Over the past five or six years we’ve heard plenty of discussion around the slow and steady demise of monolith single-vendor networking and a shift to multi-vendor environments. Due to the rise of disaggregation, whitebox networking, and to an extent even vendor agnostic network automation, we should all be running multivendor networks by now.
Data center failover is an expensive, complex, and sometimes fragile component of a network design. Solving this one problem usually involves almost every other team in the IT department, and it’s inexorably linked with the very day-to-day operation of an organization.
How will a business recover from a data center outage?
How can mission critical applications move seamlessly between data centers?
How will our end-users reach an application in the event of a failover?
These are just a few high level questions that, along with very technical and legal requirements, will guide the actual design of a data center failover plan. The answers will determine bandwidth, routing protocols, storage, virtual environments, security, hardware platforms, and every minutia of design right down to how DNS will be propagated and what OSPF metrics are set to.
As much as I love to call out a vendor on marketing nonsense, Ramesh Prabagaran, Director of Product Management at Cisco, made some compelling marketing statements about SD-WAN at Networking Field Day 19. In particular he said:
No Networking Field Day would be complete without a presentation from an SD-WAN vendor. The technology is now established and maturing into a ubiquitous WAN solution across small and large enterprises alike, so at the upcoming Networking Field Day 15, I’ll be focused on how TELoIP, one of the presenters at the event, differentiates itself from its competitors.
It looks like we’re going to have some SD-WAN goodness next week at Networking Field Day 13. I love the technology itself because of the real-world use case and practical benefits a good SD-WAN solution can offer. Many of the SDN-labeled offerings out there are still a little immature, but adding intelligence to the WAN edge is something that is already being adopted wholeheartedly in even small enterprises.
Amidst discussion of SDN ambiguity at Networking Field Day 11, SD-WAN stood apart as something we understood, and I think that’s because we understood its use case very well.