Ixia Works Out Its Network Trust Issues

Rich Stroffolino looks at what Ixia presented at Networking Field Day last month. Their product portfolio is pretty packed, but focused around network visibility. The presentation have Rich a new appreciation for the problem. Ixia has a comprehensive system of network probes and packet brokers to ensure zero-packet loss for monitoring solutions. Overall it’s an impressive offering.

Capture, Filter, See – Ixia Vision ONE

Ixia is a company some may not associate with network packet brokers, but that changed when they acquired Anue Systems in 2012. Ethan Banks wrote up his impressions on this based on what he saw at Networking Field Day in November. He seemed particularly impressed by their Ixia Vision ONE visibility tool. Sure it has all the features you could want, but for Ethan the most important part was that it was easy to get working right away. With the increasing complexity of networks, raw capability simply isn’t enough. Ixia differentiates itself with it’s ease of use here.

Enterprise Focused SD-WAN with Viptela

Rich Stroffolino looks at what Viptela presented at Networking Field Day last month. Overall, he found there approach interesting. Instead of being service provider focused for SD-WAN, Viptela designed their solution specifically for the enterprise. This allows them to address a lot of business needs directly. One of these is for multi-tenant locations, where SD-WAN can separate traffic without having to install a whole separate infrastructure. Overall, the approach opened up Rich’s ideas of what SD-WAN can do.

Trust But Verify: Lossless End-To-End Visibility from Ixia

Phil Gervasi looked at Ixia’s “Trust But Verify” approach to network monitoring. It’s an interesting approach, most other solutions simply assume that network traffic is being received by monitoring tools. Ixia goes beyond this. Instead of relying on SPAN ports, which drop traffic when a switch is overloaded, they use a series of packet brokers and network taps to make sure lossless data is being received by your monitoring solution. That’s right, Ixia proposes to not lose a single packet in doing this. That’s a tall order, check out Phil’s piece to see how Ixia is pulling it off.

Forward Thinkers, Forward Networks

Rob Coote shares his impressions from what he saw with Forward Networks at Networking Field Day last month. He really highlights how Forward’s software modeling of network performance could impact, not just the performance of the network, but the worth routines of network engineers. By effectively giving you a network lab to tinker with in software, their solution theoretically eliminates the “wait-and-see” approach to changes in a network. Rob really hopes they are able to move their solution beyond just monitoring to remediation. But he makes a really great point on the very human impact Forward Networks could have.

The Quest for Verification with Forward Networks

Forward Networks gave a presentation fresh out of stealth mode at Networking Field Day, and it certainly made an impression with Rich Stroffolino. He outlines how the company is doing their network monitoring. They model all possible places a packet can go on a network in a constantly updating software model. This allows you to not only react when problems occur, but also for better planning and provisioning, since you can model traffic very accurately in the software model. We’ll wait to see how their solution gets deployed in an actual enterprise, but on a theoretical level it’s fascinating.

Forward Networks – go ahead, break it

Amy Arnold laments the plight of the network engineer. The agonize over network design, try to come up with every conceivable failover scenario, and then deal with the consequences. Some have the aid of a lab to help test their configuration, most don’t. That’s why what Forward Networks presented at Networking Field Day was so interesting. It allows for you to model over your network in software, and then break it in every conceivable way. Forward’s model shows every a packet can possibly go, allowing the engineer to see exactly how a scenario will play out. She was justifiably concerned about how their product will be priced going forward, but otherwise it seems like a valuable tool in the engineer’s arsenal.

Shiny new NetPath Services

SolarWinds showed off their latest with NetPath at Networking Field Day. Amy Arnold seemed impressed by their solution. NetPath isn’t just a traceroute visualization tool, it uses “real” network traffic from Windows-based pollers on the network. This allows an engineer to get a better sense of how traffic flows, without worrying about packets being dropped (as much) by devices on the network. Amy says it best, “any tool that expands insight into what packets are doing is a beautiful thing.”

State of the Industry: Network Analytics

Gestalt IT just debuted a new feature, a weekly State of the Industry post. For their first week, they’re looking at the state of network analytics. They take a look at two competing methodologies to the problem. The first is SolarWinds NetPath tool, which sits in the network. The SolarWinds approach seems to take the ideas behind existing tools, and looks to perfect them. The other method is Forward Networks, which is presenting a top-down approach to do live mapping purely in software. Both are interesting, and point to further investment and development in the space going into 2017.

