Tag Archives: Networking

Open source networking projects unite under Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation this week announced the formation of the LF Networking Fund, or LFN, an initiative to combine the multiple open source networking projects currently under its supervision.

Host to many of the top open source networking projects, The Linux Foundation said it was time to streamline how it oversees its various ventures, said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration at The Linux Foundation.

The six founding open source projects involved in the LFN are FD.io, OpenDaylight, Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), PDNA and Streaming Network Analytics System. An additional 83 member organizations are participating in LFN. Members of The Linux Foundation can choose whether they want to join LFN, and they can participate in as many or as few of the projects as they want.

The open source networking projects will remain technically independent, maintaining their existing charters and working toward their individual releases — all of which are still on schedule, according to Joshipura. But the projects will be under a single governing board and will share financial resources and staff, he said.

The governing board will comprise chosen representatives from platinum, gold and silver members of The Linux Foundation. LNF also includes a technical advisory council (TAC) and marketing advisory council (MAC), with individual member representatives. The board and councils will allow LFN members to share project development, testing, deployment and architecture integration best practices, in addition to the regulations across projects.

“The finance, budgets, prioritization and strategy are functions of the governing board, with input from the TAC and the MAC,” Joshipura said. So, if a project requests additional money for testing or is ready for a project release, for example, it goes to the advisory councils with the requests, he added.

Another issue LFN hopes to address is that of onboarding virtual network functions (VNFs). Instead of having inconsistent processes for VNF onboarding, LFN will work toward a single architecture and process to support that effort, Joshipura said.

“We don’t want ONAP to do it one way and OPNFV to do it another way,” he said. “Now, it’s one way to do it across projects.”

The LF Networking Fund still business as usual

While the idea of cross-project collaboration has merit, Joshipura said LFN faces some challenges. One such challenge is simplifying the process to allow developers to join the projects.

“It [includes] a lot more education,” he said. “People do want to participate in other projects, but they’re not familiar with them. So, we want to make sure we bring the training from one project to another project.”

Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research, said another issue that could trip up the initiative is the fact that The Linux Foundation is still a business — and all of these open source networking projects will still compete with each other.

“The Linux Foundation isn’t altruistic,” Doyle said. “It’s a business. People are still going to fight for resources and sponsors.”

While Joshipura stressed that the formal legal system outlined within LFN will make discussions and decisions simpler, Doyle said it still means a bunch of meetings.

It’s a laudable goal, he said, but any progress within the LF Networking Fund will take time.

Apstra bolsters IBN with customizable analytics

Startup Apstra has added to its intent-based networking software customizable analytics capable of spotting potential problems and reporting them to network managers.

Apstra introduced this week intent-based analytics as part of an upgrade to the company’s Apstra Operating System (AOS). The latest version, AOS 2.1, also includes other enhancements, such as support for additional network hardware and the ability to use a workload’s MAC or IP address to find it in an IP fabric.

In general, AOS is a network operating system designed to let managers automatically configure and troubleshoot switches. Apstra focuses on hardware transporting Layer 2 and Layer 3 traffic between devices from multiple vendors, including Arista Networks, Cisco, Dell and Juniper Networks. Apstra also supports white-box hardware running the Cumulus Networks OS.

AOS, which can run on a virtualized x86 server, communicates with the hardware through installed drivers or the hardware’s REST API. Data on the state of each device is continuously fed to the AOS data store. Alerts are sent to network operators when the state data conflicts with how a device is configured to operate.

AOS 2.1 takes the software’s capabilities up a notch through tools that operators can use to choose specific data they want the Apstra analytics engine to process.

“This is a logical progression for Apstra with AOS,” said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC. “Pervasive, real-time analytics should be an integral element of any intent-based networking system.”

Using Apstra analytics

The first step is for operators to define the type of data AOS will collect. For example, managers could ask for the CPU utilization on all spine switches. Also, they could request queries of all the counters for server-facing interfaces and of the routing tables for links connecting leaf and spine switches.

Mansour Karam, CEO, ApstraMansour Karam

“If you were to add a new link, add a new server, or add a new spine, the data would be included automatically and dynamically,” Apstra CEO Mansour Karam said.

