Blog Posts in December 2018

Zero-Touch Provisioning with Patrick Ogenstad (Part 2)

Last week we published the first half of interview with Patrick Ogenstad, guest speaker in Spring 2019 Building Network Automation Solutions online course (register here). Here’s the second half.

ZTP is about provisioning. Can this include configuration as well?

You could argue that provisioning is a form of configuration and in that sense, provisioning can certainly include configuration. If your ZTP solution is good at configuration management is another question.

read more add comment

Automation, Big Data and AI

The final topic David Gee and Christoph Jaggi mentioned in their interview was big data and AI (see also: automated workflows, hygiene of network automation and network automation security):

Two other concurrent buzzwords are big data and artificial intelligence. Can they be helpful for automation?

Big Data can provide a rich pool of event-sourcing information and, as infrastructures get more complex, it’s essential that automation triggers are as accurate as possible.

read more see 3 comments

Using Virtual Labs When Developing Network Automation Solutions

One of the fundamentals I always emphasize in introductory parts of my network automation workshops and online courses is the fact that we’re about to develop software that will control the most-mission-critical part of IT infrastructure, and should therefore use software development methodologies like version control, testing…

However, there’s a “small” glitch. While it’s perfectly possible to test most software in some virtual environment you can spin up on-the-fly using Vagrant, Docker, Jenkins, Travis, or some other CI/CD tool, testing a network automation solution requires access to network devices.

read more see 3 comments

Video: What Problem Are We Solving with SDDC?

Remember the Software-Defined Data Centers hype? While I covered SDDC concepts and technologies for years in my webinars and workshops, I never created an introductory webinar on the topic.

That omission has been fixed in late August – SDDC 101 webinar is available as part of free subscription, and as always I started with the seemingly simple question: What problem are we trying to solve?

add comment

Odd Number of Spines in Leaf-and-Spine Fabrics

In the market overview section of the introductory part of data center fabric architectures webinar I made a recommendation to use larger number of fixed-configuration spine switches instead of two chassis-based spines when building a medium-sized leaf-and-spine fabric, and explained the reasoning behind it (increased availability, reduced impact of spine failure).

One of the attendees wondered about the “right” number of spine switches – does it has to be four, or could you have three or five spines. In his words:

read more see 7 comments

Bifurcation of Knowledge

My friend Andrea Dainese (of the Route Reflector Labs fame) sent me this observation:

Because of lack of fundamental skills, I see two groups forming: junior guys with low salary (the bigger group), and a few experts (hopefully with higher salary). The middle group is disappearing. Intermediate-level engineers are either moving to the entry level (because the complexity is increasing and they are not keeping up with it) or to the upper level.

I call this phenomenon bifurcation of knowledge (I’m positive it has a formal name – would appreciate a comment with a set of pointers), and it’s a direct result of commoditization and the changing shape of the learning curve.

read more see 10 comments