Lippis Report 169: Making Sense of Data Center Switching Fabrics

March 28th, 2011

nicklippis.jpgIn the Lippis Report, we have discussed the fundamental changes shaping a new data center network architecture. These drivers are massive virtualization, a sea change in traffic patterns that are now dominated with east-west flows on top of existing north-south traffic, ultra low latency, the emergence of cloud spec data centers, etc. As a result, data center networking attributes are changing with requirements of traffic, steering in virtualized infrastructure, avoiding manual network changes as VMs move, removing oversubscription (thanks to spanning tree), streamlining network tiers to hasten east-west traffic flows, etc. The industry is responding to these changes and requirements with new approaches to data center networking, such as the Open Networking Foundation, Cisco’s FabricPath, Juniper’s QFabric, Brocade’s VCS, Avaya’s VENA, Nicira Networks’ network virtualization software, etc. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explore a key technology to enabling two-tier network fabrics, and that’s link aggregation and its various approaches, including Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation Group, Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) and Shortest Path Bridging (SPB).

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Large Flat Networks for Virtualization, Cloud Computing and High-Frequency Trading

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March 28th, 2011

By BLADE Networking Technologies, an IBM Company

Today, virtualization, cloud computing and high frequency trading place new demands on the system network fabric to deliver non-stop, ultra low-latency traffic flows. This traffic is increasingly “east-west” in nature to enable machine-to-machine communications versus the “north-south” traffic that characterizes conventional client/server and Web-based application environments. To deliver this east-west traffic using the most efficient flows, large flat networks are becoming increasingly popular. These flat Layer 2 networks eliminate extra hops to decrease latency, do not block any paths across the network, and are simple to configure. Such flat networks are built with large numbers of inexpensive top-of-rack switches, scale horizontally by simply adding more switches, and enable VLANs to span across a data center to provide larger server pools for virtualization. TRILL or TRansparent Interconnection of Lots of Links is fundamental to IBM’s approach and is explained in this white paper.

Lippis Report 168: Cisco Pulls All the Pieces of Its Network Security Program into One Architecture: SecureX

March 15th, 2011

nicklippis.jpgCisco recently launched its SecureX architecture that extends perimeter-based network security to secure modern IT, recognizing the huge growth in mobile and cloud computing. SecureX is a multi-layer architecture built upon Cisco’s AnyConnect client, its global footprint in real-time threat intelligence found in SIO (Security Intelligence Operation), Cisco TrustSec, including policy servers of NAC manager and server appliances, ASA firewall and the security enforcement features of its switches and routers. SecureX is an architecture to Cisco’s network security products and service to work together in an effort to create deeper defenses and contain exploit infestation if, and when, they occur. Fundamental to SecureX is the concept of “context aware” policy across the enterprise, including remote endpoint devices, centralized policy creation with distributed security device and network enforcement. SecureX provides for innovation injection points through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for management and SIEM or Security Information and Event Management. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explore SecureX with a focus on how context increases defenses and keeps IT assets safer.

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Arista Networks Seeks to Solve the Big Problems of Physical and Virtual Infrastructure

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March 15th, 2011

Arista 7500 Series Photos (43 of 45)Arista Networks is at the forefront of public and private data center cloud networking, having most of its customers building extremely demanding infrastructure. As such it is working with early adopters and sees the problems that most other networking firms do not. This places Arista in a position to offer solutions first to market. In this Lippis Report video podcast, I talk with Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO of Arista Networks, as we discuss its virtualization strategy.

Latency Analyzer (LANZ) Technical Bulletin by Arista Networks

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March 15th, 2011

Arista Networks’ Latency Analyzer (LANZ) represents a revolution in
integrated network performance monitoring. For the first time, administrators
and applications gain near real-time visibility into congestion conditions as
experienced by the network itself. Rather than simply waiting for congestion to occur, LANZ provides granular
notification of impending congestion events detected at the network layer
directly to the application layer. This enables close integration with
applications and administrative workflows.

Find out how by downloading this white paper

Identity-Aware Networking

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March 15th, 2011

By Jon Oltsik, Principal Analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group

Say “identity management” and what usually comes to mind is LDAP directories, strong authentication and Single Sign-On (SSO) systems. These technologies are used for access to Windows networks, e-mail and other internal applications. Generally, network identity is associated with IP and MAC addresses, VLAN tags and subnets. It also plays a role in security in areas like device authentication, VPNs and IPSEC. ESG believes that the historical differences and separation between application- and network-layer identity no longer make sense. This white paper describes why and proposes a new model for identity-aware networking.