Once the data is defined, operators can choose the conditions under which the software will examine the information. Apstra provides preset scenarios or operators can create their own. “You can build this [data] pipeline in the way that you want, and then put in rules [to extract intelligence],” Karam said.

Useful information that operators can extract from the system include:

  • traffic imbalances on connections between leaf and spine switches;
  • links reaching traffic capacity;
  • the distribution of north-south and east-west traffic; and
  • the available bandwidth between servers or switches.

Enterprises moving slowly with IBN deployments

Other vendors, such as Cisco, Forward Networks and Veriflow, are building out intent-based networking (IBN) systems to drive more extensive automation. Analytics plays a significant role in making automation possible.

“Nearly every enterprise that adopts advanced network analytics solutions

is using it to enable network automation,” said Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, based in Boulder, Colo. “You can’t really have extensive network automation without analytics. Otherwise, you have no way to verify that what you are automating conforms with your intent.”

Today, most IT staffs use command-line interfaces (CLIs) to manually program switches and scores of other devices that comprise a network’s infrastructure. IBN abstracts configuration requirements from the CLI and lets operators use declarative statements within a graphical user interface to tell the network what they want. The system then makes the necessary changes.

The use of IBN is just beginning in the enterprise. Gartner predicts the number of commercial deployments will be in the hundreds through mid-2018, increasing to more than 1,000 by the end of next year.

For Sale – ASUS DSL-N55U

ASUS DSL-N55U – Wifi ADSL Router

DSL-N55U Annex A | Networking | ASUS United Kingdom

£25.00inc.

In perfect working order.

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For Sale – ASUS DSL-N55U

ASUS DSL-N55U – Wifi ADSL Router

DSL-N55U Annex A | Networking | ASUS United Kingdom

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For Sale – Netgear 24 Port switches, cat5e cable and wall plates

Hi Guys n Gals,

After a recent change of plan, my networking gear is up for sale.

1. Netgear Prosafe GS724TP 24 Port switch with POE Gigabit ports – £70 inc post
2. Netgear Prosafe gs724t 24 Port switch Gigabit but no POE – £40 inc post
3. Excel cat5e cable, around 295m. 4 Pair UTP LSOH Solid Cable £30 collection only
4. 2 Reels of cat5e 4 Pair UTP LSOH Solid Cable , around 200m on each.(will confirm brands) £40 for the pair collection only.
5. 11 Eurolite Chrome stainless 1gcat 5e faceplates and 10 keystone jacks £30 inc postage.
6. 9 Excel white single gang faceplates with blanking plates £12.50 inc postage.

Would prefer collection from dudley if possible, but I have put some prices inc postage on some of the items

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The Really Simple Guide to Hyper-V Networking

If you’re just getting started with Hyper-V and struggling with the networking configuration, you are not alone. I (and others) have written a great deal of introductory material on the subject, but sometimes, that’s just too much. I’m going to try a different approach. Rather than a thorough deep-dive on the topic that tries to cover all of the concepts and how-to, I’m just going to show you what you’re trying to accomplish. Then, I can just link you to the necessary supporting information so that you can make it into reality.

Getting Started

First things first. If you have a solid handle on layer 2 and layer 3 concepts, that’s helpful. If you have experience networking Windows machines, that’s also helpful. If you come to Hyper-V from a different hypervisor, then that knowledge won’t transfer well. If you apply ESXi networking design patterns to Hyper-V, then you will create a jumbled mess that will never function correctly or perform adequately.

Your Goals for Hyper-V Networking

You have two very basic goals:

  1. Ensure that the management operating system can communicate on the network
  2. Ensure that virtual machines can communicate on the network

rsn_goals

Any other goals that you bring to this endeavor are secondary, at best. If you have never done this before, don’t try to jump ahead to routing or anything else until you achieve these two basic goals.

Hyper-V Networking Rules

Understand what you must, can, and cannot do with Hyper-V networking:

What the Final Product Looks Like

It might help to have visualizations of correctly-configured Hyper-V virtual switches. I will only show images with a single physical adapter. You can use a team instead.

