February 27, 2015

Networking Now (Juniper Blog)

Just-in-Time Security

I was but a wee lass back when the Just-in-Time movement achieved mainstream awareness in the US. Let me tell you, it was a big hit.

by rebeccalawson at February 27, 2015 04:00 PM

XKCD Comics

February 26, 2015

Router Jockey

FCC approves net neutrality rules, reclassifies broadband as a utility

Net NeutralityToday is a good day. By a 3-2 vote, the FCC has voted to adopt net neutrality rules to protect the open Internet. This plan will reclassify internet access as a Title II public utility, which in turn gives the agency more regulatory power. While many will say that any power grab by the government is a bad thing, this is certainly good news for consumers. The Internet as a whole has become far too important to be controlled by a few private corporations which are more interested in lining their own pockets rather than listening to public interest. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was quoted saying, “This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech.” I couldn’t of said it any better myself.

This plan will put a stop to paid prioritization (see Comcast / Verizon forcing Netflix to pay for bandwidth usage, which is the complete opposite of most peering agreements. ) — It also prevents ISPs from creating Internet slow lanes for traffic as they see fit. Until now, Verizon wireless has been allowed to charge it’s customers monthly fees for access to “business email” when using services such as Good for Enterprise, or Blackberry.

While this is fantastic news, no one expects the drama to end here. Verizon has made vague threats about suing the FCC, and I can imagine other providers will also push this into an appeals court. Hopefully, nothing will prevent the FCC from classifying Internet service as a Title II utility, which was the missing piece from the FCC’s first effort to draft open Internet rules, which were eventually struck down in court thanks to Verizon.

The full FCC order will be available on the commission’s website within the next few weeks, and the order will take effect 60 days after being published.

The post FCC approves net neutrality rules, reclassifies broadband as a utility appeared first on Router Jockey.

by Tony Mattke at February 26, 2015 09:10 PM

Network Design and Architecture

OSPF Design Challenge

OSPF and MPLS is most commonly used two technologies in an MPLS VPN environment. In this post I will share a mini design scenario with you and ask couple questions about the fictitious company architecture. When you attend to my CCDE class,we will work on tens of scenarios similar to this. I published last week my … Continue reading OSPF Design Challenge

The post OSPF Design Challenge appeared first on Network Design and Architecture.

by orhanergun at February 26, 2015 06:51 PM

My Etherealmind

Being Hacked Is Good For Business! or Why You Need To Security Detection not Security Prevention

I've always said that its pointless investing in strong IT security because it will drag down profits and productivity which impacts your stock price in the current quarter. Be prepared for the media campaign that reacts to a security breach and make the most of the media coverage for promotion, exposure and business growth.


The post Being Hacked Is Good For Business! or Why You Need To Security Detection not Security Prevention appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at February 26, 2015 06:00 PM

The Networking Nerd

HP Is Buying Aruba. Who’s Next?

HPAruba_Networks_Logo

Sometimes all it takes is a little push. Bloomberg reported yesterday that HP is in talks to buy Aruba Networks for their wireless expertise. The deal is contingent upon some other things, and the article made sure to throw up disclaimers that it could still fall through before next week. But the people that I’ve talked to (who are not authorized to comment and wouldn’t know the official answer anyway) have all said this is a done deal. We’ll likely hear the final official confirmation on Monday afternoon, ahead of Aruba’s big Atmosphere (nee Airheads) conference.

R&D Through M&A

This is a shot in the arm for HP. Their Colubris-based AP lineup has been sorely lacking in current generation wireless technology, let alone next gen potential. The featured 802.11ac APs on their networking site are OEMed directly from Aruba. They’ve been hoping to play the OEM game for a while and see where the chips are going to fall. Buying Aruba gives them second place in the wireless market behind Cisco overnight. It also fixes the most glaring issue with Colubris – R&D. HP hasn’t really been developing their wireless portfolio. Some had even thought it was gone for good. This immediately puts them back in the conversation.

More importantly to HP, this acquisition cuts off many of their competitor’s wireless plans at the knees. Dell, Juniper, Brocade, Alcatel Lucent, and many others OEM from Aruba or have a deep partnership agreement. By wrapping up the entirety of Aruba’s business, HP has dealt a blow to the single-source vendors that are playing in the wireless market. And this is going to lead to some big changes relatively soon.

