Lippis Report 191: What I Learned at the Open Networking Summit about Software-Defined Networking

April 30th, 2012

On March 30th I met with Dave Husak, the Founder and CEO of Massachusetts Software-Defined Networking (SDN) start-up Plexxi, along with two other employees. For those who don’t know Dave, he’s intense and driven. Out of this two-hour meeting, Dave provided the inspiration to describe SDN as the third epoch of computer networking. In a nutshell, the first epoch was IBM mainframes and SNA, the second is client-server computing and LAN/WANs, with the third being mobile plus cloud computing and SDN. After attending the second Open Network Summit (ONS) last week to sold-out crowds, the main question I walk away with is this: is SDN the third epoch or a new set of features added to layer 2/3 networking? In other words is SDN a new disruptive market or a high-end networking technology like InfiniBand? In this Lippis Report Research Note, I share the top ten observations at ONS and answer the above question.

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OpenScape Unified Communications Interworking with, complementing, and extending the value of Microsoft products

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April 30th, 2012

By Siemens

Siemens Enterprise Communications (SEN) enhances the value of existing Microsoft investments, by combining communications tools, from SEN and Microsoft, and others into a single, manageable interface, and simplifying the way users communicate and share information. By integrating with current Microsoft application ecosystem, knowledge works can continue to use familiar user interfaces with the added benefits of rich, user-centric presence and click-to-contact/click-to-conference. The bottom line is, SEN can unify all communications together into one, simple, seamless experience and deliver innovative business solutions that integrate, complement, and extend the value of Microsoft products.

The Critical Role of the Network in Big Data Applications

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April 30th, 2012

By Lucinda Borovick and Richard L. Villars of IDC

In today’s IT marketplace, Big Data is often used as shorthand for a new generation of technologies and architectures designed to economically extract value from very large volumes of a wide variety of data by enabling high-velocity capture, discovery, and/or analysis. IDC believes that organizations that are best able to make real-time business decisions using Big Data will gain a distinct competitive advantage over those that are unable to embrace it.
As Big Data efforts grow in scope and importance, the network (both within the datacenter and across the WAN) will play a critical role in enabling quick, sustainable expansion while also ensuring these systems are linked to existing mission-critical transaction and content environments.

Gaining Control and Visibility of Web 2.0 Applications with Broadcom’s App-IQ

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April 30th, 2012

Every corporation’s application portfolio is undergoing a massive transition, thanks to mobile and cloud computing plus Web 2.0 applications such as social, peer-to-peer, browser-based file sharing, etc. Clearly there are economic and corporate productivity gains in mobile and cloud computing, but not knowing what applications are flowing over an enterprise network can impact enterprise productivity. Broadcom’s App-IQ technology, which is available as an integrated feature in its latest generation of Enterprise LAN Ethernet switch solutions, promises to provide the enhanced technology for Web 2.0 traffic visibility and control.  Together with integrated WLAN capabilities, these switch solutions form the cornerstone of leading switch OEM products, as they deliver on the promise of mobility and visibility required in current and next-generation networks. I talk with Sujal Das, Director of Product Marketing at Broadcom, about its App-IQ technology and the visibility it provides to IT business leaders to control applications flowing over their networks. 

Announcing the Fall Active-Active Network Fabric Lippis Report Test with Ixia at iSimCity

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April 27th, 2012

Lippis Enterprises and Ixia are very excited to announce a new test suite for active-active cloud network fabrics plus a more flexible timetable for this fall’s industry testing schedule.

The active-active fabric test is in addition to the 10GbE & 40GbE data center switch Lippis performance and power consumption benchmark test. Vendors may choose one or both tests to submit products. The fall testing schedule will span over three months, providing greater flexibility and lab access for vendors to submit products.

Lab time is available the first week of each month, starting in September to November. The following weeks are available for suppliers to test their equipment:

Week of September 10th,
Week of October 8th,
Tentatively the Week of November 5th.

The 10/40GbE Data Center Switch prospectus for the Fall 2012 Lippis Report test at Ixia’s iSimCity is now available and can be downloaded here.
The active-active fabric test prospectus can be downloaded here.

To participate, prospectuses need to be signed and returned to both Nick Lippis nick@lippis.com and Michael Githens mgithens@ixiacom.com no later than end of day August 15, 2012.

IBM System Network’s RackSwitchtm G8124E, G8264 and G8316 ToR Switches Being Tested @ iSimCity

April 24th, 2012

While the Lippis Report test were being conducted of the IBM System Network’s RackSwitchtm G8124E, G8264 and G8316 ToR data center switches at Ixia’s iSimCity, Dan Tuchler, VP of Product Management at IBM joined me to discuss the firm’s latest product investment. We talk cloud network architecture, Software Defined Networking and what’s unique about the new G8124E, G8264 and G8316 ToR switches.

New Active-Active Ethernet Fabric Test and Flexible Schedule

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April 24th, 2012

Lippis Enterprises and Ixia are very excited to announce a new test suite for active-active cloud networks at the modern iSimCity plus a more flexible testing schedule. The active-active test is in addition to 10GbE & 40GbE data center switch performance and power consumption test. Vendors may choose one or both tests to submit products. The fall testing schedule will span over three months providing greater flexibility and lab access for vendors to submit products.

