Lippis Report 209: Cisco Launches New Catalyst 2960-X Access Switches

June 24th, 2013

nicklippis.jpgBy all accounts, Cisco’s Catalyst access switch, the 2960-S/SF is the most widely deployed Ethernet switching platform in the world. It’s a hardware platform that offers 40Gbs of stack bandwidth, enough to support a stack of four switches, 2MB of buffer memory and four hardware queues. But while this platform has served Cisco’s customers exceedingly well, this July, a new Catalyst 2960 will be available—simply called the Catalyst 2960-X. Cisco promises that the 2960-X will double every benchmark of the 2960-S, as well as add a series of features that improve the platform’s ability to scale intelligently while increasing security and simplicity of deployment and operations. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the latest edition of the most popular access switch on the planet, the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X.

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IBM Software Defined Network for Virtual Environments Network Virtualization for the Network You Have

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June 24th, 2013

by IBM

Into a world populated by position papers, statements of direction and technology roadmaps, IBM introduces its latest solution that supports the next major advance in enterprise communications, which is Software Defined Networking (SDN). SDN is a new network paradigm that separates network control logic from the underlying network hardware. IBM is putting it to work with IBM SDN for Virtual Environments (SDN VE), a network overlay solution that supplies a complete implementation framework for network virtualization. In short, SDN VE software supplies a core component of SDN architecture, which is fully deployable for data center expansion. The purpose of this white paper is to provide an overview of the functions and benefits of SDN VE, and outline the steps to implementation.

Arista 7500 Switch Architecture (“A Day in the Life of a Packet”)

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June 24th, 2013

by Arista Networks

Arista Networks’ award-winning Arista 7500 series was introduced in April 2010 as a revolutionary switching platform, which maximized data center performance, efficiency and overall network reliability. It raised the bar for switching performance, being five times faster, one-tenth the power draw and one-half the footprint compared to other modular data center switches.

Just three years later, the introduction of the Arista 7500E series modules and fabric delivers a three-fold increase in density and performance, with no sacrifices on functionality, table sizes or buffering, with industry-leading 1152 x 10GbE, 288 x 40GbE or 96 x 100GbE in the same quarter-rack 11RU chassis. This white paper provides an overview of the switch architecture of the Arista 7500E series Linecard.

Visibility into the Cloud and Virtualized Data Center

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June 24th, 2013

by Gigamon

IT organizations today face unprecedented challenges. Internal business customers continue to demand rapid delivery of innovative services to respond to outside threats and opportunities. At the same time, it is not unusual for organizations to issue broad mandates to cut back on spending budgets. In these tough times, the adoption of disruptive technologies holds the key to improving efficiency and truly accomplishing more with less. Cloud computing and virtualization as a technology is one such innovation that allows creation of a more dynamic and flexible infrastructure by maximizing resource utilization while increasing IT service delivery. With more of the path of application data being shrouded in virtual
networks, managing and monitoring network operations with traditional approaches is becoming difficult. IT leaders and stakeholders are constantly struggling with gaining back visibility, maintaining and improving application performance, and enforcing corporate regulatory policies across this new type of network while also leveraging benefits brought by virtualization; this white paper shows you how.

NetScout Expands Into Network Monitoring Switch Market

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June 23rd, 2013

netscout_expands_into_network_monitoring_switch_market_steven_shalitaOver the past two years NetScout has invested in Network Monitoring Switch technology, acquiring Simenna in 2011 and ONPATH in 2012. This is the first in a two-part podcast series were Steven Shalita, Vice President of Marketing at NetScout discusses NetScout’s increased investments in the network monitoring switch business. In this podcast we discuss network monitoring switch and fabric market attributes and dynamics. In the second podcast Steve and I review network monitoring design options, service delivery and the implications that virtualization and Software-Defined Networking have on monitoring architectures.

NetScout’s Network Monitoring Design Options and Implications

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June 23rd, 2013

netscouts_network_monitoring_design_options_and_implications_steven_shalitaThis is the second of a two-part podcast series were Steven Shalita, Vice President of Marketing at NetScout discusses NetScout’s increased investments in the network monitoring switch business. In this podcast we review network monitoring design options, service delivery and the implications that virtualization and Software-Defined Networking have on monitoring architectures. The first podcast on network monitoring switch and fabric market dynamics can be found here.