Networking for a Single Hyper-V Host, the Old Way

An old technique has survived from the pre-Hyper-V 2012 days. It uses a pair of physical adapters. One belongs to the management operating system. The other hosts a virtual switch that the virtual machines use. I don’t like this solution for a two adapter host. It leaves both the host and the virtual machines with a single point of failure. However, it could be useful if you have more than two adapters and create a team for the virtual machines to use. Either way, this design is perfectly viable whether I like it or not.

rsn_vswitch_split

Networking for a Single Hyper-V Host, the New Way

With teaming, you can just join all of the physical adapters together and let it host a single virtual switch. Let the management operating system and all of the guests connect through it.

rsn_vswitch_unified

Networking for a Clustered Hyper-V Host

For a stand-alone Hyper-V host, the management operating system only requires one connection to the network. Clustered hosts benefit from multiple connections. Before teaming was directly supported, we used a lot of physical adapters to make that happen. Now we can just use one big team to handle our host and our guest traffic. That looks like this:

rns_vswitch_cluster

VLANs

VLANs seem to have some special power to trip people up. A few things:

  • The only purpose of a VLAN is to separate layer 2 (Ethernet) traffic.
  • VLANs are not necessary to separate layer 3 (IP) networks. Many network administrators use VLANs to create walls around specific layer 3 networks, though. If that describes your network, you will need to design your Hyper-V hosts to match. If your physical network doesn’t use VLANs, then don’t worry about them on your Hyper-V hosts.
  • Do not create one Hyper-V virtual switch per VLAN the way that you configure ESXi. Every Hyper-V virtual switch automatically supports untagged frames and VLANs 1-4096.
  • Hyper-V does not have a “default” VLAN designation.
  • Configure VLANs directly on virtual adapters, not on the virtual switch.

Other Quick Pointers

I’m going to provide you with some links so you can do some more reading and get some assistance with configuration. However, some quick things to point out:

  • The Hyper-V virtual switch does not have an IP address of its own.
  • You do not manage the Hyper-V virtual switch via an IP or management VLAN. You manage the Hyper-V virtual switch using tools in the management or a remote operating system (Hyper-V Manager, PowerShell, and WMI/CIM).
  • Network connections for storage (iSCSI/SMB): Preferably, network connections for storage will use dedicated, unteamed physical adapters. If you can’t do that, then you can create dedicated virtual NICs in the management operating system
  • Multiple virtual switches: Almost no one will ever need more than one virtual switch on a Hyper-V host. If you have VMware experience, especially do not create virtual switches just for VLANs.
  • The virtual machines’ virtual network adapters connect directly to the virtual switch. You do not need anything in the management operating system to assist them. You don’t need a virtual adapter for the management operating system that has anything to do with the virtual machines.
  • Turn off VMQ for every gigabit physical adapter that will host a virtual switch. If you team them, the logical team NIC will also have a VMQ setting that you need to disable.

For More Information

I only intend for this article to be a quick introduction to show you what you’re trying to accomplish. We have several articles to help you dive into the concepts and the necessary steps for configuration.

CORD project updates platform to support edge computing

The Open Networking Foundation this week upgraded the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter architecture to merge the three primary subscriber packages into one platform.

Formerly available as individual options, the CORD project announced that the 4.1 release combines the residential, mobile and enterprise packages on a common platform to streamline the building process, according to Timon Sloane, vice president of marketing and ecosystem at the Open Networking Foundation, which hosts the CORD project.

Users pick the type of profile they require — residential, mobile or enterprise — and the platform takes it from there.

“You click a box and everything else is automated; it just flows right through — it builds, deploys and boots, and the whole data center comes up and starts running,” Sloane said.

The platform also comes with a library of 25 virtual network functions (VNFs) and the needed management and orchestration. A short list includes virtual evolved packet core, virtual subscriber gateway and virtual network as a service. The mobile 5G and residential XGS-PON VNFs — the latter a new fiber transmission technology — are some of the more popular ones among subscribers, he said, reflecting the need to support edge computing — be it the cloud edge or the mobile edge.

“There are a lot of mobile [VNFs] since it’s a complicated space,” he said. “[There are] a lot of different pieces in connecting subscribers to mobile core and authenticating them all.”

CORD 4.1 also supports third-party VNFs, recognizing the need for some services to stay proprietary. As such, Sloane said CORD provides the open infrastructure that supports those proprietary options, a benefit for edge computing and 5G deployments. He attributed part of CORD’s momentum to the open source community, stating it can move more quickly than traditional standards bodies.