The industry is offering multiple active-active protocol options such as Brocade’s VCS Fabric, Cisco’s FabricPath, Juniper’s Qfabric, TRILL or Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links, SPBM or Shortest Path Bridging MAC mode, ECMP or Equal-Cost Multi-Path and MLAG or Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation Protocol. We plan to test them all. This video explains the new Active-Active Ethernet Fabric test and flexible schedule.

Lippis Report 190: The Emergence of a Virtualization Stack for Cloud Ready Data Centers

April 16th, 2012

Virtualized server deployment has been propelled en masse, thanks to increased data center efficiency by delivering the same or greater application workload with a reduced number of servers. While this is good news, many IT business leaders are now realizing huge consequences to highly virtualized data centers. Their challenges are rooted in application management plus layer four through seven services, such as WAN optimization, application delivery controllers and security, especially in environments that include multiple hypervisors and a wide variety of workload types and shifting virtual machines. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we provide a model to manage the rapid changes taking place in data center strategies for managing applications plus layer four through seven services via a “virtualization stack” to calm complexity and enable cloud level scale.

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Alternative Device Integration for Enhanced Security

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April 16th, 2012

By Cisco Systems

Increase security and reduce risk by using existing technology in a non-traditional fashion.

Security is all about risk mitigation. How much risk is an agency willing to accept, and how much are they willing to spend to lower that risk to an acceptable level?

There are multiple ways to lower risk, such as:

• Increasing situational awareness through continuous monitoring of network, data, hardware and personnel resources.

• Tightening security policies for employees and guests moving within buildings.

• Increasing physical security measures when entering the building.

• Isolating physical networks.

• Using stronger authentication mechanisms (multi-factor authentication).

• Implementing an identity management system.

Unfortunately, these solutions all come at a financial cost and, in some cases, can actually prevent employees from doing their job, impacting their productivity. This paper suggests that by using some non-traditional devices in a security arsenal, and by using the network as the platform, an organization can significantly increase its security posture and reduce risk without requiring significant behavioral engineering or infrastructure costs.

Broadcom App-IQ Technology for Web 2.0 Application Intelligence in the Enterprise Edge Network

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April 16th, 2012

By Broadcom

This white paper explores the use of Web 2.0 applications in the enterprise, their impact on the performance of the network, and the available solutions in the industry for traffic visualization. It introduces Broadcom’s App-IQ technology, which is available as an integrated feature in its latest generation of Enterprise LAN Ethernet switch solutions. Together with integrated WLAN capabilities, these switch solutions form the cornerstone of leading switch OEM products, as they deliver on the promise of mobility and visibility required in current and next-generation networks. This paper also describes how this technology can help IT managers implement policies for Web 2.0 traffic patterns using cost-effective, power-efficient, network edge and aggregation switches.

Arista’s Jayshree Ullal on Software-Defined Networking

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April 16th, 2012

In one of the most candid discussions with Jayshree Ullal, Arista Network’s CEO, she voices her view of Software-Defined Networking as not a market but a set of features. Jayshree views OpenFlow as but one in many APIs becoming available to program layer 2/3 networks. If you’re looking for SDN hype, then no need to listen to this podcast. But if you want a realistic view of this important industry trend, then listen up.

Infoblox Launches First Software-Defined Network Product in Automation Tasks Board Tools

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April 16th, 2012

There are still many manual steps, such as phone calls and emails between IT teams, throughout the life cycle of a virtual machine impeding timely and efficient VM deployment and, ultimately, the expanded deployment of virtual environments and associated benefits. To deliver on the promise of cloud computing’s on demand application availability, tasks need to be automated. Infoblox has launched its Automation Tasks Board tools in the model of a Software-Defined Network to enable IT department members to initiate with the click of a single button multi-step, often-repeated and time-consuming network tasks while providing cross team visibility and auditability. If you want to build a real cloud computing facility, then you need to listen to this podcast.

Lippis Report 189: A New, Easier and Low-Cost Approach to Network Virtualization Emerges from Cisco

April 3rd, 2012

Network virtualization design or the ability to divide a physical network into multiple logical networks, each with unique attributes, has grown in popularity. IT business leaders have searched for ways to segment their network, providing different and isolated characteristics for different user groups. Network virtualization is very popular in healthcare, education, travel and other industries, but has been too expensive and complex for the broader market to implement, until now. Network virtualization can be implemented via VRF- (or virtual routing forwarding) lite, MPLS, and now with Cisco’s new Easy Virtual Network, all of which, by the way, are far easier to manage and much lower cost than building overlay networks. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explore network virtualization approaches in campus networking for segmentation or isolation of groups and its simplification properties.

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Embedded DWDM and Distance Extension Solution

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April 3rd, 2012

By Arista Networks

Data center operators are expanding data centers to deliver virtualized and cloud-based services including business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. These additional service and availability requirements lead to increased bandwidth and greater distances between geographically dispersed data center sites. As new services are added, data center environments that were once fiber-rich can quickly run out of fiber and find the associated cost for adding more fiber to be prohibitively expensive. Cost-effective embedded DWDM and distance extension solutions can reduce complexity, operating costs and enable a rapid delivery of new services. Find out how by downloading this whitepaper.