Moving Towards an SD-WAN API

by Steve Woo

SD-WAN is the application of SDN principles to the WAN. SDN provided for the separation of the control plane from the data plane, with an open API between these two elements. There was strong focus on enabling the programmable control to come from a different solution than the provider of the data plane forwarding elements. Therefore initial expectations of an SD-WAN API might be for the same functionality.  However, just as the architectural principles have morphed to meet the requirements and realities of the WAN, so must the focus of the APIs. Continue reading

Best Practices for Hybrid Cloud Connectivity

by Toshal Dudhwala

Cloud architectures allow automated, on-demand delivery of applications and services, flexibly deployed across large, cost-effective resource pools, whether on-premises or from service providers. The automation and delivery of on- demand services are driving previously unimagined business agility and a new generation of business applications and revenue opportunities. Organizations must often weigh the trade-offs of additional complexity and overhead of an on-premises private cloud, with the limited controls and compliance risks inherent with public cloud providers.  Continue reading

Simplification Will Accelerate Software-Defined Data Center Adoption

by Steven Shalita

Organizations are looking for ways to scale-out their data center network to meet the increasing demands of the business. The digital enterprise, fueled by new applications, hyper-growth of the Cloud, and adoption of hybrid IT are all driving dramatic change. In order for organizations to fully realize the potential of technology, they are looking to modernize their network and leverage the Cloud for increased agility, speed and consistency. This means new approaches and capabilities are required. Ideally, all aspects of a data center would be virtualized and available as a service. We’ve already seen this happen with the compute and storage layers. But this has not really happened for the network. Continue reading

The Self Operating Network

by Derick Winkworth 

Software Defined Networking has passed through its first major cycle. Many associated ideas have been consigned to the trash bin of history, while many other ideas have either evolved or sprung anew. As a network engineer I really hoped, back in 2011, that SDN would address many of my day-to-day challenges. With very few exceptions, this did not happen. In fact, within the SDN movement there was open disregard for network engineers. They were often referred to as the “mainframe” engineers of the day. Six years later, most network engineers are still doing their jobs and SDN has not had an enormous impact on their day-to-day work. Interfaces and methods may have changed, but the complexity and day-to-day firefighting remain. As a network engineer, I must admit that much of this problem is our own fault. Let’s talk about what some of our challenges are. Continue reading

How Next-Gen Analytics and Verification Helps Realize Resilient, Secure Networks

by Brighten Godfrey

At the ONUG Fall 2016 conference in New York, one theme struck me: the community realized more than ever the need for advanced analytics and verification. A poll of IT users at the event, for example, highlighted that the siloed nature of current monitoring solutions prevents them from understanding the entire network, end-to-end. Continue reading

Seeking Truth in Networking: From Testing To Verification

by Brandon Heller

Sharp network admins already verify the network in a variety of ways, right?  Pings, traceroutes, and custom scripts verify expected connectivity.  Link and CPU utilization monitoring programs verify normal operation.  Maybe pushed configs are read back in to verify that the device accepted them.  And isn’t verification just another term for testing, anyway? Continue reading

There Are No Private, Public, or Hybrid Clouds—Only Islands of Infrastructure to be Consumed

by Bruno Germain

At the root of John Boyd’s “OODA loop” methodology, there is the notion that we need to acknowledge and work with levels of “uncertainty”—gaps that result when applying established models to new and changing contexts[i]. Unfortunately, the networking community—desperate for operational stability—largely ignores these mismatches, designing network and security architectures as if they can dictate how applications are deployed. Continue reading

The New IT Culture, Skills, and Organization Needed for Hybrid Cloud Environments

by Dr. Robert B. Cohen

In the move to hybrid infrastructure, the ability to commit new code faster and run new applications quickly gives agile firms an advantage in deploying new services. These innovations change the skills required for new jobs and enhance the role of developers. During the move to DevOps and containers, firms have created work teams or collaborative groups. They replace the more time-consuming, rigidly structured organizational design employed to develop monolithic software, where each level in a multi-stage process had to complete and sign off on its contribution. This was time consuming, often taking up to 25 to 90 days for a new application to be run. Continue reading