Why design simplicity is bad for your network

Design simplicity sounds appealing. After all, it would be easier to understand, manage, and theoretically expand. But Kevin Myers wrote a piece on why this can ultimately be a failing. He was having a discussion at Network Field Day about the differences in an LTE network versus an enterprise LAN. LTE just seems to work, even though it’s serving a vary large user base. Kevin notes that this is because enterprise networks aren’t often designed by engineers with their intended purpose in mind, rather a vendor supplies the network and the engineer is in charge of implementing within that given design. These are often instructed to be simple, but as businesses merge and needs change, the network designed to be simple is often unable to scale easily to a new complex environment. It’s an interesting read that touches on why a lot of enterprise technology decisions have more to do with culture than anything else.

OpenFlow Is Dead. Long Live OpenFlow.

Tom Hollingsworth takes a look at the curious life of OpenFlow. This once hyped panacea has found a completely new life from its original purpose of replacing the forwarding plane programming method of switches. Tom compares it to the development of Viagra as originally being intended for high blood pressure. Company’s like NEC have taken OpenFlow, with their ProgrammableFlow derivative, and adapted it to a whole new set of purposes, in this case mitigating the spread of infections within networks. It’s always interesting to see an established tool reimagined with a new purpose.

Coming to SD-WAN: The Build vs. Buy Decision

Presenting at Networking Field Day earlier this month, VeloCloud is offering a rather unique solution for SD-WAN. Instead of presenting themselves as a solution that an enterprise would build and deploy internally, VeloCloud takes a different approach. They’ve partnered with a number of Tier 1 and 2 Service Providers, integrating their service within their offerings, instead of using their offering as leverage for lower rates for customers.

Bob McCouch has an writeup about the pros and cons of this approach, as well as some thoughts on some of VeloCloud’s particular innovations. It’s a really thoughtful look at the tradeoffs implicit in this setup.

SolarWinds NPM 12 NetPath

Jody Lemoine got a look at SolarWinds’ NetPath product at Networking Field Day this month. For a product in its first official release, four months out of the lab, Jody thought it was a well implemented solution. He particularly like how NetPath moved beyond the confines of the enterprise network, into what’s happening with carriers and the destination networks. If you too seek to know the truth about your network, check out the rest of Jody’s piece.

Apstra intends greatness beyond Sparta

Apstra has a really interesting pitch. What if instead of building your network around how each vendor’s node and appliance talked to one another and what capabilities it had, you could design the network the way you wanted it to work first, and use an abstraction layer to make sure all the individual pieces played nice with one another? That’s what Apstra is proposing with their Apstra Operating System (AOS). David Varnum gave it a look at Tech Field Day, and shares his enthusiasm for their intent-driven approach.

Networking Field Day 13 – Sneak Preview

Tony Mattke wrote a nice preview of Networking Field Day, held just last week in Silicon Valley. He runs through all of the presenting companies, and tells us what he was looking forward to seeing. Give it a read to whet your appetite, then check out all of the video coverage here!

NFD13 Forecast – Cloudy With a Chance of Software

Bob McCouch gives an overview of what he was looking forward to for Networking Field Day held last week. The two themes he saw for NFD: The Cloud and Software-centricity. Bob was really excited to get some more information on SD-WAN from VeloCloud and Viptela. Check out the full video coverage on the event page to get the latest from these and all the other presenting companies.

Looking forward to Networking Field Day

Scott McDermott is coming back for Networking Field Day and gives an overview of all the companies presenting at this event. Most exciting is a recent update to his post, Forward Networks just came out of Stealth Mode on November 14th, and they’ll be giving a highly anticipated presentation on the November 17th! Check out Scott’s post for what he’s looking for out of each of the presenting companies, and make sure you check back on the 17th and 18th for all the live stream action!

SD-WAN with VeloCloud at Networking Field Day 13

Phil Gervasi is excited for some “SD-WAN goodness” at Networking Field Day next week! He’s particularly anticipating VeloCloud’s presentation, a well known presence in the space. He wants to see what differentiates VeloCloud in their solution to provide private reliability, performance and security for applications running over the public internet.

He’s also looking forward to details about how their cloud network of distributed gateways works. It’s an exciting time in the SD-WAN space, its something that can be deployed and make a difference in the enterprise today. Check back for more details and coverage about VeloCloud during and after the event!

Networking Field Day 13: Previewing the Sponsors Part 2

Networking Field Day 13: Previewing the Sponsors Part 2

Facebook Wedge 100 – The Future of the Data Center?

Facebook Wedge 100 – The Future of the Data Center?