Extreme Networks Addresses Scale Issues with its Open Fabric Software-Defined Networking

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January 14th, 2013

No matter where an IT architect looks they are confronted with scaling issues and many times one solution creates another problem.  To address increasing VM density many are expanding broadcast domains with flatter 2-tier architectures only to get bogged down in broadcast issues.  To scale virtualized networks the industry offers VXLAN, but that moves L2 scaling into a multicast-scaling problem.  Software-Defined Network and in particular OpenFlow offers a good approach for provisioning and control but introduces flow oriented architecture scaling issues of its own.  I discuss scaling challenge with Shehzad Merchant Chief Technology Officer at Extreme Networks.

Duration: 10:24 minutes

Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1

@ 1:35 sec: Shehzad: Let’s first start with Extreme’s view of 40 and 100GbE.  How is Extreme incorporating it and why?

Question 2 @ 3:50 sec: Forwarding table architecture and size define logical networking scale.  Extreme recently introduced UFT or Unified Forwarding Table.  What is it and how does it work?

Question 3 @ 6:35 sec: Extreme has partnered with Big Switch Networks to address network visualization scale via its Big Tap and Big Virtual Switch.  Can you talk to this solution?

Question 4 @ 8:51 sec: Can you sum up all the initiatives that Extreme has under way to deliver on its Open Fabric architecture for clo

ud-scale networking?


IBM Sets Direction With Open Data Center Interoperable Network Architecture

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January 7th, 2013

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

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

Accelerating the Deployment of Virtualized Applications in the Data Center Introducing Avaya Collaboration Pods

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December 5th, 2012

by Avaya

Avaya Collaboration Pods are turnkey solutions consisting of virtualized server, storage, networking and management components all fine-tuned to deliver maximum performance of Avaya application solutions over the underlying data center infrastructure. With fully integrated management and support, the solution enables rapid deployment of complex technologies, including virtualized applications and services, storage and networking, while simplifying the task of operating technologies from multiple vendors.

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

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November 26th, 2012

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.

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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Moving to an Open Data Center with an Interoperable Network

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September 25th, 2012

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: ibm.com/systems/networking/solutions/odin.html

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?

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

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July 24th, 2012

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.  

Broadcom Smart-NV Technology for Cloud-Scale Network Virtualization

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May 14th, 2012

By Broadcom

Private and public cloud applications, usage models, and scale requirements are significantly influencing network infrastructure design. Broadcom’s StrataXGS® architecture-based Ethernet switches support the SmartScale series of technologies to ensure that such network infrastructure design requirements can be implemented comprehensively, cost-effectively and at scale. This set of innovative and unique technologies, available in current and future StrataXGS Ethernet switch processors, serves as the cornerstone of Ethernet switch systems from leading equipment manufacturers worldwide.
This white paper explores the network infrastructure virtualization requirements in private and public cloud networks, and how such requirements affect the design of data center network switches. It also describes features that are enabled by Broadcom’s Smart-NV (Network Virtualization) technology, part of Broadcom’s SmartScale series of technologies, engineered specifically to meet current feature and scale requirements of private and public cloud networks. Smart-NV encompasses comprehensive best practices for today’s high-performance data center switches, and addresses evolving needs of next generation cloud implementations.

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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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 187: Software-Defined Networking Needs a Bigger Definition

February 28th, 2012

There are multiple definitions of Software-Defined Networking or SDN. But this is common in a new breakout space for the computer networking industry that’s evolving fast. The most common SDN definition is based upon splitting the data plane or the forwarding hardware of an Ethernet switch from its control plane or the logic that controls how packets flow from ingress to egress. But this definition alone is too limited and needs to be expanded. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we offer the industry a broader SDN definition and view.

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