Network Virtualization

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Latest Blogs from Network Virtualization
With every New Year it is time to look back at the industry events of the past 12 months, and use our expertise to predict what lies ahead, in order to be more prepared. With regards to DDoS attacks, here is a short list of what to expect in 2015. We expect to see an increase in DDoS...
Through http://blog.ipspace.net I landed on this article on acm.org discussing the complexity of distributed systems. Through some good examples, George Neville-Neil makes it clear that creating and scaling distributed systems is very complex and “any one that tells you it is easy is e...
Throughout the development cycle of new features and functions for any network platform (or probably most other products not targeted at the mass market consumer) this one question will always come up: should we protect the user of our product from doing this? And “this” is always some...
Over the past few weeks I have had several conversations related to calculating network topologies and how packet forwarding is done based on those topologies. I wrote this post about a year ago explaining some of these details, but after a conversation with a customer earlier this wee...
User Experience (UX), in networking is a tricky thing. It’s not just about the direct user interaction of a particular feature or of a particular product. Over at Packet Pushers, we see many blog entries reviewing network products. Time and time again, they show us that UX encompass...
In the five seconds it takes you to read this, 60% of your visitors just abandoned your site. Another 20% were gone before you even hit the first comma, and 30% of all them are purchasing from one of your competitors. That's what Limelight Networks "State of the User Experience" says,...
In a previous article, we talked about “Short T’s.” We talked about how, in network engineering, the “T” is very long: Configuring a network to achieve business goals requires considerable skill and knowledge. While we set up a conceptual model in that post to talk about what “T” me...
Some people believe good or bad things always happen in threes. I believe you will always be able to find three (and probably more) things that are good or bad and somewhat related, but sometimes I get surprised by the apparent coincidental appearance of several closely related “things...
A company's managers have to be aware of what hardware and software is on hand, where it is situated, know its quantity, and what is necessary to increase the employees' effectiveness and the whole network's stability. If the managers or system administrators do not have such informati...
It means you can't use "network" protocols to make intelligent decisions about applications any more. Back in 2000 (or 2001, I forget exactly), I got to test a variety of bandwidth management appliances. Oh, they were the bomb back then - able to identify (and classify) applications b...
In reviewing some opportunities for Plexxi this week, I was reminded that we have made things very hard on ourselves. Through no one’s fault but our own we have created monsters of networks that are impossible to maintain, debug, diagnose and understand. I have been lucky in my career...
From a cost perspective, the networking dialogue is dominated by CapEx. Acquisition costs for new networking gear have historically been tied to hardware, and despite the relatively recent rise of bare metal switching, networking hardware remains a high-stakes business. But SDN is chan...
Earlier this week, Ethan Banks wrote a very nice article about Mellanox’s dual spine and leaf network in support of a large amount 10GbE access ports. After describing the scaled up network design, he reviews 8 observations about the design, not to point out good or bad, but merely to ...
In any space, there is a very small vocal minority. Most people lack the time, interest, or even confidence to say what they think in public. So we are left with a vocal few who drive the conversation. In networking, the vocal minority consists mainly of the vanguards for change. For t...
Google’s pursuit of self-driving cars has been well documented over the years. The promise of fleets of self-driving vehicles that could potentially make driving safer while simultaneously shortening commute times makes it one of the most attractive futures technologies around. But whe...
What started out as a mechanism to program flows into network switches and routers in a standard way is evolving into a full blown forwarding engine programming and management specification. In the latest version of the spec (1.4, released in October 2013), the abilities exist to confi...
We get quite caught up in high level architectures at times. It is good to read some posts that focus on design and implementation and the practicality of taking higher level architectures to reality. Two of Ivan’s posts caught my eye this week. In the first, he discusses the differenc...
During a session at Gartner Data Center 2013 (Software Defined Networking? Not a Question of If, A Matter of When and How) the question of SDN adoption was asked by speakers Joe Skorupa and Andrew Lerner of an approximately 100 person audience. These are the (very informal and totally ...
Last week I walked through the packet formats for VXLAN and NVGRE specifically focused on ways by which the overlay packets provide information to the physical network that help the physical network. Some of the initial extreme thoughts that the overlay and physical network can and sho...
There have been many articles describing overlay networks in the past few quarters. It's a relatively straightforward concept, not far removed from some of the older VPN technologies very popular a while ago. The actual transport of packets is probably the simplest, it is the control p...
Why is it that the definition of SDN continues to get debated? I think the definition of SDN remains a bit squishy. And while I am not entirely certain that it matters (people shouldn’t be buying SDN; they should be building networks), it is an interesting phenomenon, and understand...
The white box switching movement appears to be gaining some momentum. For some, it is a fait accompli that hardware and software will be meaningfully separated, allowing users to procure each independently in a model that more closely resembles what happens on the server side. The fire...
The simplicity of the term "proxy" belies the complex topological options available. Understanding the different deployment options will enable your proxy deployment to fit your environment and, more importantly, your applications. It seems so simple in theory. A proxy is a well-under...
The Smithsonian Institution has upgraded its network capabilities with an aim to improve public access to a collection with over 400 terabytes of data, Federal News Radio reported Thursday. Jason Miller writes the agency is nearing completion of the Internet 2 update, which is a nat...
In traditional networks, MAC addresses are inserted into tables using standard learning techniques. When packets arrive, if the source MAC address is not known, it is added to the MAC forwarding table for that VLAN with the ingress interface as its destination. If the destination is u...
Perhaps somewhat lost in a ridiculously hyper week of datacenter announcements last week was this article from some of the network minds at VMware. The article describes a division of flow types in datacenter environments (they probably exist elsewhere too but probably less pronounced)...
[This is not really about the Red Sox or pumpkins this Halloween, but how could I not use those in the title? Go Red Sox] I left an awful teaser at the end of my article last week. In Brent Salisbury's original article that triggered some of these additional virtualization thoughts, h...
A little while ago I wrote about the differences between routing and switching, or probably more the difference between ethernet and IP forwarding. Then focus of that article was very much on the differences between the two from a forwarding hardware perspective. This article last week...
At VMworld 2013, VMware announced vSphere 5.5. How does this new release compare to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)? If an organization just wants to gain the benefits of virtualization and ease of management, do they need all this extra "stuff", paying for features never use...