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Which webinar should I choose if I’m building a DC interconnect?

Brad asked me about the availability of a DCI webinar (short answer: early next year) and continued “As an enterprise engineer, I know very little of how the service providers engineer their networks. I'm aware you do have a service provider webinar as well but I am wondering which one of those would be most beneficial for me to attend.

As we’ve already discussed some of his DC issues, I knew that he’s in the “sane” part of the DC universe (pure layer-3 interconnect, no vMotion or bridging between data centers) and thus has to solve a traditional routing design challenge.

For him, it makes no sense to wait for the DCI webinar; that one will cover the designs and technologies you need when everyone else is pushing you to implement long-distance bridging. It might also include LISP in DC and the load balancing tricks F5 does ... and I’ll try to give you as much ammunition as I can to help you persuade your boss that there are other things beyond bridge-everywhere craze.

The webinars that could be relevant if you need to interconnect data centers with something else than dark fiber are the Data Center 3.0 for Networking Engineers (Brad already attended that one), Market trends in SP Networks and Choose the Optimal VPN Service.

In the Data Center 3.0 for Networking Engineers webinar (register here) I explain numerous DC technologies and virtualization approaches so you’ll understand why everyone is pushing you to implement long-distance bridging. The webinar also describes five DCI designs (using pseudowires, VPLS or building EoMPLSoGRE, VPLSoGRE and OTV).

Market trends in SP networks webinar (register here) describes modern SP technologies (Carrier Ethernet, IP-over-DWDM, MPLS services ...) from the SP perspective. It might be useful for an enterprise engineer who wants to know what’s going on behind the scenes on the other side of the fence.

Choose the Optimal VPN Service webinar (register here) describes how various SP-built (MPLS/VPN, VPLS, pseudowires) services look from the enterprise perspective (for example: VPLS looks like a switched LAN), how you can use them and which one is best for you (the enterprise engineer) . It also describes the VPN services that you can build (IPsec-over-GRE, GETVPN, DMVPN), why you’d build them and how you can use them.

There is obviously a significant technology overlap between the Market trends in SP networks and Choose the Optimal VPN Service webinars, but the perspective is different. In one I’d say “make sure you understand enterprise routing before offering MPLS/VPN services” in the other one “make sure your SP knows what he’s doing if you buy MPLS/VPN from him; after all, he’ll be running your IP core”.

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