Programmable Packet Brokers for On-Demand Network Visibility

by Jude Vedam ‎01-18-2016 12:21 AM - edited ‎01-19-2016 09:12 AM (4,007 Views)

A typical mobile operator today serves several million connections and a sizable share of these connections originate and terminate from machines. This phenomenon is expected to grow substantially and will in the not too distant future represent a larger share of the overall traffic.  


Frequently, a small part of the overall traffic requires deeper analysis than the remaining traffic. With the exploding growth of mobile data, identifying and selecting relevant traffic flows becoming challenging – like searching for needles in the haystack.  Some examples include:

  • VIP customer support: Operators would like to closely monitor VIP customers and identify issues proactively, before they are raised by the customer.
  • Identifying bad and malicious traffic: Operators might want to capture and analyze the packets offline within a flow-level based on bad URL, User Agent, Content Type or any of the payload characteristics and behavior. 
  • Isolating traffic of blacklisted customers: At times traffic from a set of IMSI, Device, APN or eNodeBs might need to be captured for later analysis. 

These scenarios call for a smart packet broker that is flexible and quick to respond to dynamic changes.Programmable Packet Brokers for On-Demand Network Visibility


Brocade Packet Brokers comes with a high-speed API gateway. A Probe or analytics system that wants to isolate a flow or subscriber session traffic, or replicate a session traffic to send to special purpose probe can call the API to insert traffic forwarding rules in real-time.


In the first and third use cases above, Brocade Packet Brokers feed ‘regular’ network probes that inspect the entire traffic. Whenever a subscriber IMSI is identified, the probe invokes an API requesting a Brocade Packet Broker to replicate and forward the entire subscriber session to a special purpose probe.


In the second use case, the probe invokes the API when anomalous signatures are detected in the traffic. Through the API, the probe instructs a Brocade Packet Broker to replicate the traffic of the flow and send it to a purpose-built analytics server for deeper analysis and storage.  





As traffic patterns and threats evolve, operators are investing in purpose-built probes and analytics tools to mitigate them. Brocade’s flexible and programmable network packet brokers help optimize tool utilization and lower the total cost of ownership of network probes. 

Count down to Customer Catastrophe

by mbodding ‎11-10-2015 06:37 PM - edited ‎11-10-2015 06:37 PM (5,579 Views)

According to the Daily Telegraph, Black Friday was the busiest shopping day in the whole of the Christmas sales period last year. While another American born Purchasing phenomenon: “Cyber Monday” occupied the number 2 slot. Black Friday is relatively new to us in the UK, but has been an annual event in the US for a long time. Us Brits spent 1.5 billion pounds during that one weekend last year, and we’re predicted to spend around 2 billion this year.


Smart Packet Broker: Cost Saver for Network Operators

by Jude Vedam on ‎10-21-2015 05:01 AM (4,009 Views)

As Mobile Network Operators (MNO) light up LTE services, they are witnessing a massive expansion in several dimensions, especially lured by the better quality of experience and increasing number of subscribers upgrading to LTE. In order to cater to the increasing influx of subscriber base, operators are adding higher bandwidth to their capacity, including Gi-. Newer LTE handsets are made with larger screen size, multi-core CPUs, higher capacity batteries and higher pixel density, features that offers greater user experience. Several newer mobile-only applications are taking advantage of this infrastructure, providing more value to subscribers. This has resulted in more subscribers switching to LTE and this is a cycle that will continue for a long time.




When IP Packets Need Their Own Broker

by Andrew Coward on ‎10-20-2015 05:02 AM (5,554 Views)

Analyzing IP traffic on mobile networks to manage service quality, user experience and security has become rather challenging for mobile operators of late.  Put it down to the amount of traffic now being generated by consumers in 4G and LTE networks.  


It turns out that there’s Big Data and then Too Big Data. Mobile operators are trying to figure out how to scale their analytics tools without losing the clarity on - for example - how to improve data throughput in and around a ballpark during a baseball game, or why you can’t maintain a voice call driving through the mountains.


Network visibility is imperative for mobile operators. Whether the motivation is to identify new revenue streams or reduce operational costs, mobile operators need ways to monitor and mine their networks specifically focusing on subscribers, applications, networks, and devices. To this end, they replicate traffic from the mobile packet core, funneling flows to network packet brokers which aggregate, replicate, filter, optimize and forward relevant traffic flows to network monitoring and analytics tools.


