Heavy Networking from Packet Pushers
Summary: Join the Packet Pushers for weekly (or more!) conversations about data networking. Continuous professional development. Architecture and design, software defined, cloud, routing, switching, security, wireless, campus, enterprise, and more. Technical discussions with vendors about their products, deep dialog with real people who make networks work.
Today’s Weekly Show episode returns to the University of Idaho, where we continue the real-world network design session we started in Weekly Show 418. Guests Brian Jemes, Network Manager; and Mike Rusca, Network Engineer are back. We’ve also invited Jake Snyder, a mobility solutions architect. Today’s episode focuses on the university’s wireless architecture and design. We discuss how wireless has gone from a best-effort, don’t-count-on-it medium to an absolute requirement for faculty, staff, and students. In fact, wireless accounts for approximately 80% of devices on campus. The conversation touches on the role of 5Ghz and small cell sizes, PoE, how the next generation of APs will affect WLAN design and operations, and more. Sponsor: InterOptic InterOptic offers high-performance, high-quality optics at a fraction of the cost. If you’re not doing optics correctly, you’re going to pay for it upfront (and then later too). Don’t be fooled by lesser optics. The difference between generic third-party and brand-equivalent optics matters. Go to InterOptic.com to learn more. Sponsor: Cumulus Networks By building innovative data center products with Linux, Cumulus offers unprecedented interoperability, agility and scale, and makes integrating your open source software with your proprietary software seamless and efficient. To learn more about Cumulus’ open source philosophy and contributions, head to cumulusnetworks.com/openpod.
When you choose among the Big 3 public cloud providers, is network performance all the same? No. Public cloud and multi-cloud buyers need to be aware of network performance characteristics before they start spinning up workloads because the end user impact is measurable. Sponsor ThousandEyes joins us to explain public cloud network performance. We discuss the company’s new multi-cloud monitoring service, and then review the “2018 Public Cloud Performance Benchmark Report” that breaks down the network latency and jitter numbers for AWS, Azure, and GCP. Our ThousandEyes guests are Archana Kesavan, Senior Product Marketing Manager; and Ameet Naik, Senior Technical Marketing Manager. *Please note that at the time we recorded the podcast, Google was the first of the big three public cloud providers to offer a tiered network service that leveraged its own private backbone. After the recording, AWS announced Global Accelerator, an add-on service that uses AWS’s own network to “intelligently route traffic to the endpoint that provides the best application performance.” Show Links: 2018 Public Cloud Performance Benchmark Report – ThousandEyes ThousandEyes on Twitter ThousandEyes Network Intelligence Blog
Network design is a popular listener topic. On today’s Weekly Show, we have two guests from the University of Idaho to talk about their current network design, new ideas and initiatives they’re considering, and a conversation/consultation on how to address their challenges. The University of Idaho has 12,000 students and 3,000 residents across one main campus and 18 small campuses. As many as 30,000 hosts attach to the network. We dive into current network design issues, including around firewalling and microsegmentation, identity management in the wireless network, and a home-grown network management system. Our guests are Brian Jemes, Network Manager; and Mike Rusca, Network Engineer, both at the University of Idaho. Sponsor: ThousandEyes ThousandEyes gives you performance visibility from every user to every app over any network, both internal and external, so you can migrate to the cloud, troubleshoot faster and deliver exceptional user experiences. Sign up for a free account at thousandeyes.com/packetpushers and choose a free ThousandEyes t-shirt. Sponsor: ITProTV Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned IT professional, ITProTV is the only source you’ll need to learn the skills to pass the most in-demand IT certs — from entry level to advanced — with engaging hosts and a talk-show style format. Visit itpro.tv/packetpushers and use code PACKETPUSHERS to try it FREE for 7 days, and receive 30% off your monthly membership for the lifetime of your active subscription.