The Startup Buzz

Dell is perhaps the most impacted by this announcement. A very large portion of their wireless offerings were Aruba. They sold APs, controllers, and even ClearPass through their channels (with the names filed off, of course). Now, they are back to square one. How are they going to handle the most recent deals? What are their support options?

I little thought exercise with my friend Josh Williams (@JSW_EdTech) had a few possibilities:

  1. Dell forces HP to buyout all the support contracts for Dell/Aruba customers. That makes sense for Dell, but it will turn a lot of customers against them, especially when HP lets those customers know the reasons why.
  2. Dell agrees to release the developments they’ve done on the platform to HP in return for HP taking the support business. Quiet and clean. Which is why it likely won’t happen.
  3. Dell pays HP an exorbitant amount of money to take the support contracts. This gives HP the capital to take on all those new support contracts and gives Dell an exit to rebuild. This is probably what HP wants, but could end up sinking the deal.

Dell got burned, plain and simple. They likely could have purchased Aruba months ago and solidified the relationship. Instead, they are now looking for a new partner. However, I don’t think they are going to get burned again. Rather than shopping for a friend, they are going to be shopping for an acquisition. My money has always been on Aerohive. They have an existing relationship. The Aerohive controller-less cloud model fits Dell’s new strategies. And they would be a much cheaper pickup than Aruba. There is precedence for Dell skipping the big name and picking up a smaller company that’s a better fit. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it gives Dell the chance to move forward with a lasting relationship.

Softwarely Defined

Brocade is a line-of-business partner of Aruba. They’ve only recently gotten involved since Motorola shut down their WLAN business. This is a good sign for them. That means they can exit from their position and not be significantly affected. It does leave them with a quandary of where to go.

The first choice would be to go back to the Motorola relationship, now in the form of Zebra Technologies. Zebra inherited quite a large portion of the WLAN space from Motorola, but they’ve been keeping rather quiet about it. Are they angling to be more of a support organization for existing installs? Or are they waiting for a big splash announcement to get back in the game? Partnering with Brocade would give them that announcement given the elevated profile Brocade has today.

Brocade’s other option would be to go down the SDN road. The plan for a while has been to embrace SDN, OpenFlow, and all things software defined. The natural target for this would be Meru Networks. Meru has been embracing SDN as well as of late. They had a nice event last year showcasing their advances in SDN. Brocade could bolster that SDN knowledge while obtaining a good wireless company that would give them the strength they need to augment their enterprise business.

Permission To Retire

The odd company out is Juniper. I’ve heard that they were involved at first in trying to acquire Aruba, but when you’re betting against HP’s pockets you will lose in the long run. Their other problem is Elliott Management, everyone’s new favorite “activist investor”.

Elliott has made no secret that they see the value in Juniper in the service provider market. As far back as last year, Elliott has been trying to get Juniper to reave off the ancillary businesses, including security, enterprise, and wireless. Juniper has officially ended sales for Trapeze-based products already. Why would Elliott let them buy another wireless company so soon after getting rid of the last one. Even as successful as Aruba is, Elliott would see it as another distraction. And when someone that active is calling the shots, you can’t go against them, lest you end up unemployed.

This is the end for Juniper’s wireless aspirations. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. This gives them the impetus needed to focus on the service provider market. It also gives them a smaller enterprise switching portfolio to package up and sell off should that pound of flesh be necessary to sate Elliott as well. Time will tell.

Everyone Else

Any other companies with Aruba relationships are either dipping their toes in the wireless waters or don’t care enough to worry about the impact it will have. It will be an easy matter for companies like Alcatel-Lucent to go out and find a new OEM partner, likely with someone like Extreme Networks or Ruckus. Those companies are making great technology and will be happy to supply the APs that customers need. Showing off their technology will also give them great in-roads into customers that might not have been on their radar before.


