Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Virtualization Authors: Elizabeth White, Lori MacVittie, Mike Kavis, Liz McMillan, Juha Holkkola

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Java, Linux, Virtualization, Cloud Expo, Security

SDN Journal: Blog Post

Fabric Engineering Is More than Traffic Engineering

Traffic engineering has taken on a very specific meaning, very much related to the way traffic is mapped onto MPLS

It is human nature to try and relate new information and new ways of doing things to something that we know, something we are familiar with. Often when we talk about the way we fit traffic onto a Plexxi mesh network, the reaction is “I know what you mean, you are doing traffic engineering like we (used to) do in MPLS”. The response to that is usually “kinda, but not really”.

In the most basic meaning, everything that has to do with the placement of traffic onto links, routing and forwarding choices being programmed, etc., would be part of Traffic Engineering. But like too many words and phrases in our networking dictionary, traffic engineering has taken on a very specific meaning, very much related to the way traffic is mapped onto MPLS and like networks. For us, its a bit different. We build ethernet and IP networks that use packet by packet forwarding rules and while individual flows may have a hop by hop crafted path through the network, a very large portion of traffic travels using regular L2 and L3 forwarding tables. We just construct those tables differently than the typical network. Dare I say we engineer the tables to ensure forwarding occurs the way we calculated it to go.

Mike Bushong yesterday talked about equal cost paths and shortest path algorithms. We have discussed our views several times in this and other forums, and it is because we have a fundamental believe that  it can be done better. A Plexxi network consists of switches that are connected together using a variety of optical technologies with a mesh of 10GbE Ethernet connections. These point to point connections between switches for the basis of the L2 and L3 connectivity that exists, on top of which Plexxi Control Engineers the forwarding behavior of the fabric (skipping the part where Control can actually change those point to point connections for now).

So far this still smells like Traffic Engineering. I have a network, I have traffic I need to put on the network. The goal is simple, maximize the available network capacity. Use it as best as you can. All of it. While providing the best possible service for the providers and consumers of the traffic. But the way we do it is just a little different.

Our fabric is engineered based on a set of information sources. The most obvious of those sources is the actual network that is constructed. How our switches are connected together, and what initial L1/L2 topography (mesh of point to point networks) is created as part of our default connectivity. Our second source of information is the set of Affinities defined for the network. What application relationships are explicitly described, what is the requested network behavior for them and most importantly, where can I find these application components on the network. The latter is learned of course, not defined by the operator. The third component is actual traffic utilization on the fabric. What links are in use and how much of it.

These three inputs go into what we call the fitting engine. Heavy duty graph theory that we have blogged about before. The goal: resolve all Affinity constraints on top of the network infrastructure provided, and provide Non Equal Weighted Egress Based Multipath Trees for all non Affinitized traffic to ensure it gets the best service and spreads traffic as best as we can across all available paths between any two points in the fabric. That last one is a mouthful and not really what we call it, but at NFD7 yesterday I used it jokingly as the best descriptive term that articulates all it actually is. Last, a set of backup paths are calculated for link and switch failures. This can number 100s of paths easily. The results of these calculations are passed back to the switches in a multi phase commit fashion, ensuring that all switches will start using the same forwarding directions at the same time. Some of these are used in the switches as explicit flow like rules (similar to perhaps OpenFlow), others are used to populate forwarding tables when new MAC addresses are learned, or ARPs are resolved.

The result is a very carefully constructed description of connectivity from anywhere to anywhere on the fabric, satisfying the needs of Affinities, and balancing the remainder of the traffic across all available bandwidth. And once completed, the next set of traffic statistics that are entered into the overall traffic modeling will provide an even better tuned view of reality. When new Affinities are defined, you can run partial computations to just layer these new requirements on top of the previously calculated topologies.

Traffic Engineering has a very 90’s meaning attached to it. At least for me it does. Maybe this is Traffic Engineering 3.0 for the Datacenter and Data Center Interconnects (see last week’s blog post). Maybe the name does not matter. It’s a very mathematically engineered fabric. Mike said it well at NFD7: we are really a math company, masquerading as a software company, masquerading as a hardware company.

[Today's fun fact: Coconuts kill more people than sharks. Each year 150 people die from falling coconuts. Umbrellas make for safer shade than coconut trees.]

The post Fabric Engineering is more than Traffic Engineering appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Marten Terpstra

Marten Terpstra is a Product Management Director at Plexxi Inc. Marten has extensive knowledge of the architecture, design, deployment and management of enterprise and carrier networks.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dr...
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
After making a doctor’s appointment via your mobile device, you receive a calendar invite. The day of your appointment, you get a reminder with the doctor’s location and contact information. As you enter the doctor’s exam room, the medical team is equipped with the latest tablet containing your medical history – he or she makes real time updates to your medical file. At the end of your visit, you receive an electronic prescription to your preferred pharmacy and can schedule your next appointment.
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microservices, and more.
The list of ‘new paradigm’ technologies that now surrounds us appears to be at an all time high. From cloud computing and Big Data analytics to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT), today we have to deal with what the industry likes to call ‘paradigm shifts’ at every level of IT. This is disruption; of course, we understand that – change is almost always disruptive.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabilities include HD voice, video, multimedia messaging, mobility, conferencing, Web collaboration, deskt...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.