Lippis Report 208: A Robust Underlay to Support a Hyper Growth and Dynamic Overlay

June 10th, 2013

nicklippis.jpgAt the Open Networking Users Group or ONUG this past February in Boston at Fidelity Investments, Chief Network Architects (CNAs) from the largest corporations discussed their Software-Defined Networking or SDN plans, obstacles, requirements and experiences. Two key systemic messages from this meeting were that network opex has to fundamentally change and that business unit managers are demanding self-service IT provisioning. These two requirements provide CNAs permission to break away from 25 years of networking to implement a new architecture that will meet these needs. One large bank showed a graphic plotting the rate of adoption of business unit self-service virtual machine adds, pauses and deletions. The curve was exponential and so, too, was the rise of its overlay virtualized network. And it’s just the beginning as virtualized network overlay adoption is in its infancy, considering only 48% of servers are virtualized and a much smaller number of virtual machines are networked. The questions many IT business leaders are asking are: “Can my underlay or physical network infrastructure support the huge growth of my overlay?” “What changes are required for my data center network infrastructure?” “What capabilities should I be looking for?” In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explore the role of network underlays in their support of virtualized network overlays.

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The Visibility Fabric Architecture–A New Approach to Traffic Visibility

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June 10th, 2013

by Gigamon

The volume of digital information created and replicated will grow from 1.8 trillion gigabytes in 2011 to 7.9 trillion gigabytes in 2015. IDC

By 2014 70% of IT risk and security officers in the Global 2000 will be required to report at least annually to their board of directors on the state of IT security within their organization. Gartner

There are many drivers to network visibility. The Gigamon Visibility Fabric architecture empowers network and security architects, engineers and operators to design and deploy an intelligent infrastructure by applying user-defined “map” logic to select the appropriate, relevant and critical network traffic flows and deliver them to centralized security, monitoring and management systems. This new approach can extend the network reach of tools to significantly improve return on investment, allows IT organizations to more efficiently manage and secure their network, and provides a solution that can quickly evolve and scale as network needs change.

Best Practices for Network Monitoring

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June 10th, 2013

By Ixia/Anue

IT teams are under big pressure to improve the performance and security of corporate networks. Monitoring for security, compliance, and performance requires getting the right data to the right monitoring tool for analysis. This paper describes the capabilities of a network monitoring switch and how it optimizes the traffic to the monitoring tools, improving overall monitoring tool performance and protecting the IT team’s monitoring tool investment

A Software-Defined Networking Approach to Branch Office Routing

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June 10th, 2013

by Nick Lippis

Cloud and mobile computing deployment has accelerated at a fantastic pace over the last five years, changing the economics of where computing and storage are located, how applications are written and accessed, and most importantly, how corporate computing automates business processes. The pace of change in cloud and mobile computing has been much faster than the evolution of wide area networking, which is now on the critical path to reaping the rewards of modern computing and its favorable business outcomes. Wide area networking, or in particular, the approach to branch office WAN design, is in need of an overhaul as its current form does not support cloud computing. This white paper provides design guidelines for the new WAN in the era of mobile and cloud computing via “cloud connectors.”

Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 Now Supports A VSS With Four Sup2Ts Ushering Next Generation Campus Backbone Reliability Design

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June 3rd, 2013

Charles_Okochu_Ciscos_Catalyst_6500_Now_Supports_A_VSS_With_Four_Sup2Ts_Ushering_Next_Generation_Campus_Backbone_Reliability_DesignTo assure 100% throughput, that is no packet loss or network performance degradation takes place during an inter-chassis switch over, Cisco invested in its third generation of Virtual Switch System or VSS. It introduced support for four Supervisors within a VSS, which it calls VS4O for short. VS40 supports a VSS pair to be resilient to up to three simultaneous supervisor failures; providing deterministic and automated recovery from failures and increases network uptime tremendously in the campus backbone. Sudeep Padiyar Senior Product Manager at Cisco Systems and Charles Okochu, Network Engineer at MarketAxess join me to discuss Cisco’s new additions to the Catalyst 6500 and the resiliency network design options it affords to Cisco customers.