A New Open Data Center Fabric Emerges for The Age of Software-Defined Infrastructure

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November 4th, 2015

by Nick Lippis, Lippis Consulting


A number of independent trends are driving a new age of software-defined networking and overall infrastructure. These trends include a new IT delivery model based upon cloud computing, big data analytics, Internet of Things and new IT delivery model. This trend is so massive that no army will stop its progression that’s rooted in the separation of network hardware from its high-value software. At the heart of this trend is realization that wide area and data center networking is transitioning to a software model which has implications that stem from how IT organizations are organized to how applications are delivered and maintained. We focus this white paper on the transition to software and the implications upon networking from a perspective of fabric and services, which connects servers and storage to the internet/intranet.

Low Latency Data Center Interconnect Using Infinera Cloud Xpress Optical Transport and Arista Data Center Switches

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November 4th, 2015

by Nick Lippis, Lippis Report Testing

In this Lippis Test Report we measure end-to-end performance for a data center interconnect (DCI) solution that included Infinera and Arista network equipment. A key take-away from this experience working with Infinera’s Cloud Xpress optical transport platform and Arista’s 7280SE-68 programmable switches it’s that high-performance, high-capacity DCI – at multiples of 100 Gb/s with line-rate throughput and low latency – is feasible and straight forward to deploy. Based on our test results and my observations, Infinera and Arista have engineered impressive products and a solid end-to-end solution that address enterprises that require DCI with high speed, low latency and low power consumption.

Transforming the Mobile Experience with Cisco Wireless Location Services

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March 18th, 2014

By Cisco Systems

It’s a mobile world, with almost 7 billion mobile subscribers worldwide in 2013, the equivalent of almost one device for every person on the planet. The rapid increase in mobile devices is making Wi-Fi a preferred method of network access, with the United States having more than 1 mobile device per person and 125 million smartphones shipped every year. With this growth rate, and a predicted 10 billion mobile devices by 2016, organizations can look to mobility and the Wi-Fi network to deliver innovative user services and enhanced customer experience. At the same time, this trend presents businesses with both tremendous opportunities and unique challenges, and numerous innovative businesses are rapidly emerging to help unlock business value from this growth.

Network Technology Performance Evaluation Cisco Wireless High Availability By Syracuse University’s Center for Convergence of Emerging Networking Technologies (CCENT)

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February 24th, 2014

Dramatic improvements in wireless networking combined with an increasingly important role for mobile devices are driving a trend towards Wi-Fi as the primary network access mechanism in many networks. An increasing number of enterprise networks, and especially mission critical networks like healthcare, cannot afford to have application sessions drop. These trends are driving CIO’s and network managers to demand increasing levels of service resiliency. Wireless network vendors are addressing these needs by implementing new capabilities, more intelligent wireless networks that are able to prioritize mission critical traffic and dynamically recover from component failures. Cisco approached Syracuse University’s Center for Convergence of Emerging Networking Technologies (CCENT) to perform a systematic beta test, including before/after benchmarking of several applications, of its newest Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) Software (code version 7.5), which includes a new controller failover feature called Client Stateful Switchover (Client SSO). We tested this new service offering on our wireless testbed that included Cisco 5508 Wireless LAN controllers and the Cisco AIR-2602i access point.

Empowering IT Innovations and Reducing Complexity with Unified Access

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February 12th, 2014


Unfortunately, wired networking equipment and wireless networking equipment have traditionally operated in separate realms, with inconsistent features, policies, tools, and management. This increases the network administrator’s burden and drives up management costs and complexity. Cisco has recently released a new set of unified networking and management platforms designed to bring consistency and continuity to all aspects of the campus network, from the wiring closet to WLAN controllers — and everything in between. By implementing such an architectural approach to unifying wired and wireless networks, IT and network managers can introduce new levels of efficiency, gain greater levels of manageability, and improve user experience. Enabling greater levels of business innovation and growth while controlling costs, IT can demonstrate how it is driving innovative value-add to the business.

