When planning for an SD-WAN, I like to start with these ten questions to determine my high-level design and initial implementation strategy. This is just scratching the surface, but it helps me get moving with an actual design and migration strategy.Continue reading “Top 10 Questions to Ask When Planning a New SD-WAN”
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about intent based networking – trying to define it – identifying its core tenets. Without a library of IETF drafts to go by, I listened to vendors explain their platforms, I read their whitepapers, I explored their solutions trying to figure out the commonalities among them and pinpoint exactly what they were all really trying to do.
I believe I came to a pretty good conclusion. IBN is a closed loop system of analytics, orchestration, and continuous validation. And in that process micro-configuration is abstracted from the network operator and replaced with higher level macro-configurations otherwise known as “intent.”
Using that definition, is Cisco Software Defined Access intent based networking?
I got very interested in intent based networking a few years ago when the term was relatively unknown. However, in the last year or so the term has been adopted by a variety of networking vendors and applied to technologies that I believe have very little to do with intent based networking.
The term has become part of the current marketing narrative leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of many engineers and technical individuals. However, I believe it’s very important to consider that intent based networking is not simply the use of a new buzzword by networking vendors. IBN stands on its own as a new networking paradigm, despite it being hijacked by marketing teams.
Whitebox switches make use of generic and generally inexpensive hardware along with a network operating system that can be purchased and installed separately. Often the hardware and software come from different vendors, and there are several reasons this practice is becoming more common especially in the data center. What I’m interested in lately is how this is relevant to the non-webscale enterprise.
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.
Apstra, Incorporated isn’t focused on new features, more advanced silicon, or some new widget. Instead, they’re offering a different way to look at networking. Apstra offers an early form of intent-driven networking that abstracts network programmability and allows network engineers to configure intent rather than device features. We expect the network to behave in a specific way, so we configure our intent accordingly. I was very excited to meet the Apstra team at Networking Field Day 13, and they didn’t disappoint.
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.
In a couple weeks I’ll be headed to sunny San Jose for Networking Field Day 13. If you’re not familiar with Networking Field Day and other Field Day events, check out their website, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and LinkedIn page. Tech Field Day does a great job bringing technology influencers, bloggers, and craft beer enthusiasts together with some of the biggest and newest names in the tech industry.
I’m particularly interested in Apstra’s presentation on Thursday afternoon. I recently wrote an article about intent-driven networking, something of particular interest to me, so I’m really interested to hear what they have to say about their platform, the Apstra Operating System, or AOS.
Why aren’t our wired LANs more like WLANs? Wireless vendors have already been doing for years what switch manufacturers are only starting to get into in the last couple years. A rough comparison of a few attributes of typical wired and wireless networks shows striking differences in how we manage our LANs and WLANs.
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.