Network Virtualization

Network virtualization focuses on how vendors apply the principles of sharing, pooling, abstraction, and configuration to the creation and management of networking resources in the enterprise and cloud. It also examines how moving networking configuration and maintenance affects users who rely on virtualized networking services to support environments and applications.

Another Missile Fired in the Cisco vs. VMware SDN War

Network VirtualizationYesterday 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%. Continue reading Another Missile Fired in the Cisco vs. VMware SDN War

Choices We Have Plenty: Your Guide to Virtual Switches

DataCenterVirtualizationI was tinkering around with XenServer the other day. I know I can hear you saying “is that a thing?” Well, it is, but this is not what I am going to talk about today. Time for a tangent shift. I thought I would have a look for a third-party switch for XenServer, but it seems that XenServer is a third-rate citizen in this space, as there is no Cisco Nexus 1kV available for XenServer, even though Cisco previewed it at Citrix Synergy Barcelona in 2012.

Continue reading Choices We Have Plenty: Your Guide to Virtual Switches

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent Announce Potential Engagement

Network VirtualizationWho knew Nokia was still a thing, after Microsoft bought it? Well, as it turns out, Microsoft only bought the Devices and Services division. Nokia still has a number of other divisions, including NSN (the network infrastructure division), HERE (maps and location-based services), and Advanced Technologies (a licensing and development arm). Microsoft has been paying Nokia a big wedge of cash over the last two years to license Nokia’s HERE services, and the contract extends for at least two more years. For Nokia, getting out of the phone market was an astute move. It had lost the handset war and had moved from a position of dominance to being an also-ran. Its high-end Lumia phones, while nice, weren’t delivering an adequate return on R&D investment when going head to head with the now-dominant Apple and Samsung handsets.

Continue reading Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent Announce Potential Engagement

Managing and Monitoring Performance in SDN / NFV

Network VirtualizationWe 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.

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SDN: Sadly Defined Network

Network VirtualizationIn 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.  Continue reading SDN: Sadly Defined Network

Docker Buys SocketPlane As Demand for Network Portability Increases

dockerDocker has announced the acquisition of SocketPlane, a relatively new startup focused on driving DevOps-defined networking by enabling distributed security, application services, and orchestration for Docker and Linux containers. This move is a talent acquisition play. SocketPlane’s Madhu Venugopal, Brent Salisbury, and Dave Tucker are three of the top twenty committers of the OpenDaylight project. An open platform dedicated to network programmability, OpenDaylight enables software-defined networking (SDN) and creates a solid foundation for network functions virtualization (NFV) for networks at any size and scale. These three industry experts have deep roots in networking technologies and extensive experience leading and participating in large open-source projects. The SocketPlane team also includes industry veteran John Willis, an infrastructure and networking expert himself, who is probably best known for his early contributions as one of the original drivers of the DevOps movement.

Continue reading Docker Buys SocketPlane As Demand for Network Portability Increases