5G will create new demands on service provider networks. The existing MPLS network infrastructures of service providers won’t be adequate by themselves. In today’s sponsored episode, we discuss exactly what 5G is asking of the network. We also examine how Cisco’s 5G xHaul Transport solution can meet those requirements. Our guests are Simon Spraggs, Distinguished Consulting Engineer; and Dennis Hagarty, Technical Marketing Engineer with Cisco Systems. We cover the technologies that 5G is bringing into service provider networks, including virtualization functions, network slicing, edge computing, and IoT. Our guests explain why existing MPLS cores can’t handle 5G demands, and explain the main requirements for 5G networks. We also look at how Cisco’s Converged xHaul Transport can help service providers address their 5G challenges and requirements. Show Links: Cisco Converged 5G xHaul Transport – Cisco Systems (Whitepaper)
Network engineers have lots of ways to officially measure how quickly they respond to changes or fix problems. There’s also lots of informal ones: How soon can I go back to bed? Can I leave the office in time for dinner with the family? How long will it take to prove to the Dev team that no, it’s not the network? On today’s Weekly Show we talk with our sponsor Cisco about its Network Assurance Engine (NAE), a software product designed to answer those important questions. NAE uses a mathematical concept called formal verification to build a real-time model of the network. The model is derived from the continuous collection of each device’s state and configuration. This provides an accurate and dynamic representation of the network, as opposed to a static diagram or an engineer’s best recollection. NAE uses this model to assess the impact of changes, prevent outages, get deep visibility into network state, and move network operations from a reactive to a proactive stance. Our guests are Navneet Yadav, Sr. Director Product Management, Head of Product – Cisco Network Assurance Engine; and Vishal Soni, Sr. Engineer, Cisco IT DC Network. We discuss how NAE works, the concepts of formal verification and how they’re applied to networking, how NAE improves Day 2 (and beyond) operations, and customer use cases. We also get a real-world perspective from Vishal, who uses NAE in production in Cisco’s own internal IT organization. He’ll offer his perspective on the product, and share concrete details about NAE’s impact on operations including change management, troubleshooting, and incident handling. Show Links: Network Assurance – Cisco Systems Cisco Network Assurance Engine (NAE): Customer testimonial by Cisco IT – Cisco Systems via YouTube Verify, Or Die Trying: Observations on Change Management – Gestalt IT Assure Network Security Policy and Compliance in the Data Center with Cisco Network Assurance Engine – Gestalt IT Change Doesn’t Have To Be a Four Letter Word – Gestalt IT Configuration and Hardware Assurance in the Datacenter with Cisco Network Assurance Engine – Gestalt IT Hands On with Cisco Network Assurance Engine – Gestalt IT Cisco Network Assurance Engine: From Download to Value in 60 Minutes (or less) – Gestalt IT Networking Has Changed, Have You? – Gestalt IT
You have a network. It has anywhere from dozens to thousands of switches, routers, and so on. What happens when you need to make a global change, where every network device has to be touched to bring the network up to snuff? Do you put on a pot of coffee, crack your knuckles, log in to device 1, and start typing? Probably not. You need to automate. Our guest today is Sal Rannazzisi, a director-level network geek at a big pharma company. Sal needed to update around 25,000 devices. He’s got experience with many different automation tools, but settled on Gluware, who is our sponsor for this episode. Also joining us is Mike Haugh, VP of Product Management at Gluware. We talk with Mike to level-set on the state of network automation and get a high-level overview of Gluware’s automation suite, including multi-vendor support. Then we drill down on Sal’s experiences with automation tools and products. Sal describes his network (one of everything from Cisco), reviews the problems he was trying to solve, and then shares how he tested Gluware and brought it into production to provision devices and standardize configurations. Show Links: Gluware Config Modeling with Gluware Global Pharma Real-World Automation – Gluware blog ONUG POC: Automating Networking In AWS – Vimeo Gluware on Twitter Gluware on LinkedIn Gluware on YouTube
Home automation and the proliferation of IoT devices that live inside your house means that home networking matters more and more. When your IoT devices need to talk to the cloud to turn on the lights, the network needs to work. It also brings to mind the question of security–or lack of it. Our guest is Chris Young, no stranger to the Packet Pushers community. He’s Global Product Manager, Networking at HPE, but he’s on the podcast today solely as a home networker. In this episode we probe into Chris’s passion for home automation, and we go deep down the rabbit hole. We talk about Chris’s experience building and running his home automation network, the various wired and wireless protocols he works with (including WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and ZWave), how to reverse-engineer undocumented APIs, and the security implications of home automation and IoT. Sponsor: InterOptic InterOptic offers high-performance, high-quality optics at a fraction of the cost. If you’re not doing optics correctly, you’re going to pay for it upfront (and then later too). Don’t be fooled by lesser optics. The difference between generic third-party and brand-equivalent optics matters. Go to InterOptic.com to learn more. Sponsor: ITProTV Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned IT professional, ITProTV is the only source you’ll need to learn the skills to pass the most in-demand IT certs — from entry level to advanced — with engaging hosts and a talk-show style format. Visit itpro.tv/packetpushers and use code PACKETPUSHERS to try it FREE for 7 days, and receive 30% off your monthly membership for the lifetime of your active subscription. Show Links: Chris Young On YouTube Home Kit Geek.com Home Kit Geek on Twitter Charles HTTP Proxy
