Lippis Report 219: What Is Happening to Open Networking?

March 18th, 2014

nick_podium2It was so simple; the separation of network hardware from software through a protocol called OpenFlow would open up the networking industry by injecting innovation into a vertically integrated industry. Specialized network hardware, called routers and switches, would give way to low cost white box alternatives, built in Asia, that were centrally controlled by software running on x86 commodity hardware. The networking industry would split into three parts: those that sold data forwarding gear, controller software and network applications. Well, that was 2010, and the reality is that this model of Open Networking has not materialized in the enterprise market—perhaps in a few operator and hyperscale networks, but not the real markets: the enterprise and public sector environments. Open Networking has taken on a life of its own. Overlays or virtualized networking are coming into their own; white box solutions without OpenFlow are being piloted in the enterprise and deployed in select cloud providers and operator networks; Linux is being considered as a network operating system to enable automation and normalize management tools across compute, storage and networking. The wide area, and in particular, branch office networking is about to undergo a fundamental change, thanks to new open networking solutions entering the market that promise radically lower cost, centralized policy provisioning control and service enablement. Hardware appliances are under attack in both branch office and data centers as vendors start to offer network service virtualization or NSV. Open networking security, or the lack thereof, is now coming into focus as is the killer SDN application: IP storage. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we provide a snapshot of the fast-pace changes occurring in Open Networking.
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Lippis Report 218: ONUG vs. OpenStack, Open Compute and ONF

February 24th, 2014

Nick
A quick look at the board of directors of the Open Network User Group will make it obvious that ONUG is driven by some of the world’s biggest IT business leaders of networking technology. Leading financial, insurance, retail and logistics companies are all active members of ONUG. That alone sets it apart from the many other organizations with “open” in their name. In keeping with their goals, all ONUG events are intentionally kept to a manageable size so that members can meet their primary objective – which is to network other ONUG members.

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Lippis Report 216: Arista’s 7500E Breaks Multiple Test Records In Most Comprehensive Review of its Spine Switch

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January 27th, 2014

NickBack in August of 2013 we reviewed the Arista 7500E in Lippis Report Research Note 212. Nearly six months later the Arista 7500E is the most widely deployed spine switch of this new class of 288 40GbE modular switches. Over the past few months the Lippis Report with Ixia tested the 7500E for layer 2 and 3 unicast plus multicast performance, congestion management, demanding cloud traffic performance, power consumption, the ability for its VOQ buffers to be adjustable, if its 64-Way ECMP hash works as advertised and performance tested its 100GbE Line Card. If you’re building a cloud network, then you need to read this report first. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we deliver the most comprehensive test and review of Arista’s 7500E modular data center spine switch.

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Lippis Report 215: Cisco’s Nexus 9000 Re-defines Software-Defined Networking

November 6th, 2013

nicklippis.jpgIt was back in February of 2013, during the Open Networking User Group, or ONUG, hosted by Fidelity Investments in Boston, that one of its board members told me “We could wake up in the morning and Cisco will have an open networking solution that changes the industry.” Well, November 6th 2013 was that morning. Cisco acquired Insieme Networks and with it, addressed networking’s biggest complaints that have been voiced far and wide; that is, data center networking is too over-subscribed, ridged and not flexible to support on-demand workload creation and movement. These and other complaints are perhaps best articulated in an October 2010 blog by James Hamilton, VP and Distinguished Engineer on the Amazon Web Services Team, titled Data Center Networks Are In My Way. Since then Insieme’s engineering team has redefined networking, as we know it, manifested in a product portfolio that will not only change networking but the IT industry. There are multiple value propositions embedded in the new Cisco product line, which I’ll cover here in the Lippis Report over the next few quarters. But for this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the new Nexus 9000 series of data center switches, which Cisco promises is the most port dense and power efficient plus fastest packet forwarder and programmable data center modular switch in the industry. The Nexus 9000 series represents a familiar starting point on the journey toward a new era in software-defined networking.

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Lippis Report 214: Open Networking Disrupts the Storage Market

October 21st, 2013

nicklippis.jpgThe dialog over open networking often goes something like this: The networking market is fundamentally changing. The established networking vendors will realize lost market share and revenue if they don’t open up. Network switching will become commoditized and offshored to Asia. While these may be true statements, one unknown inter-related trend is evolving, and that’s open networking will disrupt the storage market. The Storage Area Networking, or SAN market, and in particular Fiber Channel, is costly and difficult to configure. Ethernet networking has evolved to the point where early adapters, cloud providers and hyperscale firms are starting to consider transporting storage traffic over the same Ethernet network as user traffic. While 10GbE and 40GbE switching possess the attributes to support storage, open networking’s automation and programmability are the final pieces to the architectural puzzle to enable fully converged data and storage networking. Over the past year, VCs have poured 10s of millions into new IP storage firms to take advantage of this shift in the storage market, including Ceph by Inktank, GlusterFS, Sheepdog, SwiftStack, Scality, Hedvig, Riak CS and others. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explain the new open networking and storage market that’s emerging.

