SDN & Open Networking

What Does It Mean When A Project Has Been Forked?

Open source projects that involve lots of folks sometimes run into conflicts. Should the project go in direction X, or direction Y? Is feature A more important, or feature B? And so on. Sometimes the concerns around an open source project are more pragmatic than pedantic. Should we, as a commercial entity, continue to use this open source project as is, or go in our own direction with it? The keyword to look for in these circumstances is fork.

Scalability Is A Matter Of Context

Scale is a relative term. While every technology needs to scale to some point to be useful to IT practitioners, not every technology needs to scale infinitely. Every technology has a context in which it is viable — where it proves to be the best choice. But in another context, the opposite technology might rise to the surface as more appropriate. Don’t be religious about such a decision. Know your business need well, research the technology thoroughly, plan for the future, and choose wisely. Don’t pick a tool that solves someone else’s problem.

SD-WAN Gives Us The Best Path We Always Wanted

In networking, we rely on routing protocols to compute best path. That is to ask, from the perspective of a given router in a routing domain, what is the best way to reach a destination? Best path is typically computed using simplistic metrics like hop count, cost, bandwidth, and delay. Traditional “best path” thinking is effective, insofar as it goes. It scales to a large number of devices and destinations. It is resilient. It is mature. However, it has its limitations. Software defined WAN brings a much more sophisticated metric to the computation of best path.

The Present Impact of Open Networking & Whitebox Switching

Dell is all about open networking, and several whitebox vendors had their wares on display at Interop. IP Infusion has released OcNOS, an open networking operating system with a rich feature set right out of the gate. Ethernet switching continues to change. If you are Yet Another Cisco Buyer, do you care? I think you should. There are real dollars at stake. Eventually, it gets silly and/or irresponsible to spend money on Cadillacs.

News Analysis: Big Cloud Fabric 2.5 Released

Big Switch Networks has released version 2.5 of their Big Cloud Fabric SDN offering. Read the full press release here. What’s Big Cloud Fabric? BCF is an SDN-based IP fabric where you manage all of the individual switches as one “big switch.” In other words, you manage the fabric as a whole, and not individual switches. Big Switch’s BigTap, …