What the BLADE Network Technologies Acquisition Does for IBM and Its Customers

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March 15th, 2011

By Clabby Analytics

Other reseach and analysis firms seem to see IBM’s acquisition of BLADE Network Technologies (BLADE) as a competitive response to
Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of 3Com and Cisco’s entry into the blade server business, but there’s much more to this deal than competitive dynamics. Clabby Analytics believes that data center virtualization is accelerating, and the demand for more I/O per server is on the rise. Additionally, networks are converging around a single Ethernet wiring plant. These industry changes are the true driving factors in this deal.

In this Research Report, Clabby Analytics examines what the acquisition of BLADE could mean to IBM and its customers. We take a closer look at the DCB convergence that is taking place in the networking marketplace; we examine why virtualization logic at the network level makes sense; and we discuss what this acquisition may mean from a competitive positioning perspective. Finally, we conclude that now is an ideal time for IBM to re-enter the networking business.

The Future of Hotspots: Making Wi-Fi as Secure and Easy to Use as Cellular

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March 15th, 2011

By Cisco Systems

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, about 200 million households use Wi-Fi networks, and there are about 750,000 Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide. Wi-Fi is used by over 700 million people, and there are about 800 million new Wi-Fi devices every year. Cisco has shipped over 10 million access points worldwide. In this white paper, Cisco details how Wi-Fi hotspots are changing to accommodate cellular offload of iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

The Future of Network Security: Cisco’s SecureX Architecture

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March 15th, 2011

By Cisco Systems

There are three major trends sweeping through the enterprise: the rapid rise of the consumerized endpoint, the onset of virtualization and cloud computing, and the growing use of high-definition video conferencing. Each of these critical technologies is transforming business—and forcing a fundamental shift in how security is developed and deployed. In this white paper, Cisco describes its SecureX architecture and how it has evolved IT security so that IT leaders can enjoy the benefits of these IT trends securely.

Taming IT Operations Complexity Inflation

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March 15th, 2011

Steve GarrisonAs IT operations become more complex, it steals productivity. Unchecked complexity slows down new applications from being deployed or virtualized, elongates troubleshooting, stresses operational staff, creates compliance vulnerabilities and shrinks IT operational budgets. All IT departments seek to manage this complexity inflation before it impacts business processes. One of the largest drivers of complexity inflation is the growing rate of “IP addresses and network change management requirements.” The fact is that IT business leaders must deploy dynamic IT solutions to enable their businesses to support flexible business processes to address market dynamics. Without automated tools to facilities change management, complexity inflation simply eats up IT operations. In this Lippis Report podcast, I talk with Steve Garrison, Vice President, Marketing for Infoblox, about solutions to tame complexity inflation with automated IP address management and network change management.

Available Now: The 10GbE Private/Public Data Center Cloud Network Fabric Test Results Report

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March 2nd, 2011

I am happy to announce the availability of the full test report results detailing the performance and power consumption measurements of the following companies’ products:

· Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniSwitch 10K,
· Arista’s 7504 Series Data Center Switch,
· BLADE Network Technologies’, an IBM Company, IBM BNT RackSwitch G8124 and IBM BNT RackSwitch G8264,
· Force10 Network’s S-Series S4810,
· Hitachi Cable’s Apresia 15000-64XL-PSR,
· Juniper Network’s EX Series EX8216 Ethernet Switch
· Voltaire®’s Vantage™ 6048

You’ll get:

· Detailed profiles of each product.
· Performance test results, including latency, throughput, congestion, IP multicast and cloud simulation.
· Power consumption measurements detailing how much energy each product consumes per 10GbE port with a projection of its energy cost per year and over three years.
· How the new ToR switches perform with the new Broadcom, Marvell or Fulcrum Micro chips that every vendor is starting to use.
· Anomalies explained such as Arista’s HOL blocking and back pressure detection during congestion test, or Hitachi’s 64Byte VLAN tag issue during latency test.
· Detailed recommendations on cloud network architecture and which products to use.

To view a sample and download your copy CLICK HERE