Recent Articles

Mind blowing L2-L4 Network Virtualization by Midokura MidoNet

Filed in MidoNet, Open vSwitch, OpenFlow, OpenStack, SDN, VMware by on October 6, 2012 12 Comments
Mind blowing L2-L4 Network Virtualization by Midokura MidoNet

Today there seems to be no shortage of SDN start-ups, chasing the OpenFlow hype in one way or another aiming to re-invent the physical network — SDpN (software defined physical network).  And then there’s a rare breed out there.  Those solving cloud networking problems entirely with software at the virtual network layer (hypervisor vswitch) — […]

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Dell Networking Summit 2012 & Dell Fabric Manager

Filed in Career, Dell, Fabrics by on September 27, 2012 7 Comments
Dell Networking Summit 2012 & Dell Fabric Manager

Last week Dell gathered over 500 Dell Networking sales reps and engineers worldwide all together in Austin for an intense 3-day training summit — named “Dell Networking Summit 2012″.  By any measure this was a courageous  investment for the company to make given the challenging economic times and the transition Dell itself is facing today with […]

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The “appliance” approach to Big Data and Private Cloud

Filed in Big Data, Fabrics, Hadoop, OpenStack, VMware by on August 27, 2012 10 Comments
The “appliance” approach to Big Data and Private Cloud

In the past I’ve written about the basics of Hadoop network traffic, 10GE Hadoop clusters, Leaf/Spine fabrics, and talked about how you might construct a fabric for a Big Data and private cloud.  In this post I’ll continue on that theme with a high level discussion on linking these environments to the rest of the world via […]

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Architecting Data Center Networks in the era of Big Data and Cloud

Filed in Big Data, Career, Fabrics, Hadoop, SDN, Video by on May 22, 2012 6 Comments
Architecting Data Center Networks in the era of Big Data and Cloud

Earlier this month I was thrilled to have a speaking session at Interop Las Vegas 2012. Session title: Architecting Data Center Networks in the era of Big Data and Cloud Session abstract: Big Data clusters and SDN enabled clouds invite a new approach to data center networking. This session for data center architects will explore the […]

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Comparing fabric efficiencies of Fixed vs Chassis based designs, non-blocking

Filed in Fabrics by on May 17, 2012 30 Comments
Comparing fabric efficiencies of Fixed vs Chassis based designs, non-blocking

Recently I made the observation that Fixed switches continue to outpace Chassis switches in both power and space efficiency.  Simply put, with Fixed switches you can cram more ports into fewer RUs, and each port will draw less power when compared to Chassis switches.  Those are the indisputable facts. A common objection when these facts are […]

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Comparing efficiencies of Fixed vs Chassis switches

Filed in Fabrics, merchant silicon, OpenFlow, TRILL, VXLAN by on May 10, 2012 20 Comments
Comparing efficiencies of Fixed vs Chassis switches

When building a fabric for a cluster of servers and storage in the data center, how should you architect the network?  There are several ways to approach this.  The architecture you choose probably depends on your preconceived notions of what a network should look like and addressing the things that you care about.  For example, […]

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A network that Doesn’t Suck for cloud and Big Data: Interop 2012 session teaser

Filed in Big Data, Fabrics by on April 30, 2012 5 Comments
A network that Doesn’t Suck for cloud and Big Data: Interop 2012 session teaser

On May 8, 2012, I will be giving a talk at Interop 2012 Las Vegas, titled: Architecting data center networks in the Era of Big Data and Cloud.  It’s a 45 minute session (3:30pm to 4:15pm Room K), and it’s a free to all attendees.  If you’re attending Interop this  year, I certainly hope to […]

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Considering 10GE Hadoop clusters and the network

Filed in Big Data, Design Diagrams, Fabrics, Hadoop by on March 26, 2012 11 Comments
Considering 10GE Hadoop clusters and the network

Does 10GE Hadoop make any sense? And if so, how might you design the cluster?  Let’s discuss some rationale for and against 10gig Hadoop and then look at some potential network setups for 10G clusters.  If you need a quick into or refresher, read this post on the basics of Hadoop clusters and the network, […]

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Dodging open protocols with open software

Filed in Open vSwitch, OpenFlow, OpenStack, SDN by on February 8, 2012 25 Comments
Dodging open protocols with open software

I have a hunch.  Pure speculation, in fact, that there may be an even more interesting story developing here with the unveiling of networking software startup Nicira Networks.  The story being that of open source networking software minimizing the role of network “protocols” and the diminishing role of standards bodies in building next generation networks. Nicira Network’s […]

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Construct a Leaf Spine design with 40G or 10G? An observation in scaling the fabric.

Filed in Fabrics, Routing, TRILL by on January 25, 2012 45 Comments
Construct a Leaf Spine design with 40G or 10G? An observation in scaling the fabric.

Should you construct a Leaf/Spine fabric with 10G or 40G? In this post I’ll make the simple observation that using 10G interfaces in your leaf/spine fabric scales to more servers than using 40G interfaces, all with the same hardware, bandwidth, and oversubscription. Let’s suppose you’ve decided to build a Leaf/Spine fabric for your data center […]

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