IBM’s New, Easy-to-Deploy Flex System Communications Module

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By Clabby Analytics

Clabby Analytics published a report, “How Cisco’s UCS Compares to IBM Flex System,” in which we concluded that IBM is out-innovating Cisco when it comes to system and communications subsystem design.

In August 2013, IBM introduced yet another communications innovation with its new Flex System Fabric SI4093 Systems Interconnect Module (SI4093). This serves as a transparent network device that simplifies layer 2 connectivity and helps IT administrators avoid possible loops by eliminating spanning tree and offers the benefits of both a pass-through and a true switch. It is preconfigured and unmanaged, but also provides cable consolidation and chassis-level switching, reducing configuration and management complexity, without giving up the performance of the EN4093R. The primary competitors for the new SI4093 are Cisco and HP. In this white paper, we provide competitive analysis across Cisco, IBM and HP.

IBM Expands Network Portfolio with SDN VE

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By Bob Laliberte, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

As organizations continue to virtualize their environments and build out cloud environments, the requirement for more flexible and agile networks is becoming a priority. One of the more promising network architectures being developed to address these challenges is software-defined networking (SDN). Although this space is still being defined, one aspect of SDN, network virtualization, is gaining mindshare. This technology leverages a virtual switch, controller, and virtualization technology. IBM has just announced its offering in this area, called Software Defined Network for Virtual Environments or SDN VE.

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

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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.

Intelligent Networking for the Optimized Agile Datacenter

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by IDC Brad Casemore, sponsored by IBM System Networking

As the use of server virtualization has matured, IT organizations are realizing they cannot achieve an optimized and agile datacenter unless the network architecture is designed to support converged systems. Therefore, any approach to converged systems that leaves networking as a secondary consideration will be doomed to failure. Fortunately, the industry has responded with networking products that are integrated with converged systems architectures. These solutions deliver the high performance required for next-generation datacenters. This approach delivers benefits in several areas, including optimization of physical and virtual resources, reduction in ongoing management of virtual machines, increased security, and IT agility. This white paper describes the business and economic advantages of an intelligent datacenter network for converged system applications.

IBM Empowers Applications to Call Upon Network Services Via PureSystems

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Dr.Casimer DeCasatis

This is the forth of a five part podcast series on IBM’s Open Data Center Interoperable Network or ODIN program and DOVE or Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet. I talk with Dr. Casimer DeCasatis, IBM Distinguished Engineer and System Networking’s Chief Technical Officer for strategic alliances about IBM’s Software Defined-Networking or SDN stack and how applications request network services with IBM’s linkage between its Patterns and SDN product set.

Duration 12 minutes and 17 seconds:

Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1 @ 2:27 What are the key architectural components that enable applications to call upon network resource within PureSystems.

Question 2 @ 4:45: What is Patterns and its main function?

Question 3 @ 7:21: How do clients build DOVE networks and DOVE networks build Virtual System pattern?

Question 4 @ 8:58: What network infrastructure needs to be put in place before virtual system patterns can be created and what’s the main business benefit gained?

IBM Scales Virtual Networks Via Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet

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This is the second of a five part series on IBM’s Open Data Center Interoperable Network or program and its DOVE or Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet.  I talk with Renato; IBM Fellow and System Networking Chief Technical Officer about IBM’s approach to virtual network overlays called DOVE.

Duration 16 minutes and 20 seconds:


Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1 @ 2:22: Renato would you like to add anything to my virtual network overlay discussion in the intro that’s unique to IBM?

Question 2 @ 4:46: What is DOVE, a switch, software, etc?

Question 3 @ 7:42: How are IBM’s virtual network overlays created and managed?

Question 4 @ 9:59 How are virtual networks transported over the physical L2/3 network?  Does IBM support hybrid mode?

Question 5 @ 11:59: There are multi-tenant clouds, hybrid clouds and large-scale private clouds or data centers that would benefit from virtual network overlays.  Which use cases does IBM see as virtual network overlays offering the most value today?

Question 6 @ 14:29: How do IT business leaders start to implement IBM’s virtual network overlay?

Register to attend the Open Networking User Group hosted by Fidelity and the Lippis Report on Feb 13th 2013 in Boston, MA

IBM Flex System Fabric Network Strategy

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by IBM System Networking

Complexity has become a roadblock to data center efficiency. In order to have efficient, cost-effective data center operation, IT administrators must integrate and simplify network resources and data center management. The solution to simplifying management, reducing costs, easing complexity and increasing time-to-value lies in addressing all the elements of the system: servers, storage and networking. IBM® Flex System™ provides compute, storage and networking resources in a single environment that is both efficient and easy to manage. IBM PureFlex™ System and IBM PureApplication™ System offer an integrated solution using components from the IBM Flex System portfolio. These components provide advanced networking, storage and virtualization technologies, with flexibility for a variety of workloads.

IBM Sets Direction With Open Data Center Interoperable Network Architecture

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Dr.Casimer DeCusatis

This is the first of a five part podcast series on IBM’s Open Data Center Interoperable Network or ODIN program and its DOVE or Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet initiative.  In this podcast I talk with Dr. Casimer DeCusatis IBM Distinguished Engineer and IBM System Networking’s chief technical officer for strategic alliances about IBM’s expanded approach to data center networking and the gains anticipated by IBM customers.

Duration 10 minutes and 05 seconds:


Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1 @ 2:16: Let’s start with a discussion about Open Data Center Interoperable Network; what is it and what problem(s) does it seek to solve?

