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Blog Posts in October 2012

Coping with Holiday Traffic – Secondary DHCP Subnets

Years ago our IT assigned a /28 to my home office. It seemed enough; after all, who would ever have more than ~10 IP hosts at home (or more than four computers at a site).

When the number of Linux hosts and iGadgets started to grow, I occasionally ran out of IPv4 addresses, but managed to kludge my way around the problem by reducing DHCP lease time. However, when the start of school holidays coincided with the first snow storm of the season (so all the kids used their gadgets simultaneously) it was time to act.

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VM-level IP Multicast over VXLAN

Dumlu Timuralp (@dumlutimuralp) sent me an excellent question:

I always get confused when thinking about IP multicast traffic over VXLAN tunnels. Since VXLAN already uses a Multicast Group for layer-2 flooding, I guess all VTEPs would have to receive the multicast traffic from a VM, as it appears as L2 multicast. Am I missing something?

Short answer: no, you’re absolutely right. IP multicast over VXLAN is clearly suboptimal.

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Beware of the pre-bestpath cost extended BGP community

One of my readers sent me an interesting problem a few days ago: the BGP process running on a PE-router in his MPLS/VPN network preferred an iBGP route received from another PE-router to a locally sourced (but otherwise identical) route. When I looked at the detailed printout, I spotted something “interesting” – the pre-bestpath cost extended BGP community.

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The Best of Last Week’s IPv6 Summit

Last week’s IPv6 summit organized by Jan Žorž was probably one of the best events to attend for engineers interested in real-life IPv6 deployment experience. Some of the highlights included:

Enjoy! ... and thank you, Jan, for an excellent event.

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What was vCider all about?

After Cisco acquired vCider in early October the content quickly disappeared from vCider web site. If the bombastic industry press claims how vCider acquisition represents Cisco’s response to VMware’s Nicira acquisition, and how it will “boost Cisco’s distributed cloud vision” left you confused, read my blog post from June 2011 to review what vCider was all about. For a more balanced view, read also Omar Sultan’s blog post.

Finally, you might want to watch the description of vCider from my Cloud Computing Networking webinar.

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VXLAN Technical Deep Dive Webinar

VXLAN is quickly becoming a technology worth considering in production deployments – there are two independent hypervisor implementations (Nexus 1000V and vSphere 5.1 vDS), and other vendors announced support for VXLAN hardware termination (Arista on 7150 ToR switches, Brocade on ADX load balancers).

The upcoming VXLAN Technical Deep Dive webinar (register here) will give you a technology overview, some implementation and configuration hints, and (most importantly) design and deployment guidelines.

IP multicast in the core network is a major component of the design puzzle and I’m delighted Mark Berly from Arista Networks agreed to present Arista’s hardware termination solution and IP multicast design guidelines.

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Is Layer-3 DCI Safe?

One of my readers sent me a great question:

I agree with you that L2 DCI is like driving without a seat belt. But is L3 DCI safer in case of DCI link failure? Let's say you have your own AS and PI addresses in use. Your AS spans multiple sites and there are external BGP peers on each site. What happens if the L3 DCI breaks? How will that impact your services?

Simple answer: while L3 DCI is orders of magnitude safer than L2 DCI, it will eventually fail, and you have to plan for that.

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IPv6 First-Hop Security: Ideal OpenFlow Use Case

Supposedly it’s a good idea to be able to identify which one of your users had a particular IP address at the time when that source IP address created significant havoc. We have a definitive solution for the IPv4 world: DHCP server logs combined with DHCP snooping, IP source guard and dynamic ARP inspection. IPv6 world is a mess: read this e-mail message from v6ops mailing list and watch Eric Vyncke’s RIPE65 presentation for excruciating details.

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Dear $Vendor, NETCONF != SDN

Some vendors feeling the urge to SDN-wash their products claim that the ability to “program” them through NETCONF (or XMPP or whatever other similar mechanism) makes them SDN-blessed.

There might be a yet-to-be-discovered vendor out there that creatively uses NETCONF to change the device behavior in ways that cannot be achieved by CLI or GUI configuration, but most of them use NETCONF as a reliable Expect script.

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The best of RIPE65

Last week I had the privilege of attending RIPE65, meeting a bunch of extremely bright SP engineers, and listening to a few fantastic presentations (full meeting report @ RIPE65 web site).

I knew Geoff Huston would have a great presentation, but his QoS presentation was even better than I expected. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he said, but every vendor peddling QoS should be forced to listen to his explanation of the underlying problems and kludgy solutions first.

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IPv6 security webinar

Not surprisingly, IPv6 has almost the same set of security problems as IPv4. Even worse, some of the things we’ve already solved in IPv4 (fragmented TCP/UDP headers) haven’t been ported to IPv6, and implementations of IPv6 security features lag far behind their IPv4 counterparts.

The upcoming IPv6 security webinar (register here) describes these problems, and I managed to get the best possible guest speaker: Eric Vyncke (the author of the IPv6 Security Cisco Press book) will tell you all about the IPv6 security features available in Cisco IOS.

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