CORD has also started migrating VNFs that run on servers to a software-defined switch fabric that connects the CORD data center, he said.

“Obviously, infrastructure makes sense running on a server, but for the bulk of individual packets, you want them to flow through the switch fabric,” he said, touting the benefits of increased space and traffic speeds and lowered costs.

Sloane said the CORD project will focus on technologies like augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things and autonomous vehicles for its next release.

Juniper plans to move OpenContrail governance to The Linux Foundation

Juniper Networks this week announced it will be sharing its OpenContrail codebase with The Linux Foundation.

In 2013, Juniper open sourced its Contrail products, creating an open source community called OpenContrail. Since then, OpenContrail has been used as a network virtualization platform for cloud environments.

This week’s move will bring the network virtualization control plane under The Linux Foundation’s governance and development umbrella. The goal is to persuade more cloud providers and operators to consider using OpenContrail to anchor their networks, with hopes to further integrate OpenContrail into cloud ecosystems.

“Over the past year, we have been working closely with the community to transition the governance for OpenContrail’s codebase because we believe it has the unique opportunity to be a ubiquitous cloud-grade network fabric used everywhere,” said Randy Bias, Juniper’s vice president of technology for cloud software, in a company statement.

Masergy updates managed SD-WAN Go

Masergy added support for application performance and security to its SD-WAN Go offering.

The provider said the service — which uses technology from Silver Peak — now features more sophisticated application routing and automatic path control. For security, Masergy added an embedded firewall and router.

“Managed SD-WAN Go now gives businesses of any size additional enterprise-grade capabilities at a fraction of the cost of comparable solutions,” a company statement said. Masergy unveiled SD-WAN Go earlier this year, targeting the service to both small and large enterprises.

Masergy also offers SD-WAN Pro, tailored to enterprises with more complex networks.

Five years later, CLI still rules as an operational interface

Andrew Lerner, an analyst at Gartner, looked at changes in the networking industry in recent years.

In 2013, Gartner clients were heavily focused on data center fabrics, SDN, virtual switching and overlays. At the time, he said, 60% of workloads were virtualized, clients were increasingly aware of how changing app architectures was bringing about an increase in east-west traffic and most network automation tools came from SolarWinds or Infoblox. Command-line interface (CLI) was the dominant operational interface, with weeks to get systems into production and little focus on WAN aside from MPLS.

Today, Lerner said the big difference is that, “SD-WAN is all the rage,” with Cisco purchasing Viptela and VMware intending to acquire VeloCloud. Currently, organizations are 80% virtualized and increasingly deploy containers. Intent-based networking is growing as a concept, and APIs  and Ansible for network automation are increasingly common, although CLI is still the primary operational interface. Data center changes now deploy in days rather than weeks and leaf-spine architectures are increasingly delivered as a single construct, even though users talk less about fabrics than in 2013. “So indeed, SDN didn’t cure all evils in networking, but it did change the discussion and paved the way for things like SD-WAN. So looking forward to 2021, I won’t make a bunch of predictions but hope and believe that (at least) the CLI will no longer rule the day [as the main operational interface],” Lerner said.

See what else Lerner has to say about networking trends.

AWS changes ease the burden on developers

Dan Conde, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., said the most interesting announcement at AWS re:Invent was Fargate. Conde explained that VMs allow a server to run as a single piece, with the operating system and additional apps, while containers allow apps to run and serverless computing allows users to run code. “Each stage enables slicing a workload into smaller pieces. Fargate is a system that enables you to deploy your containers on AWS, and do so in a way that’s just as easy as getting VMs from [AWS’ EC2 cloud management service]. This allows developers to ignore the setting up of infrastructure,” he said.

With Fargate, he added, billing is conducted at a granular level and users can set configuration options for different apps. While he said there are commonly “silly discussions” about whether containers will replace VMs, the main takeaway for users is that an evolving computing platform permits decomposed workloads and a retooling of the underlying foundation for better resource management. “Use the right deployment model that fits your workload. We now have many choices. If you’re event-driven, use serverless (such as AWS Lambda). If you want to define and deploy microservices, containers are a good way. If you have monolithic apps (or pieces of them), then VMs are a comfortable place to be,” Conde said.

