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Integrating VXLAN In OpenStack Quantum

Since the announcement of VXLAN last summer, there has been interest in the Open Source community for an open implementation of this. With the increasing number of  Open Source cloud and virtualization technologies out there, where does VXLAN fit into this picture? I think one logical place for it to exist is inside OpenStack Quantum. As a service providing network connectivity between interface devices, this is a logical place for it to exist, especially as it pertains to disparite plugins.

But before I explain how VXLAN could plug into Quantum, some background may be good. Omar Sultan posted a great 3 part blog series on VXLAN (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Reading this will give you a good, relevant background on VXLAN.

An Open Source implementation of VXLAN would require 2 pieces: A data path piece, to implement the protocol and framing format. And a control path piece, to handle orchestration of segment IDs and multicast addresses. For the data path piece, patches were posted to the Open vSwitch mailing list in October 2011, but so far have not been merged into either the Open vSwitch project’s git tree, nor the upstream Open vSwitch kernel code in the Linux tree. Once these patches make it into a public git repository, the data path portion of the equation is complete.

But what about the control path piece? One logical landing spot would be in OpenStack Quantum. Looking at version 1.0 of the Quantum API guide, we can begin to see how to add VXLAN support into Quantum. Quantum networks are created agnostic of their underlying segmentation technology. Currently, VLANs are used. Adding in VXLAN support would be as simple as adding in a type to “Create Network” call. Specifying VXLAN would allow Quantum to provision a Segment ID, and allocate a block of multicast addresses to use. Multiple hosts could still be added to multiple networks with a type of VXLAN. Quantum would work great for handling these types of tasks.

The place where this really begins to shine, however, is in the plugin architecture of Quantum. With Quantum handling the tasks of segment ID allocation, the plugins will have to handle the VXLAN protocol implementation for a network with type VXLAN. Vendors can now implement VXLAN in their plugins, and this buys end users the ability to have a heterogenous VXLAN environment out of the box.

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A human working culture

We’ve all done it, squeezed a meeting into a colleague’s last remaining gap for a lunch break, or set a conference call for an unsociable hour. Yet we’ve also all been the victim of such logistical moves. Because the problem is, in a mega-busy global working environment like ours, we increasingly accept that this sort of thing is normal and needs to happen, so we can all get everything done.

And perhaps at times it does, but not without considering if there are other possible options and not without asking.

Politeness aside, how many of us properly acknowledge the priorities each other has outside of the office, those priorities which help shape the people we are and often conflict with the demands of our working lives. How many of us raise an eyebrow at the person who leaves to go to the gym, or the parent who goes because of childcare issues. We even sometimes fail to acknowledge the shame of a colleague missing a family celebration because of work demands.

These issues comes up a lot but I think we could all be part of changing what is regularly seen as acceptable and just the norm. We could all speak up when meetings are set at anti-social times; share our human selves as well as our work selves to create a human culture where other commitments are given due credit, time and appreciation.

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Technology helps all of us smile this holiday season

Technology makes all of us smile this holiday season

As we wrap up our holiday time away, I thought it a great time to reflect on the gift we often forget about … spending time with our loved ones and the ability to make each other smile….

These days we constantly talk about how technology in healthcare settings makes us more efficient, more collaborative and more patient-centric.  I don’t hear much, however, about how it makes us SMILE.  Today I have found the exception: Santa, connecting live via video, to chat with a hospitalized child.  Smiles erupt from the child, parent, and staff alike – not to mention Santa himself.

Such is the scene at 15 hospitals across the U.S. the last couple of weeks.  As a nurse and caregiver, it touches my heart to know that despite all that medicine and technology offer today, we can’t cure everyone as soon as we would like and some patients and their families will celebrate the holidays surrounded by beeping machines and sterile environments.  It is exciting to see the technology we use to care for a child’s illness can be used to boost the spirit as well…

Success stories like this prompt me to think of every increasing ways we can leverage technology to bring better health services – iced with a bit of joy – to our patients in the coming year!    Hope it does the same for you!

What are your ideas how technology can be used for multiple purposes?  Wishing us all a Happy and Innovative 2012 benefiting society.

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A time for firsts

Hello and Happy New Year!  This is one of my favorite times of year.  I must admit, I am extremely competitive, and love the opportunity to be the first at things.  Shortly after midnight, and well into the first week of the year, I am constantly re-using the same joke, “I haven’t done _________ since last year”.  Honestly, I use that with the stupidest things, like “I haven’t ordered pizza since last year”.   As I read that last sentence I begin to understand the disgusted looks I receive.  When I shift the focus from my personal to professional life, it is no secret that I bring that sense of personal competitiveness to the workplace.  Thankfully Cisco has rewarded this behavior thus far.  Historically this competitive nature has dominated the Cisco landscape, and the Global Certification Team is no exception.

Over the next few weeks we will be hearing from subject matter experts in the various certification programs.  They are going to be talking about programs such as USGv6, Common Criteria, and the FIPS 140 crypto validation programs.  The team will be expounding on the vast array of Certification firsts at Cisco.  Cisco has and will continue to be dedicated to supporting the global Government landscape with the various certification and Security Assurance programs required by our customers.

Cisco has long been a thought leader in the business and technological communities, and what you will see over the next few weeks, is that Cisco has a long history of certification firsts in all of our programs.  This is an exciting time and we look forward to continuing to forge the path of Global Public Sector based certifications.

Oh, Happy New Year!!!