Advice To Tech Field Day Sponsors

Greg Ferro is no stranger to Tech Field Day events. In this post, he uses his considerable event experience to offer some advice to future presenting companies. He addresses everything from knowing your audience, to how to approach demos, and building a company story over the course of two hours.

Network Visibility with Barefoot Deep Insight

The speed of multi-gigabit networks has largely outpaced the legacy monitoring tools traditionally used by network engineers. Tom Hollingsworth outlines how Barefoot Networks uses their programmable Tofino chipset and the P4 language to provide modern monitoring using their Barefoot Deep Insight solution.

Anuta NCX: An Orchestration Platform For Networks

Drew Conry-Murray shares his thoughts on Anuta’s NCX solution, which he saw first hand at Networking Field Day in January. NCX is an orchestration platform designed to simplify a lot of networking drudgery. To do this, high-level models are constructed with Yang, which are then translated into specific device instructions when called upon. It even does device discovery to automatically understand which versioning and configuration on network devices. Key to this, Anuta has a wide list of hardware and software partners NCX supports.

SD-WAN Series Part 3: Silver Peak EdgeConnect

Eyvonne Sharp continues her excellent video series looking at SD-WAN. This time she’s talking about Silver Peak, who presented at Networking Field Day last month. Notably, due to their end-to-end control, Silver Peak is able to identify applications based on the very first packet received.

PQ Show 106: Whitebox, SD-WAN & More – An NFD14 Wrapup

It’s a Networking Field Day delegate super show on the latest episode of the PQ Show podcast! Greg Ferro, Drew Conry-Murray, Eyvonne Sharp, and Kevin Myers all give their impressions from Networking Field Day from January. SD-WAN, Whitebox networking, analytics, and orchestration are all on the table. Give it a listen and check out our video coverage for more details.

SD-WAN Series Part 2: Riverbed SteelConnect

Eyvonne Sharp posted a second video in a series on SD-WAN. This time, she goes into her thoughts on Riverbed’s SteelConnect. She sees this as an elegant implementation, integrating the SD-WAN assets from Ocedo into their existing WAN optimization portfolio. Eyvonne was also really impressed by their policy configuration tools, which have simple on-off switches and allow for easy rollback. It’s a great look at the product, and we can’t wait to see more in the series!

Nyansa Measures Network Performance Using Mobile Devices As Sensors

Drew Conry-Murray shares his thoughts on Nyansa, who presented at Networking Field Day last month. The company has an interesting approach to analytics, they use measure user experience by using mobile device endpoints as sensors, effectively turning any phone, laptop or tablet into a sensor. These on-prem metrics are then sent to Nyansa’s cloud for further analytics and to establish baseline network performance. This can be used to easily assess problems when they deviate from these baselines, and also let you see how performance of your network stacks up to others in your vertical.

Introduction to SD-WAN

So you’ve heard about SD-WAN, but you still have some questions? Eyvonne Sharp made a video just for you. In this introduction, she lays out what the requirements of a complete SD-WAN solution are. Once you’ve got the fundamentals down, she includes links to some specific company implementations from Networking Field Day!

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.