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Blog Posts in July 2016

And this is how you build an IPv6-only data center

Tore Anderson has been talking about IPv6-only data centers (and running a production one) for years. We know Facebook decided to go down that same path… but how hard would it be to start from scratch?

Not too hard if you want to do it, know what you're doing, and are willing to do more than buy boxes from established vendors. Donatas Abraitis documented one such approach, and he's not working for a startup but a 12-year-old company. So, don't claim it's impossible ;)

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Ethernet-over-VPN: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

One of my readers sent me a link to SoftEther, a VPN solution that

[…] penetrates your network admin's troublesome firewall for overprotection. […] Any deep-packet inspection firewalls cannot detect SoftEther VPN's transport packets as a VPN tunnel, because SoftEther VPN uses Ethernet over HTTPS for camouflage.

What could possibly go wrong with such a great solution?

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OpenFlow and Firewalls Don’t Mix Well

In one of my ExpertExpress engagements the customer expressed the desire to manage their firewall with OpenFlow (using OpenDaylight) and I said, “That doesn’t make much sense”. Here’s why:

Obviously if you can't imagine your life without OpenDaylight, or if your yearly objectives include "deploying OpenDaylight-based SDN solution", you can use it as a REST-to-NETCONF translator assuming your firewall supports NETCONF.

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Optimize Your Data Center: Use Distributed File System

Let’s continue our journey toward two-switch data center. What can we do after virtualizing the workload, getting rid of legacy technologies, and reducing the number of server uplinks to two?

How about replacing dedicated storage boxes with distributed file system?

In late September, Howard Marks will talk about software-defined storage in my Building Next Generation Data Center course. The course is sold out, but if you register for the spring 2017 session, you’ll get access to recording of Howard’s talk.

Why Is Every SDN Vendor Bashing the Networking Engineers?

This blog post was written almost two years ago (and sat half-forgotten in a Word file somewhere in my Dropbox), but as it seems not much has changed in the meantime, it’s time to publish it anyway.

I was listening to the fantastic SDN Trinity podcast while biking around Slovenian hills and almost fell off the bike while furiously nodding to a statement along the lines of “I hate how every SDN vendor loves to bash networking engineers.”

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Cutting through the IPv6 Requirements Red Tape

Few years ago a bunch of engineers agreed that the customers need a comprehensive “IPv6 Buyer’s Guide” and thus RIPE-554 was born. There are also IPv6 certification labs, US Government IPv6 profile and other initiatives. The common problem: all these things are complex.

However, it’s extremely easy to get what you want as Ron Broersma explained during his presentation at recent Slovenian IPv6 meeting. All it takes is a single paragraph in the RFP saying something along these lines:

The equipment must have the required functionality and performance in IPv6-only environment.

Problem solved (the proof is left as an exercise for the reader… or you could cheat and watch Ron’s presentation, which you should do anyway ;).

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