Tag Archives: NFD2

Brocade and VCS… quite impressive

Our second visit on day 2 of Network Field day was Brocade, who incidentally supplied us with a great lunch! We spent a little time going through the expected marketing presentation, fortunately they kept it short and to the point… Next up was another short presentation from Jon Hudson, aka @the_socialist, who started things out with a overview of Brocade and their core product line. Fortunately for us, Jon had done his homework and cropped his presentation down to the essentials which aided in keeping our short attention-span on focus. All of this lead up to the surprise they had waiting for us. A live Brocade VCS lab. Yes, you read that correctly. A full, hands on lab. Not a demo, not a video.

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Network engineer currently servicing the enterprise data center market. I started working on networks in the ’90s and still feel like that was just a few years ago. Jack of all trades, master of none; I love to learn about everything. Feel free to ask me about photography, woodworking, nhra, watches, or 3x Gold ETFs — For feedback, please leave a comment on the article in question, and I’ll gladly moderate it several weeks later. For everything else including fan mail or death threats, contact him via twitter.

Juniper QFabric, Junosphere, Automation, and More


The second day of Network Field Day 2 started early at the Juniper EBC, luckily Abner Germanow was prepared with breakfast for the weary and slightly hung over delegates. He gave us an overview of Juniper Networks as a whole including some back history of how they started innovating by putting routing code into ASICs. He quickly handed of to Dan Backman who started off by talking about how Junos has developed itself around workflows. He demonstrated the extensibility of Junos through tools like XML and API calls. Because of the way it was developed, they have the unique ability to provide powerful scripting and automation tools. Dan actually told us that the entire Junos back end is XML, which is VERY interesting. Next he brought up a live Juniper lab to show us the real power of their scripting/automation. This is the first time I’ve heard of Junos commit scripts, which I now wish I had in IOS. During this entire demonstration all of delegates really seemed to enjoy the flexibility Dan was demonstrating, by the end, he had us all drooling over it. And that was before he dropped the bombshell… his entire demonstration had been running inside of Junosphere. Before we were able to bombard him with questions about how to get access to it, he showed some a rather impressive demo using Cariden Mate, and an IS-IS db gathered from what appears to be the I2 backbone. Very cool stuff. Cariden was able to generate a topology from the database, and their plugin for Cariden was able to generate the appropriate Junosphere configuration/startup files. Several times during his presentation he made reference to there being “one more thing” or some secret he wanted to share. It wasn’t long before we learned they were going to give us access to Junosphere for testing! Be on the lookout for my Junosphere review once I’m able to check it out.

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Network engineer currently servicing the enterprise data center market. I started working on networks in the ’90s and still feel like that was just a few years ago. Jack of all trades, master of none; I love to learn about everything. Feel free to ask me about photography, woodworking, nhra, watches, or 3x Gold ETFs — For feedback, please leave a comment on the article in question, and I’ll gladly moderate it several weeks later. For everything else including fan mail or death threats, contact him via twitter.

Gigamon and the Great Pumpkin


I could’ve just as easily called this article Gigamon… fixing problems you didn’t know about or Why Gigamon scares the crap out of me — but I wont, because they already did! But what I will say, is that Gigamon has become a very interesting product to me…

Gigamon’s product line-up mainly consists of optical fiber and electrical copper taps for network connections, and a series of aggregation taps with the capability to filter traffic being tapped and aggregated. Now, why do I find this interesting? Well, it all goes hand in hand with why your enterprise or ISP may be interested in their products…
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Network engineer currently servicing the enterprise data center market. I started working on networks in the ’90s and still feel like that was just a few years ago. Jack of all trades, master of none; I love to learn about everything. Feel free to ask me about photography, woodworking, nhra, watches, or 3x Gold ETFs — For feedback, please leave a comment on the article in question, and I’ll gladly moderate it several weeks later. For everything else including fan mail or death threats, contact him via twitter.

NEC and ProgrammableFlow Switching

NEC is currently the only Vendor that is shipping an OpenFlow enabled product today. So naturally, their presentation led off with a message about what they’re bringing to the market. If you don’t know anything about OpenFlow, please read my previous post covering the OpenFlow Symposium.

Currently, NEC is shipping their OpenFlow implementation as ProgrammableFlow products which include a ProgrammableFlow Controller (PFC), and a ProgrammableFlow enabled switches. Unfortunately, I’m unable to find any documentation on these products as NEC’s actual website was written by someone who enjoys a difficult maze… (the only page I could find on ProgrammableFlow was here) But I digress. The PFC it’s self is just a Linux box with some custom software implementing the OpenFlow 1.0 standard. In addition to acting as part of your control plane, it can also do topology discovery via LLDP, and perform fault detection and possibly even repair. The graphical representation NEC gives you of your network with their controller software is rather nice, it’s not just a visualization of your netowrk, but it also provides end to end monitoring of each individual flow transported over the network. As for NEC’s ProgrammableFlow switch, it is a 48-port GigE switch with 4x 10Gb SFP+ uplink ports providing line rate multi-layer switching, and maintaining up to 160k OpenFlow “flows”. The switch itself can operate as a hybrid either allow you to control it via an OpenFlow controller, or operate as a traditional managed switch. NEC has also developed a vSwitch for Windows 8’s Hyper-V, this alone should prove to be rather interesting as NEC will hit the ground running on virtual switching with the new release of Windows Server 8.
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Network engineer currently servicing the enterprise data center market. I started working on networks in the ’90s and still feel like that was just a few years ago. Jack of all trades, master of none; I love to learn about everything. Feel free to ask me about photography, woodworking, nhra, watches, or 3x Gold ETFs — For feedback, please leave a comment on the article in question, and I’ll gladly moderate it several weeks later. For everything else including fan mail or death threats, contact him via twitter.

Network Field Day 2 — Comic Edition

During the coarse of NFD2 I found an iPhone app called Halftone, and later, one named ComicStrip that allow you to add some fun effects and speech bubbles to your photos… So, I started in on some of the photos that I took during the trip. After putting a few of them on twitter they got some pretty good responses. Earlier today, I asked a couple people if I should put them all up on my blog as a collection, so here it is, all of the images I have created thus far. Some of them may not make much sense unless you were there, but I hope they’re humorous nonetheless. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll try to explain…


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Network engineer currently servicing the enterprise data center market. I started working on networks in the ’90s and still feel like that was just a few years ago. Jack of all trades, master of none; I love to learn about everything. Feel free to ask me about photography, woodworking, nhra, watches, or 3x Gold ETFs — For feedback, please leave a comment on the article in question, and I’ll gladly moderate it several weeks later. For everything else including fan mail or death threats, contact him via twitter.