Back in May 2012 Mike Fratto predicted in his blog that SDN will be “Reborn in Network Management”. There is a lot of truth to his statement. The words “software defined” in “Software Defined Networking (SDN)” inspired people to rethink the overall control plane architecture of the network making the case for infrastructure software that complements software already embedded in virtual and physical devices, (e.g., the software and protocols running in and between network elements).
We are evolving our treatment of the network. What once was a discrete set of loosely coupled devices will now be interacted with as a system. To get there means the network must be represented by an overall system model. Classic network management functions become an integral part of the infrastructure software, and will spawn their own management requirements. SDN makes network management a first class citizen. Effectively we’re past the time when network management was an afterthought, or when network management was an operational silo. The coming integration of network management into the larger network software domain means infrastructure managers will not only manage and operate, but also actively contribute to the overall business proposition of the IT infrastructure. Read More »
Tags: API, Network programmability, onePK, OpenFlow, SDN
Much has been made of the emergence of Software Defined Networking and the programmable network. At its core, SDN involves opening up network interfaces in order to make the network programmable and allow for the development of applications. While some of those applications interact directly with the data plane, determining how individual packets are treated, many applications actually involve what can fundamentally be described as management functionality – automation of workflows, reaction to events, closing of control loops. A popular example concerns orchestration, in which resources are allocated and state modified so that collectively a service is provided – in many ways resembling a reincarnation of service provisioning in a new context and under a new name.
Of course, management applications and management interfaces have been around for a long time, so what is really new and different this time? Is SDN simply an exciting new label for a tired old concept? Does SDN obviate the need for traditional management? At the core of these questions are the concepts of programmability and manageability. Read More »
Tags: applications, Intelligent Network, Manageability, network management, programmability, SDN, software defined networking
What’s new and exciting with EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol)? Actually, lots… First a bit a background on EIGRP.
EIGRP is an advanced distance vector routing protocol used extensively by enterprise customers. It is very popular because it is simple to deploy and support. Some major attributes are:
- EIGRP does not mandate many network design requirements and is therefore perceived as “forgiving” and “flexible”. For example, EIGRP does not require support for multiple routing sub-domains or Areas.
- While route summarization is a recommended best practice to minimize route table size, it is optional with EIGRP.
- EIGRP can scale to support thousands of routers in a Hub and Spoke configuration. The Hub and Spoke design is especially popular in WAN networks.
For additional information on EIGRP, please click here. There is also a great BLOG that compares EIGRP and OSPF that I think you will find informative and is posted here.
While EIGRP has a large customer following, some customers have hesitated because of concerns of EIGRP being “proprietary”, which would prevent them from multi-vendor network support. In some cases this has caused customers to design their networks to limit usage of EIGRP, even though they would like to deploy it ubiquitously. One result has been non-optimal network design and traffic flow, resulting from multiple IGP (Interior Gateway Protocol) redistribution points.
That brings me back to what is new and exciting with EIGRP. Read More »
Tags: EIGRP, Enhanced Interior Gateway Protocol, ietf, ietf working group, IGP, Interior Gateway Protocol, ipv4, IPv6, IPv6 deployment, OSPF, WAN, WAN networks
It is not often you get a peek in the behind scenes of the Cisco Employees who put their personal lives on hold to support a major event like Cisco Live. I am very sure this blog will not do justice to sharing one person’s perspective, but lets give it a try shall we?
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Tags: challenges, Cisco Live London, configuration, demonstration, EIGRP, OSPF, routing and switching
By looking at the sheer amount of Breakouts and technical sessions here at Cisco Live London, it isn’t hard to understand why networks are becoming more and more complex. Networks are converging onto single infrastructures, more and more business processes are becoming more network centric and this translates into more functionality and more dependencies between functions and network layers, and thus more complexity. It becomes very hard for a single human being to understand these dependencies and layer interactions in order to do per-box configuration. Typically this problem is attempted to be ‘solved’ by moving some of these dependencies and layer interactions into a central place, but that just moves the problem. Wouldn’t it be cool to allow networks to become self-aware, such that they can learn from their neighboring nodes ? Read More »
Tags: #ANI, Autonomic, autonomic networking, Complexity, self-management, Self-Organising Networks, SON