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.


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 […]


Webinar – Anuta Networks Demonstrates nCloudX – Register Now

Join our webinar about the nCloudX controller abstracts commonly deployed network routers, switches, firewalls and application delivery controllers, along with traditional tools like BGP, OSPF, MPLS and VRFs. Cloud operators and as well as cloud consumers can provision the network using predefined templates that remove the need to individually configure the underlying network hardware.


◎ 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 […]


Service Models – “Pets and Cattle”

Two types of servers “pets” & “cattle” to denote service levels. Human oriented service models.


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

Screenshot of Google Chrome

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


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


Response: Distributed? Centralized? Both? – Cisco Blog on OnePK and SDN

In this blog post, Frank Brockners ( part of the Get Your Build On team) gives a detailed and interesting look into Cisco’s SDN strategy and, specifically, how Cisco see OnePK as fitting into the market. At the moment, the future of SDN in the market is unclear. There are obviously point solutions in the data centre as Nicira showed recently but in terms of the overall network market outside of that market SDN is very unclear. I review this article and attempt to summarise Cisco’s SDN position.

Response: Cisco Blog – What Comes Next with Cisco and the ONF?

Omar Sultan writes on the Cisco Data & Cloud blog ….. We continue to strongly support ONF and its efforts related to SDN and our support has and will continue to been demonstrated in tangible ways.  One of the elements of the Cisco ONE announcement is onePK, which is an enabling technology and one of the […]


Response: Using An OpenFlow Switch As A Programmable Patch Panel

In this blog post, Dan Hershey (from Big Switch) gets some toys from the lab and shows how to build an SDN Controller application that uses OpenFlow. This application uses a Pronto switch as an “active patch panel” to connect two Cisco switches together. Things to think about: You can use OpenFlow to do things that […]


Rant: Our Vendor Partners Dont Have an SDN Vision

There is an old saying “A man with his eyes fixed on Heaven doesn’t see where he is going”. It’s an almost perfect description of how the major vendors are bringing Software Defined Networking to the market.

The consistent message from all the vendors and especially the Cisco, Juniper and Brocade is that there are “no use cases for SDN”. In the last three months, this has been a constantly repeated statement both publicly and privately. This beggars belief that vendors can’t see immediate needs that deliver long term gains.

I suspect that the root of this problem is the big companies want to solve big problems. And by solving big problems they figure that they can make big revenue. Alright, I get that. It’s understandable that large organisations need a constant revenue stream to feed the insatiable maws of their shareholders. However, the vendors re also missing the most real and immediate problem of networking today. Simply, Networking is too hard.

Vendors haven’t developed tools that keep the complexity of networking under control. Complexity can be reduced to this: “I don’t have big problems, I have lots of small problems.” You can have debates about addressing complexity and how to attack it, but it nearly always boils down to this: start small.

Repsonse: Big Switch Networks – The Value of Openness

Omar Baldonado talks about the value of openness for SDN & OpenFlow My takeaway from that panel and the other speakers is that we’ve arrived here at this point in the industry because of the openness of software-defined networking. Many of the components of SDN already existed as the audience pointed out, but it is […]


Does SDN represent the evolution of Network Management ? Yes but No It Doesn’t

SDN/OpenFlow is about Network Management, at least, in part. But the rich tools for software control dont’ exist. I also think don’t think that todays management _platforms_ (such as Tivoli, OpenView and BMC) are suitable for network orchestration in the future.

Response: Intel- New Switch and More Software Defined Networking

Intel talks about the their Fulcrum silicon (FM6000) fully supporting OpenFlow. If one of the bigger merchant silicon vendors is shipping OpenFlow ready silicon, then I would expect new products to arrive in the next few months. I believe Intel is demoing this at Interop. We’ve also contributed our Barcelona 10GbE TOR switch reference platform […]

Response: Time for HP to Show Its SDN Hand

Brad Casemore makes that case that HP is not telling us enough about it’s OpenFlow technology. HP has been a major contributor to several initiatives, including QoS code for OpenFlow v1.1 and the first vendor to offer OpenFlow support on it’s network switches. Yet, HP is not necessarily getting the recognition it deserves for these […]

Response: Omar Sultan – Final Thoughts on the Open Networking Summit

Responding to Omar’s wrap on the ONS

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