I’m sitting in my hotel room at the end of Networking Field Day 7 (NFD7), and I have to say, this event has been better even than NFD4 and NFD5. We were treated to presentations from the sponsors that found me frequently saying “Oh wow, that’s amazing.”
I’m going to dig into some of the sponsors’ specific solutions in upcoming posts, so I’ll share a quick reminder of what each of them talked about, and then share some thoughts about the themes that kept on reoccurring throughout the week; they really are a sign of where the industry is going, in case we didn’t already know!
In order of appearance:
tail-f came and presented their NCS (Network Control System) which provides a multi-vendor, customizable way to push configurations down to devices programmatically and in a transactional fashion.
The LiveAction product offers network visualization, QoS monitoring and updating, real-time network performance (SLA) testing and more, based on monitoring of NetFlow, SNMP, routing tables and so on. Some neat tools there for your network.
Plexxi ran through their plainly (but clearly) named Switch2 product, looked at how to scale their product using Multi-Degree topologies. They looked at how the Plexxi systems make traffic flow decisions (“fitting”) , then moved on to Plexxi and Open Daylight, Open vSwitch and affinities.
Brocade, as ever, brought their A-list presenters for us, including David Meyer, Curt Beckmann and Jon Hudson – and we loved it! So much industry information came our way, it was fascinating.
Dell presented their ActiveFabric 2.0 solution and demonstrated some very interesting automated network design tools that literally make the sizing, design, cabling and specification of a network fabric a point and click exercise.
Extreme made an impressive presentation explaining the fundamentals of their flow-based switching/routing mechanisms, and looking at how their devices can be used to gain a remarkable insight into the network traffic.
Of all the vendors, the one that blew me away (or at the very least totally destroyed any preconceived notions about them as a networking company), was Avaya. Demonstrating their Shortest Path Bridging (SPB)-based solution, I think they made their point pretty effectively, and gave us all something to think about.
Juniper hosted us at their Executive Briefing Center which is, without question, a beautiful facility. We had a demo of OpenStack and network virtualization simplifying application delivery, and talked about their QFX switch products.
Another surprise, mainly because they were relatively unknown to me, Pluribus explained about their Server-Switch product and NetVisor OS. This is a very interesting product that converges computer, network and storage into a 1 or 2 RU device, which will create a top of rack switching fabric with some great flow visibility features.
Can you guess the recurring elements? To throw a few out:
- Open Daylight
Get the idea? Almost every vendor was showing us how their device was manageable, or managed other devices, and how it integrated into OpenStack, OpenDaylight and had northbound and southbound APIs, and so forth. My SDDC Bingo Card overfloweth!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you aren’t looking into SDN in some shape or form, you are missing out. These features are starting to creep in at all levels of the network, and whether you are interested in automated provisioning workflows / service chaining, flow optimization, configuration automation or full micro-flow control via OpenFlow, there’s likely to be something that almost everybody will want to use.