Tom’s Take

It’s going to be an exciting time in the wireless space. HP’s acquisition is going to start the falling dominoes for other companies to buy into the wireless space as well. When the dust settles, there will be new number twos and number threes in the market. It also clears the middle of the space for up-and-comers to grow. Cisco is going to stay number one for a while, and HP will be number two when this deal closes. But until we see the fallout from who will be purchased and partnered with it’s tough to say who will be a clear winner. But make sure you’ve got your popcorn ready. Because this isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.

 


by networkingnerd at February 26, 2015 04:25 PM

In Search of Tech

HP Buying Aruba?

hplogoTwo things happened today. First, Twitter blew up at some point with rumors of HP in talks to buy Aruba. Second, my shares of Aruba stock shot up about 20%. I was disappointed with the first and pleased with the second. Of course, they were directly related.

 
In Case You Weren’t Aware…..
 
HP has had some issues over the past several years. Not so much issues with their technology, which has always been good, but more so with execution. The latest attempt to right the ship has been to split the company into two distinct entities. Trim the fat off of the corporate monster so to speak. Or, maybe a better way to put it is that HP wants to become less of an “all things to all customers” type of company, and more of a “some things to some customers” type of company. Some customers will be served by one of the two HP companies, and some customers will be served by the other, or both. This allows more focus in certain areas, and focus is never a bad thing.
 
Why Does It Matter If HP Buys Aruba?
 
Although this is all speculation, allow me to continue down this road of “speculation”. I realize that neither HP nor Aruba have confirmed any of this. This is probably someone telling someone else something they weren’t supposed to tell. That person tells someone else, and next thing you know, it ends up as an article on a finance site. We all tweet about it and fuel the frenzy, along with the investors who look at balance sheets and run up the stock price of Aruba. By the time it is all over, people will form opinions based on a mix of facts and rumors and one side will have you believe the CEO’s of both companies drown kittens in their spare time. Or, those in favor will have you believe that God almighty came down from heaven and helped to broker this deal. Hopefully, we all end up somewhere in the middle.
 
To answer the question of why it matters, I have to look at it from differing points of view. The first is that of a shrewd business person. The second is that of a technical person who likes the world of technology, and especially Wi-Fi. These are MY views and mine alone. As always, I could completely misrepresent each position and could be completely wrong. I could also be right. Time will tell, and the Internet never forgets, thanks to archives. :)
 
Business View
 
Money. That’s it. Spare me the idealism and desire to do good for the world one widget at a time. Profit-based companies exist to return value to their shareholders, be they public or private. Jobs and philanthropy are a secondary benefit. If you are public, there are a lot of people in expensive suits poring over your books and demanding answers to why you came in at 1 cent below expectations for the quarter. Business is war, make no mistake. Pretty it up with other terms, but the goal is always market domination because that returns the most bang for the buck. Why start a profit-based business if you don’t think you have what it takes to succeed? Nobody wants to work into their 80’s just to pay the rent. We all want to retire and enjoy the fruits of our labor in our twilight years.
 
If, and this is still an “if”, Aruba sells to HP, it is for money. Aruba’s shareholders, and I am one of them, get paid. HP gets a good company with good technology, and thus, they get paid as well. The Aruba portfolio and client list will strengthen HP in the wireless arena. They are already selling Aruba wireless gear today, so it isn’t like Aruba is completely foreign to HP. Of course, so is Dell. Aruba also has semi-partnerships with Brocade and Juniper. As my friend Tom points out:
 


 
From a business perspective, this means that HP can compete a LOT more with Cisco, who teeters around the 50% market share in regards to wireless. If HP can buy Aruba at a decent price, I would say the business folks would be okay with that. Don’t ask me what a decent price is, but my guess is somewhere north of 2 billion USD.
 
Technology View
 
Aruba has good wireless technology. Ignore the silly marketing videos from Aruba and Cisco where they are smashing and drowning access points, and consider that if Aruba’s technology didn’t work, they wouldn’t be the number two player in the enterprise market. There isn’t enough lipstick in the world to put on a pig to give it that kind of market share.
 
