If you’ve been following what we at Brocade are doing with SDN, you know that we have a very strong affiliation with the OpenDaylight Project. All of our SDN engineering efforts are done within the Project, and our distribution is built directly from the Project, meaning that everything within our distribution is from OpenDaylight, with no proprietary extensions.
Since the original 1.0 release, based on Helium, we have done dot releases about every 6 weeks in order to incorporate ODL Service Releases and features which have been sufficiently matured to meet our testing requirements. Our 2.0 release is based on Lithium, and will follow a similar agile schedule of dot releases. 3.0 will be based on Beryllium.
The 2.0 release incorporates Lithium’s clustering enhancements for improved reliability and scalability. Lithium also formally deprecated the Application-Driven SAL and fully replaced it with the Model-Driven SAL. (A good description of the difference between the two Service Abstraction Layers can be found here.) This meant that the OVSDB southbound interface, which was based on the AD-SAL, needed to be rewritten. The teams also did significant enhancements on the northbound side on the OpenStack Neutron ML2 plug-in, which Brocade got certified with the Red Hat OpenStack Juno distribution on behalf of the OpenDaylight Project.
The new open-source stack for virtual networks now looks like this:
Speaking of looks, with this release we have created a new Brocade GUI, which provides both more flexibility and a much more intuitive interface for network operators. The GUI is technically separate from, but bundled with the controller. Our two new applications, Topology Manager and Flow Manager (below) both leverage the GUI.
Topology Manager is a free application that is bundled with the controller download. It provides an intuitive way of visualizing OpenFlows between controller-attached nodes. Flow Manager is a for-fee application that allows users to configure and manage flows with a few clicks on the relevant nodes. Pop-up screens within the app provide the desired details for each flow. These two apps join the Brocade Flow Optimizer app in the Brocade SDN portfolio.
For more information about the controller and new applications, visit the SDN Controller and Applications page on brocade.com
This time last year there was a lot of debate within the OpenStack community about whether NFV belonged in OpenStack. The debate has now been settled. OpenStack is very much part of the NFV conversation and as reflected in the iconic ETSI MANO conceptual architecture figure below, OpenStack is the primary actor for the Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM) layer. OPNFV, a new open source project focused on accelerating NFV’s evolution through an integrated open platform is leveraging OpenStack and the OpenDaylight SDN Controller in its reference architecture.
For those less familiar with Tacker, it is a project incubated inside OpenStack. It plays the role of the VNF Manager, which is all about the lifecycle management of VNFs. Tacker takes care of configuring the VNF, monitoring it, and if needed, rebooting and/or scaling (auto healing) the VNF. This process completes the full lifecycle prescribed by ETSI MANO.Read more...
In order to do basic research, University researchers must compete for research grants. Similar to competing in sports, University researchers must have all the right infrastructure (e.g. data networks, science labs, research data, and analysis tools) in place to be awarded research grant funds. etc. If they don’t have the right infrastructure, then they are at a competitive disadvantage.
Internet2, CANARIE, PacificWave, WRN, ESnet, and GEANT are just a few of the dedicated global Science research data networks that connect university researchers to data sources such as CERN and NOAA, as well as other universities. These Research Education Networks (RENs) have standardized on high-speed 100GbE Ethernet connections for performance and SDN for network visibility and control to effectively manage bandwidth for thousands of data transfers each year. Today the bare minimum that is required to establish such connectivity is 100GbE and support for OpenFlow 1.3. This demand is driven by the large data that is being exchanged and transferred and things like network latency and performance are essential requirements that must be addressed.Read more...
The global criticality of the network was underscored in a Brocade CIO survey earlier this year where more than 75% of respondents felt the network was an issue in achieving their organizations goal. Finally, the network is getting the visibility it has long deserved as the lifeblood of every organization across the world. Now, we can go all out and become network experts in our "spare" time, or – as we would recommend – we can look to the network experts to automate and integrate into the SDDC, and keep the complexity under wraps.
As VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger recently pointed out, "The essence of SDDC is automation."Read more...
Voting is now open for OpenStack Tokyo (Oct 27 - 30). Brocade developers, OpenStack experts and our partners have submitted a number of thought-provoking sessions. If you're not already registered, sign up at www.openstack.org and get voting. Voting closes on Monday July 30, 11:59PM Pacific Time. Make your votes count!
The Brocade SDN Controller (formerly Brocade Vyatta Controller), including Helium stability release 3, is now available for download, with several new features.Read more...
This week Brocade will be busy at Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara. If you’re at the event, here’s where you can hear from our technical leaders:
Kelly Herrell, VP/GM of our Software Networking BU, talks on Wednesday at 11:00am about “SDN for Service Providers: Open Source Approaches”.
