Nyansa’s Comparative Analytics

Rich Stroffolino reviews Nyansa’s networking monitoring solution from Networking Field Day last month. He was really impressed how the solution allowed you to measure not just objective measures like latency, speed, and packet loss, but also compare performance among similar network configurations. In a crowded networking monitoring space, it’s a key differentiator that really allows Nyansa to stand out.


Barefoot Networks looks to redefine ASIC in network device design with its Tofino chip

Barefoot Networks gave details about their programmable Tofino chip for switches at Networking Field Day. Keith Townsend gave the presentation videos a look, and thinks they could have a big impact on the networking space. The immediate value is that the programmability should allow for new services to be integrated into switches on a much tighter release window. But more importantly, whitebox vendors could customize switches to individual clients, with hyperscale deployments like Facebook only need a very specific subset of functions to prioritize on performance. And unlike programmable x86 processors in switches, there’s no sacrifice in performance, with Barefoot claiming Tofino can manage 6.5 Tbps.


Whitebox networking – coming soon to an edge near you?

Whitebox networking was a hot topic at Networking Field Day last month. Kevin Myers wrote up a nice summery of what he saw on it. He starts with a brief history, then goes into an interesting application, using whiteboxes outside the data center as edge devices. Big Switch was positioning them that way in their presentation, and the implications of Barefoot Networks also saw them positioning whiteboxes for outside the data center. It’s an interesting trend.


Riverbed SD-WAN – The Simplicity  of Automation in SDN

Do network engineers need to be programmers too? Greg Ferro thinks this doesn’t always need to be the case, especially with SD-WAN solutions like he saw from Riverbed at Networking Field Day. They demoed the ability to push security rule across the entire WAN with a few simple steps, making it far easier for engineers to actually manage their networks. It’s a really great insight into the exciting implications SD-WAN and Riverbed can have on the entire IT networking space.


Anuta Networks NCX: Overcoming Skepticism

Chris Marget thought he knew how the networking world worked. Getting various network vendors to play nice with each other required more art than science while editing a text configuration file. It took years of painful experience to be able to do this well. Then Chris saw Anuta Networks present their multi-vendor NCX orchestration, and changed his tune. Anuta claims it can work well between a lengthy list of vendors. They do this by not trying to make all features available, but to focus on a core set that will be useful to network engineers. Chris definitely liked what he saw at Tech Field Day.


Big Switch Networks Extends VMware Visibility, Adds Mesosphere Support

Big Switch Networks presented an vast array of products at Networking Field Day last month. Drew Conry-Murray was there, and he wrote up a look at their Big Cloud Fabric, the company’s SDN software for data centers. In its 4.0 version, Big Cloud now supports vSAN storage in vSphere, continuing the solutions tight VMware integration. It also supports a variety of orchestration platforms, including OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Mesosphere. In this new version, Big Cloud Fabric continues to refine and fill out its offering.


ASIC Programmability from Barefoot Networks

Barefoot Networks presented their fully programmable Tofino switch at Networking Field Day last month. It left an impression on a lot of our delegates, including Aaron Conaway. He came away impressed that Tofino is the opposite of a fixed-function ASIC. By being fully programmable, the switch is essentially a blank slate, that can be completely reprogrammed in a software update taking 50ms. The other implication is that the switch can insert tracking information natively to your traffic, all while maintaining high performance. It’s a total rethink on how a switch can behave. This may put the burden of providing features to the switch OS makers, but it still turns a switch from something fixed in stone to a dynamic part of your network.


Silver Peak’s End-to-End SD-WAN

There’s a lot of agreement in the enterprise about what is wanted out of an SD-WAN solution, but a lot of different ways of getting there. Rich Stroffolino looks at a solution from Silver Peak. Instead of using deep packet inspection, the company uses it’s end-to-end network control to derive their analytics. This allows for an understanding of network traffic from the very first packet, which allows the SD-WAN to be more secure and efficient. It’s a really interesting spin on this booming technology.


Simplify SD-WAN with Riverbed

At Networking Field Day last week, Rich Stroffolino came away impressed with Riverbed. Their SD-WAN solution is based around making things as simple as possible. They showed in real time how to get an SD-WAN site online with just a few simple clicks and an IP address. All of this is while still providing comprehensive policy based tools to make it easy to give specific apps, users and locations the correct priority. Their guiding principle is that a network exists to move a packet from one place to another, how it’s managed should be as simple as possible. As Riverbed said in their presentation, “you can either make the sausage or enjoy the sausage.”