If the technology is good, and HP buys Aruba, what is the problem? I submit to you that it is going to be a problem of execution on HP’s side. Take a look at what they are doing in wireless. Does anything stand out? How many HP wireless customers do you know of? I know they are out there. That much is true. What I can tell you is that in the 3 and a half years I have been with my current employer, I have come across one HP wireless install. It was for a school system in the area I live in(Nashville,TN). Just one. I realize that I have not been to every company in the world. I have not seen the networks running thousands of HP wireless access points. I have seen plenty of Aruba and Cisco wireless installs. I’ve come across Aerohive, Ruckus, Ubiquiti, Meraki(pre-Cisco), Extreme, and even SonicWall. In the wild, I have found AirTight, Meru, and Brocade(Motorola), but never HP.
 
Perhaps I am looking in the wrong places though. Your mileage may vary. Perhaps all you see is HP wireless installs. I HAVE seen, and worked on, plenty of HP ProCurve switches. There’s lots of those around. I just haven’t seen much HP wireless out there.
 
Back to the present day HP wireless though. Can you think of anything that sets HP apart in the wireless field? Can you describe them the same way you would Ruckus, Aerohive, or even Meru as it relates to technology that sets them apart?
 
In my mind, their wireless marketing is non-existent. You never see them out there. You never hear about them. Wireless companies with much smaller market share and marketing dollars are out there spreading their message constantly. Whether it is in social media or at technical events, they are out there. Perhaps I am in a bubble though. I fully accept the fact that I may be in a social media bubble as it relates to technology, and all of my peers that I interact with are focused on just a handful of vendors, or in some cases, just one. That is a possibility.
 
Let’s assume I am not in a bubble though. Let’s just assume that my reasoning is sound. When I think of wireless companies, I don’t rank HP in the top 5. That is not a dig on their technology. Not at all. To me, it is a matter of focus. I had the same problem with F5 dipping into the firewall space, and Riverbed dipping into the load balancer space(Sold to Brocade, by the way.). Brand recognition is important. What a company is known for is important, and changing people’s perceptions of that takes time and a whole lot of marketing.
 
When I think about HP buying Aruba, I see nothing but a slow death for Aruba’s product set within the HP machine. I fully expect them to get sucked up into a much larger corporation and get beat down with more corporate bureaucracy. I hope I am wrong though. I don’t think I am the only one who expected Meraki to get sucked up into Cisco and slowly killed off from a corporate culture standpoint. I have been surprised at how long Cisco has let them run as is, but with the Meraki founders leaving Cisco recently, maybe it wasn’t as it seemed.
 
Closing Thoughts
 
If Aruba sells to HP, I hope that they continue to flourish. I hope that they are allowed to keep doing what they do today in terms of customer and partner engagement. I can tell you that Aruba is a good company to partner with from a technical perspective. The local Aruba team my company is engaged with are good folks. There is never a problem with providing whatever hardware we need to be successful. Training has been forthcoming as well. Aruba also has a really visible online and marketing presence.
 
I also hope that HP is serious about succeeding in the wireless arena. I hope that they use the goodwill that Aruba has and make their presence felt in the market. Maybe in a few years, HP will be a name that I hear people mention when considering wireless vendors.
 
I say all of this with consideration of the fact that the overwhelming majority of wireless work I do these days are with Cisco implementations. I’m typing this post in a hotel after finishing another Cisco wireless survey. I like Cisco wireless. It’s a good product. It works. The management piece is a whole different animal. :) I also like Aruba. Maybe a better way to put it is that I like competition. It makes all vendors better. If one vendor dominates a space too much, I think the wireless market as a whole suffers. While I hope that I am wrong with Aruba going off to die in HP, I can’t help but think that Cisco is all too happy to see this acquisition happen, if the rumors are true. Based on the previous years of HP missteps, I can see why this could be a good thing for Cisco.
 
I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I missing anything? Completely wrong?
 

 

by Matthew Norwood at February 26, 2015 06:36 AM

Potaroo blog

The Mobile Internet

It has been observed that the most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it, and are notable only by their absence. So how should we regard the Internet? Is it like large scale electricity power generators: a technology feat that is quickly taken for granted and largely ignored? Are we increasingly seeing the Internet in terms of the applications and services that sit upon it and just ignoring how the underlying systems are constructed? To what extent is the mobile Internet driving this change in perception of the Internet as a technology we simply assume is always available, anytime and anywhere? What is happening in the mobile world?