Question 2 @ 3:37: What benefits will IT leaders gain as they start an ODIN journey.

Question 3 @ 5:13: Is ODIN an architecture and an approach to networking or a way for IBM to communicate to the market a set of product/service investments it’s making?

Question 4 @ 7:13: How does ODIN prepare a data center or cloud for elastic compute, storage and network provisioning of resource pools that can be rapidly partitioned into desired configuration?

Register to attend the Open Networking User Group hosted by Fidelity and the Lippis Report on Feb 13th 2013 in Boston, MA

Towards an Open Data Center with an Interoperable Network (ODIN) Volume 1: Transforming the Data Center Network

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by IBM

The ODIN reference architecture describes best practices for creating a flat, converged, virtualized data center network (or fabric) based on open industry standards. ODIN is organized into a series of documents, each of which explores a key aspect of data center networking. The ODIN series provides interpretations of existing standards, which is intended to educate end users and developers of networking technology so that they can make intelligent network design choices. This document aims to explain and interpret existing standards from the IEEE, IETF, INCITS, IBTA, ONF and other standards bodies. This volume discusses the evolution of data center networks and outlines the problems and tradeoffs associated with modern network design that will be addressed in detail by subsequent volumes of ODIN.

Building a World-class Data Center Network Based on Open Standards

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by IBM System Networking

Data centers are undergoing a major transition toward a smarter, more dynamic infrastructure. More flexible IT architectures are emerging to address the demands of current business applications and new areas, such as cloud computing, multitenancy, bring your own device (BYOD), big data, and analytics. As part of the dynamic infrastructure trend, the role of data center networks is also changing. It is causing businesses to re-evaluate their current networks, which were never designed to handle modern workloads and applications. IBM’s Open Data Center Interoperable Network or ODIN addresses many of the key problems faced by modern data networks, including automation, integration, and management. Compared to classical Ethernet architectures, ODIN fabrics have several distinguishing benefits, which are discussed in this white paper.

Moving to an Open Data Center with an Interoperable Network

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Create a flattened, converged, virtualized, standards-based network
by IBM System Networking

An open data center with an interoperable network is a flat, converged, virtualized data center network that is based on open industry standards. Instead of under-utilized devices, multi-tier networks, and complex management environments, the modern data center is characterized by highly utilized servers running multiple VMs, flattened, lower latency networks and automated, integrated management tools. New software-defined network approaches (including overlay networks and OpenFlow standards) greatly simplify the implementation of features such as dynamic workload provisioning, load balancing, and redundant paths for high availability and network reconfiguration. Further, high-bandwidth links between virtualized data center resources may extend across multiple data center locations to provide business continuity and backup/recovery of mission-critical data. A highly virtualized data center offers greater resource utilization and lower costs. This new network infrastructure also simplifies management and addresses network issues such as latency, resilience, and multi-tenant support for public and private cloud environments. By taking advantage of IBM’s Open Interoperable Networking (ODIN) design approach, enterprises can design a cost-effective and manageable data center that fully uses the potential of virtualization, and gives customers the flexibility to migrate to federated data centers, in which computing, storage, and net-work resources may be treated as dynamically provisioned resource pools that can be rapidly partitioned into any desired configuration. To learn more about the ODIN, visit:

The Future of Software-Defined Networking

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Rakesh Saha, Director of Product Management for Advanced Technologies at IBM System Networking and Samrat Ganguly, Chief Network Architect for NEC’s ProgrammableFlow join me to help us make sense of the fast paced evolution of Software-Defined Networking and predict its future.

Duration: 12 minutes and 26 seconds

Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1 @ 2:19 sec: Rakesh, There are a few approaches to SDN including overlay virtual networks, OpenFlow control of physical and virtual switches plus a hybrid. How do you see these implementations evolving over time?

Question 2 @ 5:10 sec: Samrat, There are a range of protocols to use for the overlay of virtual networks to tunnel through physical L2/3 networks, such as GRE, VXLAN , NVGRE, etc. How will this space evolve?

Question 3 @ 6:34 sec: Rakesh, There’s discussion in the industry about how SDN can be used to configure a converged LAN/SAN fabric. Can you talk to this?

Question 4 @ 7:58 sec: Samrat, there are multiple approaches for SDN controllers, be it in a hypervisor, an appliance, part of a cloud stack, etc. How do you see the role of the controller evolving over time?

Question 5 @ 9:17 sec: Rakesh, How do you see SDN evolving and how does programmable networking fit in?

Question 6 @ 10:52 sec: Samrat, same question. How do you see SDN evolving and how does programmable networking fit in?

The Changing Face of Data Centre Networks

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By Quocirca

UK analyst firm, Quocirca, describes why fast and intelligent system networks, such as IBM’s, are of critical importance for the smarter data centre. As networking technology has standardised around Ethernet, the perception has grown that it has also commoditised. However, as technical architectures evolve to keep pace with the impact of virtualisation, cloud computing and high-performance workloads, the needs around networking are also changing. This is driving data centre operators to understand how recent performance advances and standards-based innovations in system networking infrastructures can meet the performance, scalability and agility requirements of today’s data centres.

OpenFlow and SDN: Optimizing the Network for Greater Performance and User Control

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by Clabby Analytics

This white paper discusses how Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow are changing the way that networks are being designed, utilized, and managed. According to Clabby Analytics, SDN will radically alter the networking market competitive landscape. Thus, companies need to understand these new technologies to meet rising demand for cloud, big data, analytics and virtualization.