Colin Dixon, OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee Chair and Brocade Principal Engineer is giving 3 talks:
Kevin Woods, Director of SDN Product Management, speaks on Thursday at 2:00pm on “Network Control and Orchestration for Virtual Functions.”
Sultan Dawood and I will be discussing "From Awareness to Automation: Augmenting Your Existing Networks with SDN" in the Visionary Theater at the following times:
You can visit our booth (#400-402, right next to the Solutions Showcase area) to see demos of the Brocade SDN Controller with the Brocade Flow Optimizer application, running on the Brocade MLXe and ICX platforms. We will also be showing how to integrate OpenStack with the Brocade SDN Controller, using OVSDB southbound, as well as the Brocade vRouter.
In addition, visit the Tallac Networks booth to see a joint demo of its SDN LAN-as-a-service solution with the Brocade SDN Controller and Elbrys Networks SDN Application for K-12 Education environments.
I am happy to say that last week the OPNFV community officially unveiled the ARNO release.
As one of the founding members of the OPNFV effort and an active participant in the Technical Steering Committee (TSC), I’ve been proud to be part of the progress of the OPNFV community and organization made to reach its first project release. The Project itself started as a loose collection of a few service providers and vendors who were interested in producing a reference implementation of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) system, as well as the NFV Orchestrator. Presumably these would be built from open source components as the organization was built on and governed by canonical open source treaties and agreements. Along the way, the organization would modify any of the components such as OpenStack, OpenDaylight or both, and then push changes upstream – or even maintain its own (hopefully temporary) forks of those projects. As a means of guiding this work, many had a common interest in the ETSI NFV framework, and this is where we thought we would first find common ground - or at least a guide for what to build.Read more...
The network continues to be of significant importance when it comes to applications and hosting workloads. But Service Providers and Enterprise customers continue to face critical network performance challenges as it relates to Cloud services. With the demand for application centric and programmable networks, leveraging SDN technology, Brocade is introducing the new Brocade Flow Optimizer SDN application.Read more...
Since getting deeply involved in OpenDaylight, I find myself talking to many different types of individuals—from vendors and customers to developers—about what OpenDaylight is doing and why it matters. Perhaps most importantly, I talk to users about what OpenDaylight can do for them. For those who aren't familiar with it, OpenDaylight is a multi-company open source software project building a platform to further adoption and innovation in Software-Defined Networking (SDN).
In preparation for Brocade's Federal Forum I have distilled what I am seeing change in networking and why it is that I am excited to be working on it here—both in OpenDaylight and at Brocade. We are witnessing the rise of open source software networking as the way to deliver innovation and features that have eluded us in networking for so long.Read more...
It's no secret that SDN is one of the technologies that the industry is rallying behind with the intent that it will have a significant impact on network transformation. SDN will make networks more agile by introducing programmability and scalability in the network while making it operationally simple. This next generation network, also known as the New IP, is all about applications and how they interact with each other to ultimately deliver a superior on demand user experience.
Moving your Apps to the cloud will mean you need to address the issues of availability, performance and security issues when you architect your cloud infrastructure. Also don’t under-estimate the potential complexity of your infrastructure if you start to mix cloud friendly technology with your Data Center based hardware products – just how many GUIs do you need to learn?! Try and select products that can be deployed wherever you need them – cloud as well as a physical or virtual data center.
The headlines on cloud outages seem to have become less frequent but there is still a risk of your Apps becoming unavailable to users unless you look at cross region deployment or multiple clouds.Read more...
Today Brocade released v1.3 of our SDN controller. This release incorporates the OpenDaylight SR3 package, which primarily provides bug fixes. The Brocade v1.3 release also provides support for all Brocade-developed SDN applications, such as Path Explorer 1.2 and vRouter EMS applications.
You can try the latest release for free, with 60 days of free support, by downloading it here. Documentation such as user guides can be downloaded at the same time. Additional information to help you get started can be found in the Brocade DevNet Community and on GitHub.
Downloads of the Brocade Vyatta Controller have been gratifying and interesting. The largest group of downloaders so far is the VAR and SI community, with certain regions especially interested in our developer edition. There is also a very healthy mix of Enterprise users representing a wide range of verticals and use cases. Telcos and cloud service providers are typically the most advanced in their deployment timelines, and you can expect to hear more in the next few months about how they are using the Brocade controller as part of their SDN strategy.
The Brocade Vyatta Controller is a continuous-build distribution of the OpenDaylight controller. With the Brocade controller, we’ll be issuing dot releases approximately every 6 weeks to provide our users new features and bug fixes as they are accepted by the OpenDaylight Project. Whenever you download the Brocade Vyatta Controller, you’ll be getting the latest Brocade package; previous releases are maintained on MyBrocade. Our 1.2 release primarily includes the Helium SR2 package. This is mostly bug fixes.
