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Tools of the Trade: The Compressed Pcap Packet Indexing Program

The Compressed Pcap Packet Indexing Program (cppip) is a tool to enable extremely fast extraction of packets from a compressed pcap file. This tool is intended for security and network folk who work with large pcap files. This article provides a complete discussion of the tool and is split into two parts. The first part, intended for end-users, will explain in detail how to build and use the tool. The second part, intended for C programmers, covers cppip’s inner workings.

Cppip is a command line utility designed to make packet extraction from large pcap files extremely fast — without having to uncompress the entire file. It relies on pcap files that have been compressed using the freely available bgzip, a backward compatible gzip utility that boasts a special additive — the ability to quickly and cheaply uncompress specific regions of the file on the fly. You will find cppip quite useful if you work with large pcap files and have the need to extract one or more packets for subsequent inspection. As you’ll see, preparing your pcap files for use with cppip is a two step process of compressing the pcap file with bgzip and then indexing it with cppip. But before you can use cppip, you first have to install it. Read More »

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Meet Me On The Equinox

Congratulations to all OpenDaylight founding partners, contributors, users and supporters. I am convinced this ambitious endeavor will redefine the meaning of “open source = collaboration”. This is a historic event, the coming of age of networking partners driving in the open source world, companies which until now, have been primarily preoccupied with driving open standards, though in many ways, resonating with the tenet of “running code and rough consensus” almost a generation before Open Source did. Perhaps this is, back to the future.

The announcement details are on the Consortium website at the Linux Foundation, contributions come in three categories, a multi protocol Controller platform contributed by Cisco, northbound (NB) applications on top, and southbound (SB) protocol drivers to support them from below. We expect that with such diverse community from the start, we will have a very open, diverse and collaborative development that will accelerate the growth and adoption of these projects for years to come.

Having been in this project from the very beginning, I would like to tell you exactly how and why we reached the open source model that we did, my own perspective in what I think is the key to getting that balance right. But later, not today.

Today is the day to celebrate all those diverse partners that were brought together by one singular desire to grow the market for application centered networking, to grow our collective ecosystem of users, developers, partners and customers, so that we can all win. With a rise in applications NB, more SB vendors will come and with a rise in SB support, more NB applications will arrive – the promise of the infinite feedback loop. I do not believe anyone out there should look for who wins and who loses; in this endeavor, this is a positive move for the industry, this is a win-win for everyone!

I think I’m going to play that “Meet Me On The Equinox” music and get into the OpenDaylight. It’s time to move forward and I hope everyone will.

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Presenting Open MPI, USNIC, and Cisco open source at MOSSCon’13

Midwest Open Source Software ConferenceI was just recently informed that my talk was accepted at the Midwest Open Source Software Conference (MOSSCon).  w00t!

MOSSCon will be held at the University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on May 18-19, 2013.  It’s being organized by people from the Kentucky Open Source Society (KYOSS) and other open source / maker-oriented groups in Louisville and Ohio.

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OpenDaylight: Understanding the Value Propositions

The announcement today of OpenDaylight is big news.  Industry leading companies are partnering via Open Source to serve an emerging set of market needs:

  • Operators: want affordable real-time orchestration and operation of integrated virtual compute, application, and network.
  • Application Developers: want a single simple interface to the network.  Underlying details such as “router”, or “switch”, or “topology” can be a distraction they desire to abstract and simplify away.
  • Equipment Vendors: want a stable forum to interwork a plethora of Application interfaces with a plethora of nascent Network Device programmatic interfaces.

OpenDaylight members understand Read More »

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OpenDaylight: Building an Open Source Community around SDN

It’s great to see Cisco and many companies across the industry make a major change in the use of Open Source via the newly form project hosted by the Linux Foundation called OpenDaylight. This consortium is an industry-wide, open and transparent effort to catalyze innovation and accelerate an application ecosystem for software-defined networking. With all the partners involved we are working to not only further development and adoption of SDN but also to foster a new developer community. A consortium like this has been long overdue and it’s great to finally see it come to fruition.

We are incredibly pleased to partner with Arista, Big Switch Networks, Brocade, Citrix, Dell, Ericsson, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, NEC, Nuage Networks, PLUMgrid, RedHat and VMware on the Project. This is the largest effort to date to drive Software-Defined Networking across the industry and into new markets.  While the initial goal is to build a common, industry backed SDN Platform, the broader objective is to give rise to an entire ecosystem of developers that can freely utilize the code, contribute to the project and commercialize the offerings. I further expect the ecosystem to expand into areas like tools and services.

Cisco has donated our core “Cisco ONE” controller code to the project and has officially open sourced the code under the Eclipse Public License. The community has come together around this code to form the architecture (see below) for the Open SDN Framework. Beyond donations of code, Project members are supporting the project via both financial investment and via developers we are committing to work full-time on the project overall. Donations from other members of the Project can be seen here and we expect this list to only grow.

As Open Source increasingly becomes a standard for customers and developers, we look at this as a new way to meet our customer needs and also help developers innovate in new ways without the barriers of vendor lock-in. Open Source is increasingly important for our customers and developers as well and as they evolve, we evolve. Cisco to date has supported Open Source through efforts such as OpenStack and now OpenDaylight and we look at Open Source as a critical pillar in our software strategy moving forward. By allowing developers to freely use these solutions we hope to enable a new developer ecosystem for software-defined networking and more. We are fully committed to enabling developers, both current and new, to deliver innovating applications and services that will help customers across the board realize the value of SDN faster than before.

The OpenDaylight architecture and code offering to date includes a modular southbound plugin architecture for multi-vendor environments. In addition, OpenDaylight offers an extensible northbound framework with both Java & REST APIs to ensure multiple developer skill-sets can build applications to the platform. We are also planning to build a onePK plugin for OpenDaylight to enable multiple users to drive network intelligence into their SDN applications. As you can see from below we will also be supporting key standards with this effort, including OpenFlow.




It’s important to note that you don’t launch a community; you build one. By investing in OpenDaylight we hope that our customers, partners and developers across multiple industries will now have the ability to build applications that frankly make the network easier to use and more automated. As an industry we are moving in a new direction and further up the stack and OpenDaylight offers new opportunities for application creation and monetization beyond the networking layer.

It’s a true rarity when you see both partners and competitors come together for the good of the community, and contribute code for the universal good of the customer. All OpenDaylight participants have committed to open source guidelines that include open communication, ethical and honest behavior, code and roadmap transparency and more. An Open Source project is only as successful as the community of developers and the level of code quality, and OpenDaylight’s Board of Directors (which includes multiple parties cross-industry) will be ensuring that partners, code contributors and project committers all abide by the same guidelines for the success of the project over the success of their own company’s offerings.

For more information, please see Code will be available for download soon, and we are looking for interested individuals for commitments across the board – from technical offerings to application development, and we welcome contributions from both individuals and other organizations. All ideas are welcome, and we look forward to multiple new innovative solutions coming from this.

Congratulations to all our partners and individuals who helped to make this happen, including the hard work done by the Linux Foundation. It’s truly an amazing accomplishment and we expect to see much more in the near future.

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