILL protocols. The fact that major vendors have delivered proprietary versions is yet another drag on adoption. The IEEE wasn’t able to get it’s standards finished in a reasonable amount of time ( as usual ) and Shortest Path Bridging is struggling to find mindshare.

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