February 26, 2015 05:10 AM

February 25, 2015

Internetwork Expert Blog

Using Cisco VIRL for CCIE Preparation

Click here to download the INE VIRL topology and initial configs

After long anticipation, Cisco’s Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) is now publicly available. VIRL is a network design and simulation environment that includes a GNS3-like frontend GUI to visually build network topologies, and an OpenStack based backend which includes IOSv, IOS XRv, NX-OSv, & CSR1000v software images that run on the built-in hypervisor. In this post I’m going to outline how you can use VIRL to prepare for the CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5.0 Lab Exam in conjunction with INE’s CCIE RSv5 Advanced Technologies Labs.

The first step of course is to get a copy of VIRL. VIRL is currently available for purchase from virl.cisco.com in two forms, a “Personal Edition” for a $200 annual license, and an “Academic Version” for an $80 annual license. Functionally these two versions are the same. Next is to install VIRL on a hypervisor of your choosing, such as VMWare ESXi, Fusion, or Player. Make sure to follow the installation guides in the VIRL documentation, because the install is not a very straightforward process. When installing it on VMWare Player I ran into a problem with the NTPd not syncing, which resulted in the license key not being able to register. In my case I had to edit the /etc/ntp.conf file manually to specify a new NTP server, which isn’t listed as a step in the current install guide. If you run into problems during install check the VIRL support community, as it’s likely that someone has already run into your particular install issue, and a workaround may be listed there.

Once VIRL and VM Maestro (the GUI frontend) is up and running, the next step is to build your topology. For the INE CCIE RSv5 Advanced Technology Labs, this topology will be 10 IOS or IOS XE instances that are connected to a single vSwitch. All you need to do to build this is to add the 10 IOS instances, and then connect them all to a single “Multipoint Connection”. Logical network segments will then later be built based on the initial configurations that you load on the routers for a specific lab. The end result of the topology should look something like this:

You may also want to add some basic customization to the topology file and the VM Maestro interface. I set the hostnames of the devices to R1 – R10 by clicking on the router icon, then setting the “Name” under the Properties tab.

Next under the File > Preferences > Terminal > Cisco Terminal you can set the options to use your own terminal software instead of the built in one. In my case I set the “Title format” variable to “%s”, which makes it show just the hostname in the SecureCRT tab, and set the “Telnet command” to “C:\Program Files\VanDyke Software\SecureCRT\SecureCRT.exe /T /N %t /TELNET %h %p”, which makes it spawn a SecureCRT tabbed window when I want to open the CLI to the routers. Your options of course may vary depending on your terminal software and its install location.

Next, click the “Launch Simulation” button on the topology to start the routers. Assuming everything is correct with your install, and you have enough CPU & memory resources, the instances should boot and show the “ACTIVE” state, similar to what you see below:

If you right click on the device name you’ll see the option to telnet to the console port. Note that the port number changes every time you restart the simulation, so I found it easier just to launch the telnet sessions from here instead of creating manual sessions under the SecureCRT database.

You should now be able to connect to the consoles of the routers and see them boot, such as you see below:

R1 con0 is now available

Press RETURN to get started.

**************************************************************************
* IOSv is strictly limited to use for evaluation, demonstration and IOS  *
* education. IOSv is provided as-is and is not supported by Cisco's      *
* Technical Advisory Center. Any use or disclosure, in whole or in part, *
* of the IOSv Software or Documentation to any third party for any       *
* purposes is expressly prohibited except as otherwise authorized by     *
* Cisco in writing.                                                      *
**************************************************************************
R1>
R1>enable
R1#show version
Cisco IOS Software, IOSv Software (VIOS-ADVENTERPRISEK9-M), Experimental Version 15.4(20141119:013030) [jsfeng-V154_3_M 107]
Copyright (c) 1986-2014 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Tue 18-Nov-14 20:30 by jsfeng

ROM: Bootstrap program is IOSv

R1 uptime is 46 minutes
System returned to ROM by reload
System image file is "flash0:/vios-adventerprisek9-m"
Last reload reason: Unknown reason

This product contains cryptographic features and is subject to United
States and local country laws governing import, export, transfer and
use. Delivery of Cisco cryptographic products does not imply
third-party authority to import, export, distribute or use encryption.
Importers, exporters, distributors and users are responsible for
compliance with U.S. and local country laws. By using this product you
agree to comply with applicable laws and regulations. If you are unable
to comply with U.S. and local laws, return this product immediately.