Read more of Conde’s thoughts on Fargate.

Taking a look at LinkRunner and what it can do

Lee Badman, blogging in Wirednot, followed up on a recent review of NetScout’s flagship wireless LAN tester with an appraisal of the NetScout LinkRunner G2, a wired networking tester. According to Badman, the NetScout product is customizable for both hardware and software and accommodates third-party adapters. The product is an Android device, with built-in camera, flashlight and screenshot capabilities, as well as a browser. It can also be used to download additional testing apps from Google’s app store.

Badman said NetScout LinkRunner fits in well with the changing LAN landscape. Because of strong physical layer support, the device gives users a versatile way to test the network before it goes live, Badman said. Increasingly, the LAN environment is more than just a client-access domain and is shifting to power delivery with Power over Ethernet (PoE). NetScout said its product is the only tester on the market that can support all versions of PoE, for use cases spanning VoIP phones, CCTV and lighting systems.

Explore more of Badman’s examination of LinkRunner G2.

New Cisco managed services seek to ease IT talent shortage

Cisco has introduced managed services that remove mundane networking tasks from engineers’ to-do list, freeing up time to work on projects to streamline and advance business operations.

Cisco unveiled this week Business Critical and High-Value Services the company said would let customers make better use of network managers’ time. The Cisco managed services are expected to help the vendor reach its goal of boosting software and services revenue to half of overall sales by 2020.

To entice companies, Cisco is marketing the services as a way to address the shortage in IT talent by making more efficient use of networking staff. In a Cisco-sponsored white paper, IDC found 69% of more than a 1,000 IT leaders surveyed worked in organizations lacking sufficient expertise to digitize business processes.

The latest Cisco managed services attack the problem by taking over routine networking tasks that take up roughly a quarter of engineers’ time. Similar services are also available through other vendors, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei and Juniper Networks.

“I wouldn’t say the features and functionality are new [in the market],” IDC analyst Leslie Rosenberg said of the latest services. “It’s more of an evolution of their existing offers.”

Cisco Business Critical Services

With Business Critical Services, Cisco is offering to remotely handle, for example, chores related to deploying new networking hardware. The tasks would include configuring the devices and applying already-defined policies.

The use of third parties to automate routine jobs is a trend Rosenberg sees in the overall services market. “In my opinion, it’s going to begin to change the way enterprise customers consume and drive value from services,” she said. “Anything that you’re doing twice manually, you should be automating.”

New Cisco managed services also include the collection of telemetry data from customers’ networks and using it to advise them on corrective actions to prevent potential problems. Cisco can also use the collected data to inform customers on how to keep the network running at its peak performance level.

Cisco High-Value Services

Cisco’s High-Value Services is an additional support option. Under the service, Cisco, or one of its partner, will install a new product and make sure all licensed features are turned on and running. Cisco would still offer more advanced services for more complex deployments that require, for example, integration with third-party software or hardware.

“If [companies] just want to get it up and running faster and right the first time, then they have the opportunity to buy the service from Cisco,” Rosenberg said.

Cisco acquires Perspica

Meanwhile, Cisco announced this week it would acquire Perspica, a company based in San Jose, Calif., that applies machine learning to analyze streaming data, rather than waiting until it is stored. Cisco plans to use Perspica technology and expertise with its AppDynamics software for monitoring and analyzing application data. Cisco acquired the company AppDynamics this year for $3.7 billion.

Perspica and its engineers will become a part of Cisco’s AppDynamics unit. Combining technology from the two acquisitions will provide analytics that is “infinitely scalable and ridiculously fast to keep pace with developments in the enterprise,” Bhaskar Sunkara, CTO of AppDynamics, said in a blog post.

Cisco did not disclose financial details of the latest acquisition.

For Sale – Netgear Nano AV200 Powerline Kit

Netgear Nano AV200 (XAV2101v2) Powerline Networking Kit
Two adapters in excellent condition, boxed with ethernet cables.

XAV2101v2 | Product | Support | NETGEAR

£15 delivered.

Seagate ST500LM000 SSHD – SOLD
500GB 2.5″ thin hybrid HDD with 8GB of solid state.
£24 delivered.

Price and currency: £25/£19
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Payment method: PPG/BT
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