ONOS and Linux Foundation: A Win for Open Source

by Tom Nadeau ‎10-13-2015 09:00 AM - edited ‎10-13-2015 01:21 PM (4,834 Views)

The Linux Foundation recently announced that the ONOS Project and its constituent staff will be joining as a new project under the Linux Foundation Umbrella.


Similar to the views of Neela Jacques, OpenDaylight’s Executive Director, we at Brocade think this is great news for developers and users alike. OpenDaylight (ODL) has been built with the support of most of the industry’s vendors and network operators to be a general-purpose SDN controller platform. As a founding member with a pure-play, supported commercial distribution of ODL, Brocade has a strong commitment to open networking, open source and ODL in particular.


Brocade SDN Controller 2.0: New Look and New Accessories

by lcaywood on ‎09-15-2015 09:00 AM (5,439 Views)

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

Bringing NFV into OpenStack with Tacker

by Madhu Kashyap on ‎09-14-2015 05:01 AM (7,081 Views)

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.


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.


VMworld 2015 Preview: Automation & Orchestration

by Jeni Lloyd ‎08-20-2015 09:00 AM - edited ‎10-07-2015 07:24 AM (10,103 Views)

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."


OpenStack Tokyo - Vote Now for Brocade Speakers

by Jeni Lloyd ‎07-24-2015 09:30 AM - edited ‎07-27-2015 10:24 AM (4,714 Views)

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 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.


Brocade at ONS 2015

by lcaywood ‎06-15-2015 10:35 AM - edited ‎06-15-2015 11:58 AM (3,766 Views)

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:

  • Monday, 10:30 am: “YANG Modeling: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
  • Monday, 4:45 pm: "The Future and Focus of OpenDaylight"
  • Wednesday, 2:30pm: "Open Source SDN Track: Open Source II" 

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:


  • Tuesday June 16  12:40pm – 1:00pm
  • Wednesday June 17  2:05pm – 2:25pm
  • Thursday June 18   1:05pm – 1:25pm

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.


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.


The Rise of Open Source Software Networking

by colindixon on ‎06-08-2015 08:15 AM (6,465 Views)

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.


Helping Customers Gain Network Agility with SDN Apps

by Sultan Dawood on ‎06-04-2015 03:15 PM (3,870 Views)

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.



Performance and Security for Azure Cloud Applications

by Nick Vale on ‎05-20-2015 05:00 AM (3,389 Views)

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.


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.



Brocade Vyatta Controller – 1.2 now available

by lcaywood on ‎03-19-2015 08:51 AM (5,983 Views)

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.

New IP: Just in Time, Just in Place Network Services

by Jon.Hudson on ‎03-14-2015 09:39 PM (5,229 Views)

"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.


The Self Defending Network

by AceKrish on ‎03-02-2015 10:40 AM (16,248 Views)

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?


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.


Living Life On the Virtual Edge

by AceKrish ‎02-23-2015 12:01 AM - edited ‎02-23-2015 07:17 AM (12,159 Views)

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.


Vote by Feb 23 for Brocade’s OpenStack Vancouver Session Submissions

by Jeni Lloyd ‎02-18-2015 12:42 PM - edited ‎02-18-2015 02:16 PM (2,372 Views)

Brocade session submissions for the OpenStack Summit Vancouver are in, and voting is open.

If you’re registered on you can vote until Mon Feb 23, 5pm CT. Get your votes in!


Brocade Expands SDN and NFV R&D Footprint Into Europe

by Kelly Herrell on ‎02-17-2015 08:19 AM (5,663 Views)

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.


A Warm Welcome for SteelApp’s Ecosystem

by Kelly Herrell on ‎02-05-2015 02:07 PM - last edited on ‎02-05-2015 02:36 PM by LisaR (7,874 Views)

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.


What Makes an Open SDN Controller: Tech + Community

by lcaywood ‎01-20-2015 12:10 AM - edited ‎01-21-2015 03:29 PM (5,507 Views)

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.


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.


We are excited to announce that the vADC, vRouter, vEPC and SDN Controller Acquisitions from Brocade are complete!
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