Collection of useful, relevant or just fun places on the Internets for 8th November 2013 and a bit commentary about what I’ve found interesting about them:
Build a 48-port switch using a 24-port ASIC – The Network Sherpa – Excellent insight from John Harrington on how scaling merchant silicon inside a switch to higher port densities is performed.
Arista doesn’t need to use this particular trick any more but I love the approach of innovating beyond fixed constraints. This approach is not unique to Arista. In the the Cisco/Insieme Nexus 9000, they have divided the resources of the line-card and fabric Trident2 ASICs in very different and clever ways to get the most from those small table sizes. We’re going to see a whole lot more of this trend. Innovation doesn’t die in the age of merchant silicon, it just takes new forms.
VXLAN Overview: Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches [Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches] – Cisco Systems – Cisco ACI is using VXLAN to achieve its magic and so it is time to brush up on your VXLAN knowledge and this Cisco white paper that was part of the ACI Nexus 9000 data sheets is a good summary of the key points.
VXLAN uses VXLAN tunnel endpoint (VTEP) devices to map tenants’ end devices to VXLAN segments and to perform VXLAN encapsulation and de-encapsulation. Each VTEP function has two interfaces: One is a switch interface on the local LAN segment to support local endpoint communication through bridging, and the other is an IP interface to the transport IP network.
HP News – HP Open Ecosystem Breaks Down Barriers to Software-defined Networking – I’ve had this article from HP on their SDN announcement for “SDN App Store” in my browser for a while.
The HP SDN Developer Kit provides developers the essential tools to create, test and validate SDN applications, leveraging HP’s SDN infrastructure and full complement of support services. The HP SDN App Store lets customers browse, search, purchase and directly download SDN applications onto their Virtual Application Networks SDN controller, creating a new business model for how network services are purchased and implemented.
The article lists vendors who are registering for the devloper kit and it’s similar to the list that Cisco has offered for ACI and Juniper for MetaFabric last week.
It’s going to be a busy time for appliance companies like F5 if they attempt to partner with all the networking vendors SDN platforms. Standards are going to become a bigger issue.
Cisco SDN news: new switches now, a controller later, and Insieme comes home — Tech News and Analysis – Barb Darrow from Gigaom on Cisco ACI announcement provides a solid business perspective and summarises it as “In other words, the slow-mo SDN rollout continues.” Agree that SDN will take long time to arrive.
Analysts said the latest Insieme announcements are the latest in a trickle of news. Gartner analyst Andrew Lerner said ACI provides network flexibility via “template-based provisioning and infrastructure automation, delivered via a controller plus software that is baked into the switching hardware. “
Big Switch Networks and the (possible) Future of Networking Hardware | Herding Packets – Bob McCouch provides some thoughts on Big Switch presentation from that last Network Field Day event. I also came away with positive view and note the similarities between Big Switch and Cisco’s ACI technology. Not exactly the same of course but similar in the use of hardware.
Overall, the concept of controller-based fleets of bare metal switches will require a fairly drastic mind-shift, but if Big Switch can convince customers that their controller platform and the bare metal switch concept is sound, it could really shake up the networking market. This is the SDN that the big 3 (or 4 or 5) switch manufacturers are nervous about.
The Cisco / Insieme ACI Launch, Part 1 – Pete Welcher talks about his view on the Cisco ACI launch
A good starting point is what was announced. I was a bit surprised there wasn’t any one summary presented listing all the new stuff! The announcements are definitely a big deal, a bid to manage and automate the whole datacenter and cloud, from network to server, application, storage, and security, encompassing both physical and virtual. I’ve read the various blogs to try to pull together a comprehensive list.
The Class-C Block | Show 12 – Insieme and the Nexus 9000 – The guys at Class C Block podcast were able to score an advance podcast recording on the Cisco ACI product announcement. Lots of good informaiton and detail on how the ACI works and the key marketing messages that Cisco wants you to know.
Big Switch Networks – Big Switch Networks Previews Application-Aware SDN Cloud Fabric Using Bare Metal Switches – Big Switch announces more about their new product lineup. Their vision of SDN alogns more with Cisco and Juniper in that it has a hardware focus with software as key automation tool. At least someone is doing it differently.
In contrast with overlay/underlay SDN architectures, Unified P+V SDN designs deliver end-to-end automation for massive operational simplification and end-to-end traffic visibility for troubleshooting, and are compatible with today’s L4-L7 services. By removing barriers across application, network and security teams, application-aware SDN fabrics can dramatically speed up application deployment. Combining a Unified P+V SDN controller, bare metal switch hardware and OpenStack automation puts network CapEx and OpEx levels comparable to Amazon EC2 within reach for a broad range of enterprises and cloud providers.