Attend ONUG Academy and Increase Your Value in the Networking Job Market

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September 23rd, 2013

AttendONUGAcademy_NickGraphicThere is a fundamental shift occurring in network engineering skill set requirements as open networking and Software-Defined Networking technologies continue their rapid deployments. DevOps will have a larger role in network purchases. New network designs are emerging, thanks to virtual overlays, white box networking, Linux-based network-programming tools, OpenFlow based pSwitches and vSwitches, etc. The CCIE skills set is being augmented with SDN skills and know-how. To keep competitive and relevant in the networking industry job market, you need SDN skills. ONUG Academy offers five tutorials taught by the experts who are deploying and developing open networking/SDN standards plus technology, including:

T1: Understanding and Deploying Virtual Networks by: Srini Seetharaman, Technical Lead for SDN at Deutsche Telecom

T2: Getting Started with OpenFlow Deployments by: Brent Salisbury, University of Kentucky

T3: Integrating OpenFlow and OpenStack by: Rob Sherwood, Open Networking Foundation Chair of Architecture and Framework Working Group

T4: Understanding White Box Networking Architecture and Economics by: JR Rivers, Co-Founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks

T5: Writing SDN Applications on Popular Controllers by: Matt Davy and Chuck Black, Tallac Networks

These tutorials and instructors were defined and handpicked by the ONUG Board, respectively, who are sending their networking, virtualization and DevOps teams, so should you. Here’s a 3-minute video on why you should enroll in ONUG Academy.

Cisco Nexus 3548 Top-of-Rack Switch Performance and Power Test

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August 11th, 2013

By Lippis/Ixia

The Cisco Systems Nexus® 3548 is the fastest ToR switch that we have tested at these Lippis/Ixia tests by a large amount. The Nexus® 3548 forwards packets in slightly more than half the time of the next fastest switch we have tested! That is, it’s nearly twice as fast as the fastest previous switch tested. The Nexus® 3548 is also the fastest IP multicast forwarding switch we have tested to date, being able to forward packets some 62.5% faster than the previously fastest ToR switch tested. The Nexus® 3548 is an engineering achievement for both its raw packet processing performance, congestion management and value added Algo Boost and Warp Mode technology.

Ixia/Anue ‘s Larry Hart On Its SDN Network Visualization Strategy

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May 20th, 2013

Larry_Hart_On_Its_SDN_Network_Visualization_StrategyAs the need for visibility of applications flowing inside networks grows, network architecture itself is changing thanks to network plus server virtualization in data centers, and now Software-Defined Networking. Also trends like BYOD, virtualization, and application mobility are bringing complexity and a new dynamism to today’s networks. Larry Hart, Vice President, Ixia/Anue joins me to discuss how Software-Defined Networking is enhancing the hot network visualization market.

Gigamon’s Shehzad Merchant On The Killer SDN App: Network Visualization

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May 13th, 2013

Shehzad_Merchant_On_The_Killer_SDN_App_Network_VisualizationAs the need for visibility of applications flowing inside networks grows, network architecture itself is changing thanks to network plus server virtualization in data centers, and now Software-Defined Networking. Also trends like BYOD, virtualization, and application mobility are bringing complexity and a new dynamism to today’s networks. Shehzad Merchant, Chief Strategy Officer at Gigamon joins me to discuss the role of network visualization in the world of Software-Defined Networking.

