Yesterday I was reading about Cisco’s fourth quarter earnings results, as you do when you are bored and waiting for the next episode of EastEnders to start—well, we all have to take a rest from SDN goodness every now and then. Now, this was interesting for two reasons. It was the last quarter under the leadership of big bad John Chambers and the first announced by new head honcho Chuck Robbins (sounds like a cross between a cage fighter and a liberal comedian). Firstly, congratulations are in order on the results—Cisco exceeded analysts’ predictions of $12.6 billion in revenue, with $12.8 billion and a per-share profit of 59 cents, up almost 4% over the previous year, and an overall year-over-year increase of 4%.
Articles Tagged with SDN
In previous articles, we discussed IT transformation in general, IT transformation and security, and the top-down and migration approaches to IT transformation. Now, it is time to discuss a method of IT transformation I call “no changes to management.” With this method, IT transformation happens by natural, existing means within the data center, by adding software to aid and augment existing management software. That software forms the core of a transformation engine that, in effect, migrates and manages your cloud presence from your on-premises existing management suite.
We have all drunk the Kool-Aid. Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), or both will save the world. They decouple us from the shackles of legacy networks to allow a utopia of business-driven requirements to freely flow, delivering value and freeing the network, application, storage, and infrastructure teams to have weekends off and time with their families.
In virtual and cloud environments, network traffic often flows into a virtualization, then back out, forwarded to another device, usually security, before it re-enters the virtual environment. I call this a “sadly defined network,” not software-defined. Many of my colleagues claim that this is not true. They say that an SDN keeps east-west traffic within the hypervisor and that north-south would not need to do this. I disagree. This will happen when bad design is implemented in virtual and physical security. “Ah!” some will say, “this is solved by micro-segmentation,” but that is not always true, either.
Software-defined networking (SDN) is clearly one of the hot items of the tech field at the moment. VMware’s purchase of Nicira precipitated a sea change, leading to today’s plethora of SDN vendors and array of competing technologies. It reminds me the early noughties—the introduction of virtualization, competing hypervisor technology stacks and Unix/Linux Zones*—followed by the scramble of the incumbents as they claimed performance penalties for virtualized operating systems and platforms, followed by spreading FUD about support status and onerous licensing models.
It’s that time again. VMworld 2014 opens in San Francisco on Monday, August 25. With fifty sessions covering network virtualization and security this year, it is clear that VMware is once again pushing software defined networking (SDN) and NSX, and that is as serious about the software defined network as it is about the rest of the data center. Unfortunately, I cannot make the conference this year, but I have perused the session catalog to see what sessions I would attend if I could. These cover a cross section of technical and procedural levels and should be beneficial to network virtualization newbies and veterans alike.
So, in no particular order, let’s start with my ten-ish most interesting SDN sessions. OK, so I couldn’t get it down to ten, and there are a couple more that should have made this list, but “my twenty-seven and three quarters most interesting sessions” doesn’t really cut it.