Sorting Through SD-WAN

The SD-WAN landscape can be a little tough to navigate. While the basic idea is easy enough to understand, every company out there seems to have their own implementation and market focus. Tom Hollingsworth thinks the moment of SD-WAN maturity is finally upon us. If anything, Tom thinks there might not be any more room for differentiation for new companies. Overall though, the space is really exciting, as it can only get easier to deploy and extend. 2017 may indeed be the year of SD-WAN!


DDoS Detection with Big Switch Networks

DDoS attacks made major headlines in 2016. Even when not heard about publicly, they can be costly for businesses as the disrupt operations and mission critical services. At Networking Field Day last week, Big Switch Networks outlined their DDoS detection platform, called the BigSecure Architecture. Rich Stroffolino looks at this architecture as taking the ordinarily linear chain of security from the public internet to the data center, and adds a variety of countermeasures to loop in and detect malformed traffic caused by a DDoS attack. The ultimate goal is to always allow legitimate traffic in, and to coordinate with mitigation solutions once an attack is detected.


Getting Full Resolution with Kentik Detect

At Networking Field Day last week, Kentik introduced their network monitoring solution, Kentik Detect. Rich Stroffolino came away impressed with it. The company is dedicated to make sure you always are able to get a full resolution view of what is going on with the network, instead of replying on inaccurate samples or composites. This dedication led them to develop a completely new engine, backed by a new database design, to make sure all streaming information is logged at incredibly efficient speeds.


The Quest for the Self-Driving Network with Juniper Networks

Rich Stroffolino takes a look at what Juniper Networks presented at Networking Field Day last week. What really interested him was the company’s philosophical approach they laid out during the event. Instead of trying to simply implement a ton of features for network automation, Juniper takes a much more systematic approach. They laid out their ultimate goal, to create a fully self-driving network. In the presentation, they outline what it will take to get there, and how their current solution fits into that roadmap.


Cumulus Networks Walks A Fine Line With New Switch Hardware

Drew Conry-Murray looks at the implications of Cumulus Networks announcement of Cumulus Express. This is a program whereby Cumulus will sell switch hardware with their Cumulus Linux distribution pre-installed. Drew found it a little surprising that a company that made its name pitching disaggregation would take the approach. He reviews what they’re offering in the product line, and how recent announcements from hardware vendors could use their switch operating system.


Barefoot Networks and the Burden of Design

Rich Stroffolino looks at what Barefoot Networks presented at Networking Field Day. It’s a pretty ambitious product, a completely programmable networking switch called Tofino. It uses the P4 programming language to allow for everything from the parser to all tables to be customized or excluded all together. Tofino offers this without compromising performance, in fact, Barefoot claims it’s the fastest switch in the world, capable of 6.5Tb per second. Rich has more details and implications in the piece.


Two Takes On ASIC Design

Tom Hollingsworth saw a presentation from Barefoot Networks that made him rethink ASIC design. Competing designs from Cisco put some programmable elements inside the ASIC. But Barefoot fully abstracts functionality via it’s P4 programming, the ASIC is completely configurable in code. This combines reduce complexity and increase speed. In an impressive ground-up rethink of what a network switch can do!


Barefoot Networks Announces First Switches With Programmable Tofino Chip

Barefoot Networks made a big announcement prior to their presentation at Networking Field Day this week, new programmable networking switches using Tofino silicon! Delegate Drew Conry-Murray reviews the what the switch will be offering, including 32 and 64-port 100 GbE models, available in Q1. We’re looking forward to learning more about them, and to Barefoot Networks’ presentation at Networking Field Day!


A network geek pilgrimage

Kevin Myers is attending Networking Field Day this year. He’s excited to drink from the deluge of knowledge about to be poured his way. In this post, he talks about some of the topics he’s interested in getting more details about. One of them is SD-WAN. Kevin wants more under the hood details about specific mechanics. He’s also in seeing it an non-traditional applications, like Wireless ISP. We’ll be excited to see what Kevin’s takeaways are after the event. Stay tuned!


Networking Field Day 14 Kicks Off

Justin Cohen is excited for Networking Field Day! The event kicks off this morning and Justin made sure to share the schedule with all of his followers. Make sure you check out the live stream, or the YouTube and Vimeo content we’ll have up soon after the event. It’s three straight days of fascinating presentations from the most exciting companies in enterprise networking!


Network Field Day 14 and the Best Community Ever!

We’re thrilled to have Eyvonne Sharp as a delegate for her first Networking Field Day! She really appreciates the community the events have created. It’s great to hear that it’s not only a helpful group of people, but one that she genuinely enjoys engaging with. It’s also a welcoming group, so when you’re watching the Networking Field Day livestream, make sure to ask questions on Twitter with #NFD14. Between the delegates and the staff, we’ll get some answers!