Today we’re diving into disaggregation with sponsor Juniper Networks. Much of the current discussion about disaggregation focuses on decoupling software from hardware, but disaggregation can occur across the network stack. We’ll look at the different layers of disaggregation, and the business drivers for this trend, including speeding innovation, enabling operational efficiency through automation, and reducing costs. We discuss Juniper’s own efforts, from making its Junos network OS available on whitebox switches to supporting P4 to directly program ASICs. Disaggregation has operational impacts, and we dig into what it means for networking teams to embrace this trend. We also look at Juniper’s latest initiatives to make training tools and materials easily available for engineers. Last but not least, we talk about how all these disparate components get re-bundled into consumable packages. Our guest is Guru Shenoy, Senior Director of Product Management at Juniper Networks. Show Links: Juniper EngNet – Juniper Networks NRE Labs – Juniper Networks Juniper EngNet and New Automation Offerings: Bringing Automation to the Masses – J-Net Community Junos Product Page – Juniper Networks Use Cases On Network Automation And Analytics – Juniper Networks Network Automation And Services With Guru Shenoy – YouTube Guru Shenoy on Twitter Guru Shenoy on LinkedIn
If you listen to some engineers tell the story, managers are clueless and hopeless, misunderstanding technology and the engineers that make it work. But is that the case? Or are engineers the ones missing what is really going on? Today on the Packet Pushers, we cover what managers want from their teams. Joining us are Michael Bushong, VP, Enterprise & Cloud Marketing at Juniper Networks; and Omar Sultan, CTO, Office of the Service Provider, at Cisco. We talk about what managers look for when hiring, how they handle star players and struggling team members, and how they get individuals to pull together as a team. We also discuss how managers measure team vs. individual success, how they navigate and communicate organizational politics, and what they do to motivate their teams. Sponsor: Cumulus Networks By building innovative data center products with Linux, Cumulus offers unprecedented interoperability, agility and scale, and makes integrating your open source software with your proprietary software seamless and efficient. To learn more about Cumulus’ open source philosophy and contributions, head to cumulusnetworks.com/openpod Sponsor: ITProTV Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned IT professional, ITProTV is the only source you’ll need to learn the skills to pass the most in-demand IT certs — from entry level to advanced. Visit itpro.tv/packetpushers and use code PACKETPUSHERS to try it FREE for 7 days, and receive 30% off your monthly membership for the lifetime of your active subscription. Sponsor: ThousandEyes ThousandEyes gives you performance visibility from every user to every app over any network, both internal and external, so you can migrate to the cloud, troubleshoot faster and deliver exceptional user experiences. Sign up for a free account at thousandeyes.com/packetpushers and choose a free ThousandEyes t-shirt. Show Links: Michael Bushong on Twitter Omar Sultan on Twitter Conway’s Law Four Interview Questions I Have Asked Network Engineering Candidates – Packet Pushers
On today’s Weekly Show we discuss measuring application performance across a network. We’re going to focus on a couple of specific scenarios with our sponsor, ThousandEyes. First is the global domain name system, or DNS. DNS is that first step before one system can contact another, turning a hostname into a numerical address. DNS performance matters, because not much else in an application transaction is getting done until name resolution is completed. ThousandEyes recently completed an extensive report on global DNS performance. We’ll talk about how ThousandEyes gathered data for the report, and examine some of its key findings. The second scenario is endpoint tests, where you can see exactly how an app is performing on the system using the app. We’ll discuss the kinds of tests you can perform, and the insights you can glean to understand performance and speed up troubleshooting. Our guests are Angelique Medina, Senior Product Marketing Manager; and Ameet Naik, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, both from the team at ThousandEyes. Show Links: 2018 Global DNS Performance Benchmark Report – ThousandEyes Angelique Medina’s Blog Angelique Medina on Twitter Ameet Naik on Twitter