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Unified Visibility Fabric Architecture – A New Approach to Visibility

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October 21st, 2013

By Gigamon

Gigamon’s Unified Visibility Fabric architecture provides a new approach to monitoring and management of IT infrastructure. By centralizing tools and connecting them into the Visibility Fabric, significant cost savings and operational efficiencies can be realized. The Unified Visibility Fabric architecture provides pervasive visibility across campus, branch, virtualized and, ultimately, SDN islands and consists of four key components—Visibility Fabric nodes, Management, Orchestration and Applications, which when taken together provide a scalable, flexible and centralized Visibility Fabric solution.

IBM Expands Network Portfolio with SDN VE

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October 21st, 2013

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.

Lippis Report 213: We Are Entering Software-Defined Networking 2.0

September 23rd, 2013

nicklippis.jpgIt’s been a few years now that the industry has been working toward delivering a Software-Defined Networking market. The model that kicked off SDN was a Stanford definition that split the data and control plane, connecting them via a new standard protocol called OpenFlow. As OpenFlow was being standardized, the open networking movement entered other parts of the networking market, such as virtualized networking, visualization, programmable networking and white box networking. A broader new SDN 2.0 model is emerging that includes a wide range of use cases and technologies that promise to fundamentally change not just the networking industry, but the IT value chain and, in particular, the storage market. At ONUG, SDN 2.0 will be front and center as ONUG Board of Directors including  Bank of America, CitiGroup, Gap Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase, UBS, and other IT business thought leaders discuss how SDN 2.0 is impacting their IT infrastructure. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we provide a rough sketch of SDN 2.0. To get the full version, you need to come to ONUG!

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Ballarat Grammar Secures BYOD with HP SDN and Sentinel SDN Security Application

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September 23rd, 2013

By HP

Gregory Bell, Head of Technical Services, Ballarat Grammar said “The Sentinel SDN application takes away a lot of the manual labor that we used to do. We now know exactly where the infections are and how many there are—we can detect threats and respond in a proactive manner. That saves us hours of work every week.” Ballarat Grammar is a K-12 independent Anglican school located in Victoria, Australia. An extensive parkland campus hosts a flourishing community of 250 faculty and 1,400 students, with over 200 of the students living on campus in boarding houses. Ballart Grammar looked toward HP’s SDN portfolio to increase student and faculty productivity and educational opportunities by allowing users to bring their own devices and securely connect to the network.

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.

Prepare for Software-Defined Networking Build the Foundation for SDN with OpenFlow

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August 11th, 2013

By HP

Read this paper if you are a CTO, CIO, IT manager, or network architect interested in making your enterprise network more agile and adaptable to changing business needs. This paper describes the benefits of software-defined networking (SDN) enabled by OpenFlow technology. SDN, enabled by OpenFlow, holds the promise of breaking the logjam in network agility by eliminating legacy human middleware and paving the way for innovation.

Lippis Report 210: HP Networking Is Poised to Capitalize on the Software-Defined Networking Market Transition

July 8th, 2013

nicklippis.jpgHP has been an industry leader when it comes to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) as it sees an opportunity to accelerate its growth in the networking market during a fundamental transition point. HP’s SDN strategy spans from the data center to campus and branch office networking. Its strategy includes solutions across all three layers of the SDN architecture, including the infrastructure, control and application layers.

HP’s SDN strategy is extended by inclusion of management as a critical element to enabling SDN adoption for greenfield and hybrid deployments. At the infrastructure layer, HP supports open programmable interfaces into its networking hardware portfolio. At the control layer, HP is releasing its Virtual Application Networks SDN controller in the second half of this year. At the application layer, HP has demonstrated and announced several compelling applications and use cases with real customer deployments. HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) now also includes SDN management elements for each layer of the SDN architecture.

In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explore HP’s SDN strategy and offerings, and offer an approach to pilots and deployment.

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IBM Software-Defined Networking Solutions

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July 8th, 2013

by IBM

This quick two-page paper provides key drivers to SDN and IBM’s SDN plus OpenFlow product road map.

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.