A software defined data center is nothing without a software defined network. Programmability and API support are more important than speeds and feeds in making a purchasing decision.
Enterprises have to assess a networking vendor’s software plans as thoroughly as hardware specifications.
There are three critical features of data center switching that you need to keep in mind on your next refresh: overlay support, programmability, and APIs. Speeds and feeds, table sizes, and other data sheet specs are table stakes, and most data center networking vendors are keeping pace on the important parts. Seriously now, how many of you are going to make a purchase decision based on MAC table size? Do you really need more than 256,000 entries? Hardware is keeping up. Software impacts the integration and interoperation of your switching hardware with the rest of your data center, so much so that it becomes the most critical set of features that can make or break a fully automated data center. Continue reading “When Your Switch Vendor is also Your Software Vendor”→
Campus LAN networking has been evolving for years without receiving as much of the limelight as other technologies. That is going to change.
Technologies such as SDN and multi-path Ethernet are making their way into the campus LAN and offer similar benefits.
While data center networking has been getting the lion’s share of press and analyst love in the last few years, campus networking has been undergoing a rather quiet and steady revolution that is just as compelling as data center networking, and it’s getting more so. The campus LAN already has a great deal of automation happening at the network edge, with capabilities such as network access control not only detecting hosts and users and granting access, but also configuring VLANs and applying QoS policies based on the user, the device, or the network. Many of the networking platforms, with help from a policy server, can enforce policies based on a variety of characteristics. Continue reading “Advances in Campus LAN Products Continue Rapid Growth”→
The software-defined data center is a concept that encapsulates networking, virtualization, storage, orchestration, and ultimately, a truly agile framework.
Orchestration and manageability must be designed into a solution, rather than being bolted on, to yield the best results.
It became evident during VMworld that the notion of a software-defined data center is central to VMware’s strategy. However, when you pause a moment and reflect on where the tech industry has been heading for the last five to ten years, it is easy to see elements of this notion accelerating over time, really coming to dominate design principles across the disciplines that constitute the DC (storage, compute, network, and operations platforms) in the last few years. Software-defined networking (SDN) is perhaps one of the most visible or actively marketed software-defined concepts, but when one realizes that virtualization is just another software-defined concept (compute/machines), it is easy to see the theme encompassing practically every element of DC technology, not to mention platforms and applications already being managed as software elements themselves. The logical question here is: If all elements within a data center are software-controlled, then what about the technology characteristics of fabrics, SPB-M/Trill, FCoE, and more of the physical network elements? The answer is that the technology differentiation of the devices which constitute the infrastructure does not go away or diminish with the SD DC, but rather becomes instrumental as the devices themselves must each integrate with upper-level orchestration platforms (i.e., VMware vCenter/vCloud Director). Continue reading “Is Your Network Ready for the Software-Defined Data Center?”→
Data center networking technologies are moving at a pace that few enterprises can keep up with
The networking provider of choice will impact cloud deployment plans and virtualization scale – so choose wisely
No one will argue that there have been more changes in networking coming out of the data center in the last 24 months than in the last ten years for the enterprise campus. This doesn’t demean the value of the campus, but rather highlights the standards and technology explosion inside the data center. Topics of debate and battlegrounds for vendor differentiation range from port speed and scale (1Gig to 100G) to protocol support and networking virtualization. Regardless, the standards remain in motion and a few standards in particular will have significant impact on the network architecture of choice for an enterprise. These include SPB & TRILL (competing standards to address spanning tree limitations), FCoE & DCB (storage over Ethernet and improvements to enhance iSCSI and existing storage over Ethernet), and of course virtualization insight and management of virtual switches. As several of these are not yet ratified, vendor support can only be gauged by stated intent (versus actually implemented). Continue reading “Data Center Fabrics: Enterprises Often Need a Networking Tailor”→