Once upon a time, we sat in front of glowing square boxes, and broadcasters delivered signals through a cable sticking out of the wall. We watched what they told us to watch when they said we could watch it. Today, content consumers stream anything they want, as much as they want, whenever and wherever they want. And it’s got to be there instantly and look really good. The demand for streaming content at very high bit rates has forced broadcasters to rethink their infrastructure models, triggering distributed video over IP. This is bringing together broadcast engineers and IT departments that used to be completely separated. On today’s Packet Pushers episode, we discuss how the broadcast media industry leverages IP networks, the initiatives behind the standards and protocols, and why it all matters to data networking professionals. Our guests are François Legrand and Maxime Caron from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Sponsor: ITProTV Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned IT professional, ITProTV is the only source you’ll need to learn the skills to pass the most in-demand IT certs — from entry level to advanced. Visit itpro.tv/packetpushers and use code PACKETPUSHERS to try it FREE for 7 days, and receive 30% off your monthly membership for the lifetime of your active subscription. Sponsor: ThousandEyes ThousandEyes gives you performance visibility from every user to every app over any network, both internal and external, so you can migrate to the cloud, troubleshoot faster and deliver exceptional user experiences. Sign up for a free account at thousandeyes.com/packetpushers and choose a free ThousandEyes t-shirt. Show Links: Video Transport: SDI vs IP—Timing Is Everything – The Broadcast Bridge
Welcome to the Packet Pushers Weekly Show. We’re going back to our roots with a community roundtable discussion. In this format, a group of network engineers chew the fat about what’s on their minds related to IT, projects being worked on, the latest sputterings from vendors, and so on. Put in your very favorite earbuds and join us for a frank chat about what’s up. We’ll opine on handling hurricanes with a lack of carrier diversity, refresh cycles for 100GbE, cheap access to Safari Books Online, the all-wireless office, phone home failures, and more. Our guests are * Jordan Martin * Tom Hollingsworth * Jeremy Filliben * Josh O’Brien * Dana Dawson Sponsor: Cumulus Networks Data center networks need to be faster, more efficient and more agile than ever — and traditional networks just can’t keep up. With disaggregation, a Linux operating system, and automation, Cumulus Networks brings speed, efficiency, agility and cost savings to business of all sizes. Find out how to make the transition to 100G by downloading a free whitepaper at cumulusnetworks.com/100gpod. Packet Pushers Virtual Design Clinic 2 Regiseter now for the Packet Pushers’ second Virtual Design Clinic on October 11. This live, online event includes deep-dive technical presentations and Ask Me Anything sessions with expert panelists. Go to packetpushers.net/vdc to register for free. And get videos from the first VDC when you join our membership site Ignition. Show Links: The Year of 100GbE in Data Center Networks – Data Center Knowledge
For a while there, it seemed like Ethernet fabrics were all we could talk about on Packet Pushers. Then SDN was all the rage, and the arguments about TRILL vs. Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) went mostly silent. Now that SDN is in the “no, but really” part of the hype cycle, we can turn our attention back to cool technologies like Ethernet fabrics and see what’s happening. Our sponsor today is Extreme Networks. They’ve sent us technical heavyweight Paul Unbehagen and a customer, Dan Smith. We’re going to check in on an installation of Extreme’s Fabric Connect with Paul and Dan. We get an update on what’s new with SPB. We also discuss Fabric Connect, an Extreme technology (via its Avaya acquisition) that is based on SPB and implements a fabric that can run across your entire network. Then we drill into Dan’s real-world Fabric Connect deployment in a complex environment (multiple sites and more than a million client devices connected) to learn how it works, how it affects day to day operations, and use cases that have emerged. Paul Unbehagen is Senior Director Product and Strategy at Extreme, and a voting member of the IEEE and co-author of the SPB protocol. Dan Smith is a Technical Engineering Specialist for a large U.S. healthcare organization. Show Links: Smart Guide to Automating Campus Networks – Extreme Networks Defender for IoT – Extreme Networks
More enterprises are moving application to or developing applications in the cloud, whether on premises or in public clouds such as AWS, Azure, and Google. One problem is that each cloud has its own approach to networking, so trying to build a consistent networking strategy across multiple clouds becomes very difficult. Today’s sponsor, Avi Networks, offers a next-generation ADC, load balancer, and Web application firewall, entirely delivered in software, that can run in a multi-cloud environment. The software has two key components: a controller for global configuration and management, and service engines that are deployed in private and public cloud instances. Avi Networks can work across clouds while being managed from a central console. On today’s show we talk about why enterprises are adopting a multi-cloud strategy, and how Avi Networks can help customers ensure application delivery, provide security, and enable automation at scale across multiple cloud environments. Our guest is Steve Allie, Director of Systems Engineering for North America at Avi Networks. Show Links: Avi Networks Multi-Cloud Load Balancing: Separating Fact from Fiction – Avi Networks Blog
Today’s show is just Ethan, Greg and Drew having a chat. We spend a little time discussing some behind-the-scenes Website activities, including migrating to a new hosting platform, making the transition to SSL, and rolling out Ignition. We also preview some upcoming content on Ignition, and welcome the IPv6 Buzz podcast to its official channel. The Packet Pushers crew went onsite at VMworld so we share what we were up to, including experimenting with video and attending VMware’s Future:Net sessions. We also riff on service meshes as the next holy grail in IT. Last but not least, we talk about our struggles to stay physically and mentally healthy.