Spoken in the words of the Open Networking Foundation – one of the key concepts to understanding SDN is the separation of control plane and data plane. Typically a network is comprised of many routers and switches, each exchanging table information to build topologies. Each of these network devices has their own individualized control plane for brain-like functions such as route or MAC learning. Each network device also has its own data plane for forwarding packets. The challenge is each device has its own perspective of the network, and the only way you can view that perspective is by connecting to that device via a CLI and issue commands or configurations. The same is applicable for other devices like firewalls, load balancers, not just routers, and switches. (more…)
Imagine looking up toward the sky on an average afternoon, marveling at the piercing blue background salted by white fluffy clouds. Each cloud is uniquely shaped, gloriously afloat, describable in terms even a five-year-old can understand. They look dense enough to stand on, soft enough to sleep on, and righteous enough to spend an afterlife walking among.
Now imagine riding passenger on a Boeing 747. You’re peering out the window as the aircraft takes off. As you ascend, steadily approaching the definitively shaped clouds, they curiously begin to lose shape and opacity. Enter the clouds — your perspective has significantly changed, for you can no longer see them for what they are. Rather, the sky is whitewashed and borderless. Oddly, you may still be able to see others in the distance, but you’re essentially blind to the cloud you’re in. Often times all you’ll see is the giant white soul of the cloud with no sky whatsoever, no coherent shape or texture. (more…)
I swear it’s impossible to keep up with the networking industry. Just when I think I have it figured out, a technology hits the market that makes me rethink my life the past 10 years. It’s not fair! Apstra, a newer start-up company out of Silicon Valley, is guilty this time with their brilliant new approach to integrated closed-loop networking that will likely revolutionize the way we think about data center networks in the future. Like Spartans that followed a strict system emphasizing duty, discipline and endurance, Apstra is building structure and reason in a network of chaos. (more…)
It’s not every day you see something that excites you to a point of ecstatic glee. This is a special day indeed, and it’s thanks to the minds at Forward Networks.
TL;DR, Forward Networks has introduced the first and only accurate software copy of your exact network. That’s right — a full-scale, veritable sandbox of your massive network, in a clean and powerful interface. No lie – it’s cool! (more…)
Ever hear of a company called Paessler AG? No? Neither have I. Ever hear of a product called PRTG? Of course?! Me too! Call me crazy, but I never knew this was the same company! Paessler AG presented for Tech Field Day at VMworld in Barcelona yesterday, demonstrating their product PRTG and making legitimate points in support of their competitive edge in the monitoring industry. In this blog I’ll be doing a personal Q&A about PRTG, running queries against the DB (Dave Brain), hoping it doesn’t fail on me. If it fails, I’m not too concerned, for I’ve installed the appropriate SNMP MIBs used to alert my right hand that coffee needs to be delivered to my mouth. PRTG, save me! (more…)
What is Digital Ceiling?
Looking back at the evolution of the network in the past decade, we see a constant trend of devices migrating to Ethernet, resulting in a migration to IP. IP telephony took off in 2005 and is now the de facto standard for any phone system. Coax-connected cameras migrated to IP surveillance in the late 2000s. Legacy building management systems using BACnet started migrating to low-voltage PoE systems in the early 2010s. Within the past year, we’ve seen a new trend of high-voltage systems like lighting start migrating towards low-voltage PoE, dubbed “Smart Lighting”. This move towards digitization makes sense on all fronts. It’s cheaper, scalable, extensible, can easily be managed and monitored, and opens the door for new experiences with intelligent buildings. (more…)
When you hear a specific term pedestaled as a discussion point from a wide variety of industry leaders, it’s probably something of importance, and something you should know about. During the recent Networking Field Day (NFD10), I noticed a handful of these persisting terms and technologies repeated throughout the event.
Terms like agility and elasticity make me cringe, yet they’re entirely relevant in todays conversations around design and delivery of information services, networking included. (more…)