Lippis Report 207: The Killer SDN Applications: Network Virtualization and Visualization

April 8th, 2013

nicklippis.jpgAt the last Open Networking User Group (ONUG) meeting in Boston organized with partner Fidelity Investments, it became very clear that there are two killer SDN applications: network virtualization and visualization. Some argue that network virtualization used for VM-VM networking is not an SDN technology, but I beg to differ. Sure, there are closed and open approaches to network virtualization, but over the next business cycle, the integration of OpenStack and OpenFlow will make it clear that network virtualization is an SDN application, especially as it’s extended to physical networks. The second killer app is network visualization—that is, the ability to monitor network traffic and tweak application performance.   At ONUG Rich Groves, Principal Architect at Microsoft presented his SDN based approach to network visualization he designed with Big Switch Networks, cPacket, IBM, Arista and other suppliers that everyone is now using.  Why is network visualization an SDN killer app? Because it uses SDN technology, and most importantly, lowers the capital cost significantly from existing network visualization approaches while also delivering an entirely new level of self-server flexibility. Companies, such as Big Switch Networks, Gigamon, Arista, Cisco, NetScout, Ixia/Anue, cPacket and others, are now positioning their network visualization offers within an SDN context and for good reason. In this Lippis Report Research Note, I focus on network visualization as an SDN killer app.

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2013 Industry Predictions with Nick Lippis and Zeus Kerravala

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January 3rd, 2013

Nick Lippis, Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research and I host our annual predictions podcast. We provide our top ten 2013 predictions that span consolidation in the SDN market, Cisco breaking away from HP/Dell, VMware jumping the shark, Micosoft’s rebound, the formation of the white box Top of Rack switch market, UC providers moving into context aware services, the rise of truly mobile applications and how Cisco will win with Cisco ONE. Enjoy and the very best for a happy and healthy New Year.

Register to Attend the Lippis Report’s Open Networking User Group meeting hosted by Fidelity on Feb 13th in Boston.

Avaya Virtualizes Aura on VMware

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December 5th, 2012

Mark Monday

Mark Monday Vice President, Product Management, Collaboration Platforms and Endpoints at Avaya joins me to discuss virtualized unified communications.  Avaya announced its Aura Virtualized Environment or Avaya Unified Communications on VMware, which are full-featured Avaya Aura core platform and applications installable as VMware virtual appliances.  This affords a range of new deployment opportunities not previously available that promise to accelerate mobility, video and overall business collaboration deployment. We discuss the implications and new options afforded by Aura on top of VMware.

Duration: 13 minutes 17 seconds

Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1 @ 1:52 sec: When you say that Avaya Aura is now virtualized, what does that actually mean, what is virtualized?

Question 2 @ 4:37 sec: While it may be obvious for some; let’s start with a discussion about the motivations to virtualize Avaya Aura.  What’s the key value proposition for customers and partners?

Question 3 @ 8:27 sec: There are new go to market models for partners with Avaya Aura Virtualized Environment, can you describe them and their implications for Avaya’s reach?

Question 4 @ 10:53 sec: How do existing customers take advantage of Avaya Aura Virtualized Environment as well as new prospectus?

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

Lippis Report 201: What Comes After Zero Latency Switching?

November 5th, 2012

During mid-September 2012, Arista Networks and Cisco Systems launched what both claimed to be the industry’s lowest latency switches aimed at big data, cloud, Web 2.0 and high frequency trading markets. Both products are Top of Rack (ToR), 10 and 40GbE switches. Arista’s is based upon merchant silicon, while Cisco utilized custom ASIC. Arista’s 7150 Series claims 10 and 40GbE, 350 nanoseconds Layer 2 or 3 forwarding, VXLAN support and what it calls “flexible forwarding.” Cisco’s Nexus 3548 claims 10GbE, 250ns to 190ns Layer 2 or 3 forwarding, and Cisco Algorithm Boost or Algo Boost technology. At 10GbE speeds, a bit is 1/10 of a nanosecond long, so Arista’s 7150 and Cisco’s 3548 switches delay is 3500 and 2500 or 1900 bits, respectively. That is, these products offer processing delays equal to the time it takes a few thousands of bits to traverse a simple metallic or optical wire at 10Gbs! In this Lippis Report, we review Arista’s and Cisco’s new ToR switches and answer the question: what comes after zero latency switching?

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The Future of Software-Defined Networking

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August 27th, 2012

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?