While I’m at it, I wanted to clarify my answer to a question asked at Networking Field Day 9: Ivan Pepelnjak asked about the composition of the Brocade controller, as he’d noted that not all sub-projects are mentioned in the Brocade documentation. This is because, although we work with the entirety of the OpenDaylight Project as I indicated during the session, there are several sub-projects that are very new and are not fully fleshed out and operational as yet. Therefore those projects are not officially supported within our distribution. We work within the Project to help mature these features, and as they become operationally viable and can be supported in a quality-assured package, they will be officially incorporated.
"It was software; in cyberspace. There was no system core; it could not be shutdown.”
- John Connor (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)
When it comes to advanced networking, we want what we want, how we want it, when we want it: But as humans, we change our minds…a lot. And we can do this because we are wetware, we can grow, change, adapt, even heal.
Ok, so we want products that can morph as our needs do.Read more...
For years, security has been about prevention, detection and remediation. And yes the emphasis has shifted in recent years towards detection and remediation but prevention is still a key component of any security strategy.
While the prevention methods have evolved over the decades – many network security devices still require human intervention to help ward off the attack. This becomes even more complex when applied to the virtual world where servers are spun up and down based on the needs of the business. How do you reduce the time for action with human intervention and allow for a self-defending network while ensuring network security?Read more...
Service providers continue to be challenged with the explosive network traffic growth based on mobility, cloud and video services as evidenced with their demands for large 100Gbps transport links and beyond. At the same time, service providers need to continue deploying new technologies and services to stay competitive and address the needs of their customers. In building their next-gen networks service providers aim to be efficient and cost effective while leveraging new technologies such as network virtualization, big data analytics and IP Voice (VoLTE & VoWIFI), which in turn come with their own challenges. And this all needs to be completed while addressing concerns around things like security, increased network visibility and more granular service flow management. These must be addressed as part of enabling new services successfully.Read more...
What imagery does “over the top” conjure up? For some folks it is the ’87 Sly Stallone flick. For others, it's a renegade that takes things to the extreme. But ask the question to a Telecom Service Provider and don’t be surprised if they have daggers in their eyes! Why so? Let’s look at what Wikipedia has to say about it – “In broadcasting, over-the-top content refers to delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content.”Read more...
Brocade session submissions for the OpenStack Summit Vancouver are in, and voting is open.
If you’re registered on www.openstack.org you can vote until Mon Feb 23, 5pm CT. Get your votes in!Read more...
Research and development is the lifeblood of any technology business. This is an industry in which commercial success and technological innovation are fundamentally connected; with the ability to identify and create the much sought after Next Big Thing an essential for any vendor.
It is no secret therefore that Brocade wants the very best people working to improve and refine the performance and features of our products and solutions. And when it comes to finding the best talent, it’s important to take a global perspective.Read more...
As today’s news indicates, Brocade has taken another aggressive step in our software networking strategy. The addition of Riverbed’s worldwide SteelApp business into our industry-leading portfolio of data center software networking products reinforces Brocade’s vision and demonstrates our continued resolve to lead the industry as software solutions penetrate the IP networking industry.Read more...
Back in September, we announced the Brocade Vyatta Controller, a commercial package of the OpenDaylight controller. We did an initial release in November and since that time have been working with our early adopters to understand and respond to the full range of their needs.
The single biggest challenge for any organization looking at SDN is simply getting started, non-disruptively. That means not having to spring for a lot of new equipment, but it also means supporting the organization through a ramp-up in skillsets and a shift in processes. So we’ve spent a fair amount of time developing ancillary education and support services in addition to making it easy to acquire the controller in the first place.
Dans notre secteur, il y a deux écoles : ceux qui pensent que le futur des réseaux réside dans l’ouverture, et ceux qui pensent qu’une approche propriétaire est indispensable.Read more...
I’ve spent the last few months working closely with the OpenDaylight and OpenStack developer teams here at Brocade and I’ve gained a heightened appreciation for how hard it is to turn a giant pile of source code from an open source project into something that customers can deploy and rely on.Read more...
The SDN controller of today can be likened to Clark Kent who plods along doing one thing well – print journalism. The SDN controller that we need is more like Superman – seeing, hearing and protecting everyone and everything. And once we see the SDN controller donning the garb of Superman we will never go back to Clark Kent will we? Read on….Read more...
Why technical philosophy matters, and how it ultimately shapes what gets delivered to users.Read more...
Join Brocade and Intel as they walk you through the NFV journey highlighting the what, how, and why this innovative and disruptive focus is critical to the next step of innovation of your business and operations.
This webinar will walk you through example use cases leveraging Intel x86 solutions, Intel’s SAA, Open Orchestration platforms and next generation NFV products like the Brocade Vyatta vRouter.