A summary of U.S. laws governing Cisco cryptographic products may be found at:

http://www.cisco.com/wwl/export/crypto/tool/stqrg.html

If you require further assistance please contact us by sending email to
export@cisco.com.

Cisco IOSv (revision 1.0) with  with 484729K/37888K bytes of memory.
Processor board ID 9B2DD0A36JBLXZY7SLJTF
2 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
DRAM configuration is 72 bits wide with parity disabled.
256K bytes of non-volatile configuration memory.
2097152K bytes of ATA System CompactFlash 0 (Read/Write)
0K bytes of ATA CompactFlash 1 (Read/Write)
0K bytes of ATA CompactFlash 2 (Read/Write)
1008K bytes of ATA CompactFlash 3 (Read/Write)

Configuration register is 0x0

R1#

With this basic topology you should have the 10 IOSv instances connected on their Gig0/1 interface to the same segment. The Gig0/0 interface is used for scripting inside the VIRL application, and can be shutdown for our purposes. The end result after the images boot should be something similar to this:

R1#show cdp neighbor
Capability Codes: R - Router, T - Trans Bridge, B - Source Route Bridge
                  S - Switch, H - Host, I - IGMP, r - Repeater, P - Phone,
                  D - Remote, C - CVTA, M - Two-port Mac Relay 

Device ID        Local Intrfce     Holdtme    Capability  Platform  Port ID
R9.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           177              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R8.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           167              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R3.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           155              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R2.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           177              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R7.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           156              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R6.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           146              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R5.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           129              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R4.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           153              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1
R10.openstacklocal
                 Gig 0/1           146              R B   IOSv      Gig 0/1

Total cdp entries displayed : 9

Next you can load your initial configs for the lab you want to work on, and you’re up and running! I’ve taken the liberty of converting the CSR1000v formatted initial configs for our Advanced Technologies Labs to the IOSv format, as the two platforms use different interface numbering. Click here to download these initial configs as well as the .virl topology file that I created.

For further discussions on this see the IEOC thread Building INE’s RSv5 topology on VIRL.

by Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13 at February 25, 2015 08:57 PM

Share your Expertise – Become an INE Instructor!

Do you think you have what it takes to become a featured instructor at INE? We are looking for talented individuals to propose and execute new courses across multiple domains including: networking, programming, systems administration, and security. If you’re an expert in any of these domains, or related topics, then it’s time to share your knowledge with the world! Speak a language other than English? That’s great! We’re open to ideas for courses in different languages.

Click here for more information and to submit an application.

Not interested in becoming an instructor but have some ideas for content you’d like to see us cover? Drop us a line at topics@ine.com.

by Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13 at February 25, 2015 08:56 PM

My Etherealmind

Analysis: Example of WAN Orchestration

I wanted to draw attention to this WAN Orchestration demonstration video from Nuage Networks to highlight that you don't need to become a programmer to bring orchestration to your network.


The post Analysis: Example of WAN Orchestration appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at February 25, 2015 09:46 AM

XKCD Comics

February 24, 2015

My Etherealmind

HP Embracing Whitebrand/Bare Metal/Britebox Ethernet Switching

HP is now offering a whitebox Ethernet product range to its customers in a recent announcements. Whether you call this britebox, whitebrand, bare metal or branded whitebox, the final outcome is the same. HP is offering customers another choice to buy the network products that meets their requirements.


The post HP Embracing Whitebrand/Bare Metal/Britebox Ethernet Switching appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at February 24, 2015 07:40 PM

The Networking Nerd

Cumulus Networks Could Be The New Microsoft

CumulusMSTurtle

When I was at HP Discover last December, I noticed a few people running around wearing Cumulus Networks shirts. That had me a bit curious, as Cumulus isn’t usually on the best of terms with traditional networking vendors unless they have a partnership. After some digging, I found out that HP would be announcing a “britebox” branded whitebox switch soon running Cumulus Linux. I wrote a post vaguely hinting about this in as much detail as I dared leak out.

