Collection of useful, relevant or just fun places on the Internets for 24th February 2014 and a bit commentary about what I’ve found interesting about them:
Cisco Nexus 9000 NX-API | Keeping It Classless – Matt Oswalt blogs about using the Cisco Nexus 9000 API. While I don’t believe that everyone will configure their network from an array in Python script, it is well worth understanding how an API can configure a device:
Okay so maybe I geeked out a little bit, but hopefully you stuck with me until the end and saw that this is a very dynamic and easy to use method for retrieving data from the Nexus 9000 switch. You could do all kind of things with this data – maybe make routing changes once this data is in a nice array like above, or maybe just log changes to the routing table as they happen. The possibilities are endless. The important thing is that Cisco now has parity with other vendors that have been offering this type of API for a while.
CEF Secret Attributes, Part 3 – Danel Massameno blogs at the Packet Pushers about CEF in Cisco IOS routers. This is the last in 3 parts and well worth reading.
In Part 1 we saw we can mark prefixes in CEF with certain attributes that might give us interesting things to play with. In Part 2 we found we could track traffic patterns with the traffic_index tag. We will now turn our attention to the qos-group parameters
Using VRFs to maintain security zones in an Layer 3 datacenter network – Paul Zugnoni blogs at Packet Pushers about using VRFs for L3 Isolation in the Data Centre.
However, a few risks in deploying popular layer 2 overlay technologies are vendor-lockdown, scalability, specialized hardware required to mitigate bottleneck points, and predictability of traffic load. These were enough concerns to drive me to come up with the solution I present here in my first Packet Pushers blog.
SDN will replace nasty hacks like VRF in the longer term but if you need to deliver it today, this article will introduce you to the ideas.
Where Are All the Operators in the IETF Standards Process? – Chris grundeman from the IETF asking for Service Providers to participate in IETF standards process.
In a perfect world, operators would be part of the IETF process and these protocols would always work great. After all, who better to influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet than the folks who run the networks? Wouldn’t it be great if operators always knew when their input was needed and were always able to provide it in a timely manner?
Servive Providers / Carriers believe that they their networks are different and have created their own forums such as MEF, NANOG and so forth. The result is that they build niche standards to suit their own needs that don’t get wider support. The trend to commoditisation will prevent this in the future as commodity products do not support esoteric use cases. Time for service providers to engage as one community.
Voice Engineers Will Rule the SDN World | kontrolissues – Chris Young makes some good points that voice engineers, as a broad group, might be well positioned to make the transition to a software centric network.
As much as people like to make fun of voice engineers, most of them have an unbelievable level of foundational networking. They may not be the strongest in BGP or MPLS, but in my experience they understand the basics of networking at a level that most of the other sub-genre’s don’t get to. You don’t ever want to get into an argument about QoS with a voice engineer., We understand spanning-tree like nobodies business. In fact, because of the complete lack of tolerance of RTP for any packet loss or delay, we have had to become really really good at performance tuning the network to ensure that every packet arrives in order in less than 150ms ( G.114 standard people!).
FWIW, I still hate IP Telephony. Aside from call centres or other limited use cases, just give everyone a mobile phone and lets be done with desk phones. It’s cheaper.
Three light beams that emanated from OpenDaylight Summit – Vimal Suba on the Cisco Blog attended the OpenDaylight Summit:
Of all these topics, here are the three important themes that stood out to me
The points are well made about the progress of ODL
- The importance of an Open Source, community initiative for SDN
- What and how much to Standardize (North and South bound APIs)
- Adoption challenges, and a consultative-led solution
Excellent thoughts and commentary.
How to be a [good] Network Engineer (and network engineer appreciation day) – Nick Buraglio puts some thinking on the role of the network engineer –
Love what you do. In IT the only constant is change. Embrace it. Learn new technology. Think outside of the box and step outside of your comfort zone. Never be comfortable with “good enough”. Strive to know more about whatever it is you are working on. Be positive. Help others learn. Don’t worry about credit and recognition and just do great work, if you do the rest will work itself out.
Kicking tires on Cumulus Linux – Willard Denis gets his fingers onto Cumulus Networks software on a whitebox switch and talks about his experience:
So, I ended my last blog post with a wish – “hopefully someday I can get a real switch running Cumulus to play with ;-)” Well, as it turns out, that post was somewhat popular, and caught the attention of some folks at Cumulus Networks (who kindly RT’d my tweet publicizing the post – thanks!) A day later, I was informed that I’d been placed on the list for one of their demo switches that was making the rounds. And about a month later, I received an equipment travel case with a Delta Networks 6448r switch bolted inside: