Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Data Center

Cisco at Garner DC Las Vegas : A pragmatic view and approach of the evolution of the data center in the era of clouds and network programmability.

As expected a lot of talks, sessions and interest this year about the reality of the  cloud deployment and hybrid cloud  at Gartner DC Las Vegas.

Cisco is now perceived as a very credible player in cloud – In fact a quick electronic poll  from the audience during one of  the key notes speechs ranked Cisco as the number 2 amongst the vendors.

As a proof point of Cisco influence in the cloud computing evolution, both David Yen , Cisco SVP & GM Data Center Group, and John Manville Cisco SVP , Global Infrastructure for IT, presented Cisco vision and achievement in terms of infrastructure and foundation for cloud  : Network programmability , and convergence infrastructure are at the core of the efforts driven by these Cisco executives and solution teams to deliver robust infrastructures for both our customers and Cisco IT organization.

If you are interested to know more about these sessions, stay tuned. I will post in the following days on this same blog the  slide decks from David and John ,as well as two short and very  interesting videos that I did these days:
-One one hand a short dialog between Giuliano Di Vitantonio, Cisco VP Marketing Data Center and Cloud,  and David Yen.

-On the other hand a summary of the presentation by John Manville (see introduction blog from Omar Sultan Living with the Programmable Cloud)

Along the same lines , I also invited a panel of bloggers and tweeps , who attend Gartner DC  to share with us their reaction to these presentations and  their view on the current challenges faced by the IT organizations.

In this video you will hear from Presidio Steve Kaplan (@ROIdude), VCE Jeramiah Doodley (@jdooley_clt)  , Cisco Jason Schroedl (@Jschroedl)  and Todd Brannon (@tobranno) .

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why You’ll Want LISP Routing – Part 3

Now that we covered how LISP Routing works in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, let dig into some of the things you can do with it. I would suggest you go back and read the first two posts if you are new to LISP since I am not going to cover that material again. So, lets look at three of the most popular use cases: 1) VM mobility, 2) IPv6 migration, and 3) smarter multi-homing.  I am going to cover the generic use cases, then wrap with some real-world customer use cases.

VM Mobility

Since it seems to be the hottest topic, let start with the mobility solution. From a networking perspective, there are a couple of things that are important with a live migration (ex. VMotion): we want to try and preserve TCP sessions (note: this does not mean “packets don’t get dropped”) and we want to maintain optimal routing (note to server folks: you too care about these things).  We would also like global mobility—basically the server admin should be able to move her VM wherever she want and not be constrained by IP addressing considerations.

Let’s build on the scenario we have been using in the prior posts, where we have a host is chatting with a VM  Assume that we have gone through the whole map-request/map-reply process, so we have something that looks like this:

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Why You’ll Want LISP Routing – Part 2

So, lets dig into LISP Routing a little more.  If you have not done so, I would recommend you read my first post, since I am not going to review the concepts here. In this post, I am going to break things down into three steps: 1) how packets are forwarded (i.e. the data plane operation), 2) how mapping information is propagated (i.e. control plane operation), and 3) how we internetwork with non-LISP locations.

For starters, lets head into the weeds and take a look at the LISP header format.  In the last post, I mentioned there is some flexibility in how handles IP addressing.  The two examples below show a couple of scenarios: pure IPv4 and a IPv4/IPv6 hybrid:


Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Openstack San Diego 2012

As the OpenStack Summit in San Diego is about to start, I wanted to look back upon this past year and talk about Cisco’s future with OpenStack.

When first learning about Rackspace and NASA coming together to create OpenStack, we saw an opportunity for Cisco to contribute to an important open source project to build a new platform for cloud computing.  Since then, we’ve seen the community grow and more companies get involved to build on OpenStack as a platform for their own cloud services.

During this time, our OpenStack@Cisco team has contributed expertise and code to advance the platform.  Working with several other vendors at the Santa Clara design summit in 2011, we started the Quantum networking service as an incubation project which I’m pleased to say has now moved into core with the Folsom release.  This project makes networking a first class citizen alongside compute (Nova), and storage (Horizon), representing a significant step forward in how cloud computing platforms are built and operated.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Are Overlays the Duct Tape of Networking?

Duct tape is pretty amazing stuff because its versatile and easy to use.  That being said, sometimes, that versatility and ease-of-use means it gets used at times when maybe it shouldn’t.

This thought came to mind a couple of weeks ago at VMworld.  Over the course of the show, I had a number of conversations with folks about tunneling and overlay network.  For many (mostly non-networking) folks, it seemed like the best thing since sliced bread—it gave them the holy grail—flexible, agile, one-demand connectivity without having to talk to the network folks.

From a networking perspective, its kinda funny, since the concept of tunnels is a decades old technology. It’s always played a legitimate role in a comprehensive networking strategy (MPLS and IPsec VPNs for example) so its cool to see an old concept find new applications.

However, lest we be lulled into blissful slumber by the unicorns playing lilting melodies through their horns, its good to remember, as with pretty much everything in IT, there is no free lunch.  While overlays networks make life simpler for the server admin or the virtualization admin, there are a couple of things to bear in mind.

From an operational perspective, the overlay environment becomes a second network that needs to be managed—often a dumber, less instrumented network.  Somewhere, someone still needs to maintain a fully functioning, highly available, secure, properly traffic-engineered network that underpins that virtualized connectivity. Think of this as the difference between your checkbook and your checking account—just because you can write a check doesn’t mean there is money in the account to cover it.

Now, if you are not a networking dude or dudette, your first reaction may be “why do I care?”  Well, when you start seeing performance issues on your tunnel, you start to see intermittent drops on your tunnel, or you need to demonstrate auditable regulatory compliance, then you start to care.  While some folks propose that the underlying network becomes irrelevant once you start using overlays, the truth is that the strengths and weaknesses (performance, availability, security, manageability, etc.) of the underlying physical network are going to manifest themselves in in whatever rides on top.  While overlay technology is undeniably useful, having an approach that leverages the intelligence of the underlying infrastructure (assuming any exists) is going to pay off in the long run.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,