No surprise that HP has formally announced their partnership with Cumulus. This is a great win for HP in the long run, as it gives customers the option to work with an up-and-coming network operating system (NOS) along side HP support and hardware. Note that the article mentions a hardware manufacturing deal with Accton, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised to learn that Accton had been making a large portion of their switching line already. Just a different sticker on this box.

Written Once, Runs Everywhere

The real winner here is Cumulus. They have partnered with Dell and HP to bring their NOS to some very popular traditional network vendor hardware. Given that they continue to push Cumulus Linux on traditional whitebox hardware, they are positioning themselves the same way that Microsoft did back in the 1980s when the IBM Clone PC market really started to take off.

Microsoft’s master stroke wasn’t building an empire around a GUI. It was creating software that ran on almost every variation of devices in the market. That common platform provided consistency for programmers the world over. You never had to worry about what OS was running on an IBM Clone. You could be almost certain it was MS-DOS. In fact, that commonality of platform is what enabled Microsoft to build their GUI interface on top. While DOS was eventually phased out in favor of WinNT kernels in Windows the legacy of DOS still remains on the command line.

Hardware comes and goes every year. Even with device vendors that are very tied to their hardware, like Apple. Look at the hardware differences between the first iPhone and the latest iPhone 6+. They are almost totally alien. Then look at the operating system running on each of them. They are remarkably similar, especially amazing given the eight year gap between them. That consistency of experience has allowed app developers to be comfortable writing apps that will work for more than one generation of hardware.

Bash Brothers

Cumulus is positioning themselves to do something very similar. They are creating a universal NOS interface to switches. Rather than pinning their hopes on the aging Cisco IOS CLI (and avoiding a potential lawsuit in the process), Cumulus has decided to go with Bash. Bash is almost universal for those that work on Linux, and if you’re an old school UNIX admin it doesn’t take long to adapt to Bash either. That common platform means that you have a legion of trained engineers and architects that know how to use your system.

More importantly, you have a legion of people that know how to write software to extend your system. You can create Bash scripts and programs to do many things. Cumulus even created ifupdown2 to help network admins with simplifying network interface administration. If you can extend the interface of a networking device with relative ease, you’ve started unlocking the key to unlimited expansion.

Think about the number of appliances you use every day that you never know are running Linux. I said previously that Linux won the server war because it is everywhere now and yet you don’t know it’s Linux. In the same way, I can see Cumulus negotiating to get the software offered as an option for both whitebox and britebox switches in the future. Once that happens, you can start to see the implications. If developers are writing apps and programs to extend Cumulus Linux and not the traditional switch OS, consumers will choose the more extensible option if everything else is equal. That means more demand for Cumulus. Which pours more resources into development. Which is how MS-DOS took over the world and led to Windows domination, while OS/2 died a quiet, protracted death.


Tom’s Take

When I first tweeted my thoughts about Cumulus Networks and their potential rise like the folks in Redmond, there was a lot of pushback. People told me to think of them more like Red Hat instead of Microsoft. While their business model does indeed track more closely with Red Hat, I think much of this pushback comes from the negative connotations we have with Windows. Microsoft has essentially been the only game in the x86 market for a very long time. People forget what it was like to run BeOS or early versions of Slackware. Microsoft had almost total domination outside the hobby market.

Cumulus doesn’t have to unseat Cisco to win. They don’t even have to displace the second or third place vendor. By signing deals with as many people as possible to bring Cumulus Linux to the masses, they will win in the long run by being the foundation for where networking will be going in the future.

