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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Cisco Enhances VXLAN: Eliminates IP Multicast Requirement, integrates virtual services via vPath plus connects to legacy networks

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May 27th, 2013

Han_Yang_Cisco_Enhances_VXLAN_Eliminates_IP_Multicast_Requirement_integrates_virtual_services_via_vPath_plus_connects_to_legacy_networksCisco introduced enhancements to its VXLAN implementation in the Nexus 1000V virtual switch that overcomes the requirement for IP Multicast. In addition Cisco is integrating vPath to VXLAN for service insertion that stitches virtual services into VXLAN overlay tunnels. Network services might include virtual firewalls, application delivery controllers, WAN optimization, network monitors, etc. A final VXLAN challenge that network teams are facing is how to integrate VXLAN into legacy networks and with existing physical networks, appliances and the enterprise WAN. We’ll hear if Cisco has any solutions to get around this issue as well. Han Yang of Cisco joins me to discuss VXLAN, without multicast and with vPath, and how it can be used to deploy virtual network overlays.

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?

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Integrating VXLAN with Avaya VENA Fabric Connect

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January 7th, 2013

by Avaya

VXLAN, VMware’s attempt at creating a next-generation VLAN technology, is intended to help businesses maximize the effectiveness of their server virtualization activities. Officially, “Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) works by creating Layer 2 logical networks that are encapsulated in standard Layer 3 IP packets. A ‘Segment ID’ in every frame differentiates the VXLAN logical networks from each other without any need for VLAN tags. This allows very large numbers of isolated Layer 2 VXLAN networks to co-exist on a common Layer 3 infrastructure.” The intent is to build virtual domains on top of a common networking and virtualization infrastructure, with these virtual domains having complete isolation from each other and the underlying network. This is the theory anyway. However, the initial VXLAN specification was based on some rather conventional networking concepts and did not make allowance for groundbreaking work that had already been undertaken within the IEEE in defining Shortest Path Bridging (SPB).

VXLAN: Eliminating Cloud Boundaries with SDN

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October 22nd, 2012

By Arista Networks

If you are a virtualization and/or network administrator who wants to eliminate cloud boundaries and implement elastic computing, then download this paper. By overcoming the need for flat, Layer 2 networks, enterprises and service providers are able to take advantage of more scalable, proven Layer 3 technologies within their data center without sacrificing crucial application mobility.

VXLAN Bridges Virtual and Physical Networks to the Cloud

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October 12th, 2012

By Arista Networks

If you are a virtualization and/or network administrator who wants to increase the scalability or mobility of your virtual architecture between data center and/or between routed domains while remaining full workload portable, then download this paper.

VXLAN: Scaling Data Center Capacity

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September 25th, 2012

By Arista Networks

This document provides an overview of how VXLAN works. It also provides criteria to help determine when and where VXLAN can be used to implement a virtualized Infrastructure. Arista, Broadcom, Intel, VMware and others developed the VXLAN specification to improve scaling in the virtualized Data Center.

Cisco’s Nexus 1000V-based Programmable Virtual Network Overlays

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September 15th, 2012

This is the fourth and last podcast in a four part series on Cisco’s Open Network Environment or Cisco ONE. Cisco ONE utilizes the multi-hypervisor Nexus 1000V virtual switch to create virtual network overlays and will be enabling programmability through programmatic interfaces to its virtual supervisor module (VSM), enabling automation-centric provisioning. To make virtual overlays functionally equivalent to physical data center networks, virtual Layer 4-7 application network and virtual security services are added via its virtualization stack of related protocols and layered products. Gary Kinghorn, Senior Manager, Data Center and Cloud Solution Marketing at Cisco Systems joins me to discuss Cisco’s approach to virtual network overlays.

Duration: 22 minutes and 37 seconds

Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1 @ 2:36 sec: Gary, would you like to add anything to my virtual network overlay discussion in the intro that’s unique to Cisco?

Question 2 @ 3:45 sec: What are some of the misperceptions that most need to be cleared up?

Question 3 @ 4:42 sec: Gary, you and I talked before about a network virtualization stack early this year, and now the conversation appears to have shifted to this virtual overlay concept. Are these really the same things that Cisco has been talking about for a while? Or what’s different and what’s behind the evolution?

Question 4 @ 7:11 sec: There’s a lot of discussion in the industry now about the virtual switch being a key strategic battleground going forward, and that presumably extends to virtual overlay infrastructures overall. We know that VMware acquiring Nicira gives them an overlay story as well that could lead to competition with Cisco specifically in this area. Is this a “battleground”, and if so, what makes Cisco’s approach different or unique?

Question 5 @ 16:23 sec : Lets talk use cases. When do you go from a physical network to a virtual one, when do you need overlays, and what are the applications that are going to be built on top of these new SDN API’s?

Question 6 @ 18:19 sec: Which use cases does Cisco see as virtual network overlays offering the most value today?

Question 7 @ 20:59 sec: The perception is that a lot of this SDN stuff is really out in the future? When and how do data center architects start to implement Cisco’s virtual network overlays?