WHEN : Aug 26 2014 10:00 am PDT
Introducing the Brocade Terminology Guide: a guide that will aim to help people better understand, organize, and absorb a portion of the many terms around campus by use of strong visuals. Every week, new posts will be available on Brocade Communities and will be focused around a certain theme. Be sure to also join the conversation on social media via #BRCDology.
Since this week marks the launch of the Guide, it will be all about going Back to Basics. The terms “SDN” and “NFV” vibrate at a constant stream around here and throughout the networking industry, as if someone whispers it through the walls. So, what really is the buzz about SDN and NFV? Read more to find out!Read more...
The OpenStack Summit that took place in Atlanta two weeks ago is the first I’ve attended myself, so I gave myself some time to absorb my own experience and to read the subsequent press coverage before adding to the noise.
As I boarded my plane home, I tweeted: “Top 3 Q's I got asked at #openstack: 1) Roles of ODL vs Neutron? 2) How to make money in open source? 3) When will OpenStack be usable?” I’ll address #1 and #3 below…#2, of course, remains the multibillion-cowry shell question.
What should be the respective roles of ODL and OpenStack Neutron?
At the 10,000 foot level, it can sound like OpenStack Neutron and SDN controllers do more or less the same thing—provision and manage networks for cloud consumption. This has led to some discussion as to what should be done by which entity. Before jumping into the theorizing, though, it’s good to have an understanding of the current state of Neutron, the networking module for OpenStack. Rivka Little of SearchSDN provides a good summary, starting in paragraph 3 of this article. Most critically:
“Inside the cloud, Neutron works with virtual switches and hypervisors to configure ports and devices, and provision virtual overlays and tenants. But a Layer 3 agent is responsible for connecting these tenants out into the data center and the Internet. All traffic in a single cloud environment runs through that same L3 agent, which creates a choke point. That Layer 3 agent also lacks dynamic routing.”
That’s not to say, however, that OpenDaylight or other controllers are replacements for Neutron. Neutron is simply the newest portion of OpenStack and evolving rapidly. Meanwhile, a number of the developers working on Neutron are also working on OpenDaylight, especially on integration between the two projects. Rivka Little’s companion article, Do OpenDaylight and OpenStack Compete or Complement?, provides a good picture of the real focus of the discussion ,eg the appropriate degree of abstraction for Neutron.
Using OpenDaylight with OpenStack (slides and video with demo) gives a generic overview of how the two work together. For a more concrete picture, this demo shows how to instantiate and orchestrate some Vyatta vRouters with OpenStack and OpenDaylight.
Supporting Multi-Tenancy Between Data Centers
The SearchSDN quote above highlights a key use case for OpenStack: maintaining tenant connectivity and policy in clouds constructed from multiple physical data centers. Brocade has been working with Huawei on a proposal to do just that, which was shared at the Design Summit portion of the Atlanta event. You can read the blueprint here.
One of the blueprint authors, Mohammed Hanif, talks about it in this video:
This brings us to the “usability” questions: not When, But By Whom, For What?
First, some data points: I’m told there were virtually no actual user organizations at the summit a year ago. I don’t know the actual attendance breakdown in Atlanta, but anecdotally, roughly ¼ of the badges I had time to eyeball there were user orgs. Although the headliners (Walt Disney, Wells Fargo) are very large companies, most were not—something borne out in OpenStack’s own User Survey, which shows that 60% of deployments are in companies of under 500 employees. At the opposite end of the spectrum, most of the large, non-vendor organizations present were not large enterprises, but telcos. Which brings me to the point of this section.
Last fall, Geoff Arnold wrote a much-discussed post called Whither OpenStack, in which he debated whether it made much sense for enterprises to try to use OpenStack for private clouds. He also made reference to telcos having some specific needs of their own.
Consensus now seems to be emerging that there’s room for enterprises to develop and grow private clouds on OpenStack over time, especially with the certifications and hardened distributions that are now more firmly in place.
At the same time, NFV has seen remarkably rapid adoption in the telco space, and there’s clearly an appetite for using OpenStack to orchestrate those functions. Some additional work (slides) needs to be done within OpenStack to really support that, but we may well see a telco-centric body of work emerging over the next few months, with NFV at the core.
Late-breaking: a scrap over Fibre Channel in OpenStack
In a post last week, Stephen Foskett questioned whether there’s even a need to include Fibre Channel initiatives within OpenStack. J Metz responded this morning that it’s a moot question, since Fibre Channel is already implemented in OpenStack, with more proposals for Juno release. Instead, Metz says, “the question is related to the level and extent of which Fibre Channel can be managed and controlled by some type of orchestration layer using OpenStack infrastructure.” It’s a good question, and one that will be answered as users road-test it and OpenStack capabilities evolve.
In the meantime, if you’re curious where Fibre Channel is today in OpenStack, here’s a brief talk given by Andre Beausoleil on the FC Zone Management capabilities implemented in Icehouse.
One final observation