Editor Note:  A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Cumulus created ifupdown, when in fact they created ifupdown2.  Thanks to Matt Stone (@BigMStone) and Todd Craw (@ToddMCraw) for pointing this out to me.


by networkingnerd at February 24, 2015 05:38 PM

Network Design and Architecture

OSPF as a PE-CE Routing Protocol

OSPF as a PE-CE routing protocol can be used in the MPLS Layer 3 VPN design between customer and the service provider. If the customer receives an MPLS Layer 3 VPN service , routing protocol is enabled between the customers and the Service Providers. Don’t forget that static routing is a routing protocol ! This VPN … Continue reading OSPF as a PE-CE Routing Protocol

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by orhanergun at February 24, 2015 02:32 PM

February 23, 2015

Network Design and Architecture

Carrier Supporting Carrier – CSC

CSC Carrier Supporting Carrier is a hierarchical MPLS VPN architecture between the Service Providers. Service is an MPLS VPN service mostly but doesn’t have to be as you will see throughout the post. Customer carrier ( Provider ) receives an MPLS VPN service from the Core/Backbone carrier. Although CSC architecture is not common in real … Continue reading Carrier Supporting Carrier – CSC

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by orhanergun at February 23, 2015 01:55 PM

XKCD Comics

February 22, 2015

SNOsoft Research Team

0-Day Exploit Acquisition Program Update

We are writing this quick blog entry to let people know that we’ve made some significant changes to our Exploit Acquisition Program.  Those changes include the creation of an on-line registration form, online exploit submission form, the introduction of additional buyers to our program, and faster turnaround for each item submitted by registered developers.  Another change is that we’ve created a referral program.  If you refer someone to our program and their item is purchased by one of our buyers then we will provide you with a percentage of the total sale value.

If you are interested in registering for our program please click here:

http://www.netragard.com/zero-day-exploit-acquisition-program

If you have general questions please contact us at : eap@netragard.com

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by Adriel Desautels at February 22, 2015 07:55 PM

February 21, 2015

Network Design and Architecture

ASK your questions and SHARE your opinion

I receive lots of questions from my students, readers, customers, followers on network design. I try to  answer as quickly as possible and in detail. Thanks to all of them ! I receive a lot of kind emails, messages from them to put my effort on this blog as well. But for many reasons, I … Continue reading ASK your questions and SHARE your opinion

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by orhanergun at February 21, 2015 01:01 PM

February 20, 2015

XKCD Comics

February 19, 2015

PACKETattack

Let’s Meet at Interop Las Vegas 2015

I will be at Interop Las Vegas this year from Tuesday, April 28 through Thursday, April 30. If you are a vendor who would like to brief me, someone who would like to explore consulting opportunities, or if you just want a word, let's connect. I'd be happy to swing by your booth, meet for coffee, or simply hang out.

by Ethan Banks at February 19, 2015 07:04 PM

My Etherealmind

Network Dictionary – Whitebrand Ethernet

Whitebrand is a term used to describe a type of Ethernet switch that is a whitebox or generic manufacture but sold by a known IT brand. Juniper OCX1100, HP Open Network Switches are example. White-Box Switching + Vendor Branding = Whitebrand switching.  The other term used is “britebox” but this sounds like dishwashing liquid or something you […]


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by Greg Ferro at February 19, 2015 04:19 PM

Network Design and Architecture

MPLS VPN and DMVPN Design Challenge

MPLS VPN is used mostly as primary connectivity and DMVPN as a backup in the small medium business. You might see in some cases DMVPN is the only the circuit between remote offices and the datacenter/HQ, or for some applications MPLS VPN might be the primary,DMVPN for the others. As an example high throughput, high … Continue reading MPLS VPN and DMVPN Design Challenge

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by orhanergun at February 19, 2015 08:20 AM

February 18, 2015

My Etherealmind

Can Network Startups Stay Small and Survive ?

A client recently asked me about startups in the networking space and how to pick the one whose products be around for five years. After some research and reflection, I am beginning to realise that size doesn’t matter like it used to. While big companies selling hardware have big costs, small companies selling software can […]


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by Greg Ferro at February 18, 2015 08:02 PM

XKCD Comics

February 17, 2015

Network Design and Architecture

SEGMENT ROUTING

Segment routing is a source routing mechanism which provides Traffic Engineering , Fast Reroute, MPLS VPNs without LDP or RSVP-TE. Very simple but powerful solution,when you read the post you will ask more information, because it solves the complex problems with some extensions to existing protocols. MPLS provides BGP free core, VPN services (Layer2 and … Continue reading SEGMENT ROUTING

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by orhanergun at February 17, 2015 04:20 PM