Build the Next-Generation Data Center
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Survey on IXP Routing and Privacy

Marco Canini from UC Louvain is working on an IXP research project focused on bringing privacy guarantees into Internet routing context. They’re trying to understand the privacy considerations of network operators and have created a short survey to gather the initial data.

Researchers from UC Louvain have been involved in tons of really useful projects including BGP PIC, LFA, MP-TCP, Fibbing, Software-defined IXP and flow-based load balancing, so if you’re connected to an IXP, please take your time and fill in the survey.

Distributed On-Demand Network Testing (ToDD) with Matt Oswalt

In March 2016 my friend Matt Oswalt announced a distributed network testing framework that he used for validation in his network automation / continuous integration projects. Initial tests included ping and DNS probes, and he added HTTP testing in May 2016.

The project continues to grow (and already got its own Github and documentation page) and Matt was kind enough to share the news and future plans in Episode 63 of Software Gone Wild.

To ask questions about the project, join the Todd channel on networktocode Slack team (self-registration at

Replacing FabricPath with VXLAN, EVPN or ACI?

One of my friends plans to replace existing FabricPath data center infrastructure, and asked whether it would make sense to stay with FabricPath (using the new Nexus 5600 switches) or migrate to ACI.

I proposed a third option: go with simple VXLAN encapsulation on Nexus 9000 switches. Here’s why:

Policing or Shaping? It Depends

One of my readers watched my TCP, HTTP and SPDY webinar and disagreed with my assertion that shaping sometimes works better than policing.

TL&DR summary: policing = dropping excess packets, shaping = delaying excess packets.

Here’s the picture he sent me (watch the video to get the context and read this article to get the background details):

How Do I Get a Grasp of SDN and NFV?

One of my readers had problems getting the NFV big picture (and how it relates to SDN):

I find the topic area of SDN and NFV a bit overwhelming in terms of information, particularly the NFV bit.

NFV is a really simple concept (network services packaged in VM format), what makes it complex is all the infrastructure you need around it.

How Many vMotion Events Can You Expect in a Data Center?

One of my friends sent me this question:

How many VM moves do you see in a medium and how many in a large data center environment per second and per minute? What would be a reasonable maximum?

Obviously the answer to the first part is it depends (please share your experience in the comments), so we’ll focus on the second one. It’s time for another Fermi estimate.

Docker Networking: Introduction to Microservices and Containers

Dinesh Dutt started his excellent Docker Networking webinar with introduction to the concepts of microservices and Linux containers. You won’t find any deep dives in this part of the webinar, but all you need to do to get the details you’re looking for is to fill in the registration form.

Why Would I Use BGP and not OSPF between Servers and the Network?

While we were preparing for the Cumulus Networks’ Routing on Hosts webinar Dinesh Dutt sent me a message along these lines:

You categorically reject the use of OSPF, but we have a couple of customers using it quite happily. I'm sure you have good reasons and the reasons you list [in the presentation] are ones I agree with. OTOH, why not use totally stubby areas with the hosts being in such an area?

How about:

This Is Why I’m Not Doing SD-WAN Webinars

One of my long-time regular readers sent me this question:

I was wondering if you have had any interest in putting together an SD-WAN overview/update similar to what you do with data center fabrics where you cover the different product offerings, differentiators, solution scorecard…

That would be a good idea. Unfortunately the SD-WAN vendors aren’t exactly helping.

Juniper Is Serious about OpenConfig and IETF YANG Data Models

When people started talking about OpenConfig YANG data models, my first thought (being a grumpy old XML/XSLT developer) was “that should be really easy to implement for someone with XML-based software and built-in XSLT support” (read: Junos with SLAX).

Here’s how my simplistic implementation would look like:

The Cost of Networking Has Not Declined

One of the common taglines parroted by SDN aficionados goes along the lines of “The cost to acquire and manage server and storage architectures has declined over time while networking stays stubbornly expensive.” (I took it straight from an anonymous blog comment).

Let’s see how well it matches reality.

Getting Started in the Mobile World

Got this challenge from one of my readers:

I've recently changed jobs and I am currently working for a telco. The problem is that I have no idea of what they are talking about when they mention SGSN, GGSN, Gi, Gn, etc... I only know routing and switching stuff :(.

Obviously he tried to search for information and failed.

Whitebox Switching at LinkedIn with Russ White on Software Gone Wild

When LinkedIn announced their Project Falco I knew exactly what one of my future Software Gone Wild podcasts would be: a chat with Russ White (Mr. CCDE, now network architect @ LinkedIn).

It took us a long while (and then the summer break intervened) but I finally got it published: Episode 62 is waiting for you.


Here are the outlines of an interesting ExpertExpress discussion:

  • A global organization wanted to connect data centers across the globe with a new transport backbone.
  • All the traffic has to be encrypted.

Should they buy L2VPN and use MACsec on it or L3VPN and use GETVPN on it (considering they already have large DMVPN deployments in each region)?

Source Code Is Not Standards

One of the oft-repeated messages of the Software-Defined Pundits is “Standard bodies are broken, (open) source code is king”… and I’d guess that anyone who was too idealistic before being exposed to how the sausage is being made within IETF has no problems agreeing with them. However…

How Do I Persuade My Management Automation Makes Sense?

Matt Oswalt made two great points while tweeting about my Automation Gone Wild blog post:

  • Automation should be a strategy. You need management buy-in;
  • You should have at least one person with strong software development experience in your automation team.

However, life is not always rosy, so @stupidengineer asked: