Saturday, December 21, 2013

Enhancing VM Mobility with VxLAN, OVSDB and EVPN

Organizations are increasingly using virtual machine mobility to optimize server resources, ensure application performance and to aid in disaster avoidance. Typically VM live migration has relied on increasing the scale of the L2 broadcast domain to ensure that the VMs can be reached after migrations using their current addressing. This has resulted in the increasing use of VLANs and the need for L2 extension over the WAN.  As a result organizations are looking for ways overcome the limitations with VLAN scale and for methods to extend the L2 domain over the WAN that ensure the best performance. VxLAN has emerged as an alternative technology to VLANs, and EVPN has emerged at a better way to transport VMs over the WAN. Together these technologies can enable VM live migration over the WAN, or long distance vMotion in VMware parlance, but they need to all work together effectively and this is where OSVDB, VxLAN routing and a new technology from Juniper called ORE come in to play.

VxLAN Increases VLAN Scale
Organizations are increasingly looking to VxLAN as a solution. The primary goals behind this network architecture is to increase traditional VLAN limits from 4,094 and to enable VM mobility across Layer 3 subnets. VxLAN is a tunneling technology and is used to create an overlay network so that virtual machines can communicate with each other and to enable the migration of VMs both within a data center and between data centers. VxLAN enables multi-tenant networks at scale, as a component of these logical, software-based networks that can be created on-demand. VxLAN enables enterprises to leverage capacity wherever it’s available by supporting VM live migration. VxLAN implements a Layer 2 network isolation technology using MAC in IP encapsulation that uses a 24-bit segment identifier to scale beyond the 4K limitations of VLANs.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Optimizing EVPN for Virtual Machine Mobility over the WAN

Organizations need to insure that their applications are available and performing. Server virtualization helps by enabling virtual machine mobility.  If a server is overworked or will be unavailable vMotion can be used to migrate live workloads to another server in the current data center or in another data center. This requires that the addressing including the MAC, IP address and VLAN ID remain the same so that sessions are not dropped when the VM move happens. This is done by extending the L2 domain to the new location, know as Layer 2 stretch. Within a subnet this is easy to do. Across subnets in the data center it becomes more difficult. Doing live migration over the WAN introduces considerable challenges. Juniper has introduced a number of technologies to make virtual machine live migration possible.

The challenge with VM mobility is how to do the Layer 2 stretch in a way that ensures that the VM can be reached after it is moved. There are a number of issues that need to be dealt with. The MAC and IP address no longer pinned to a site or to an interface as they have moved with the VM. You need fast convergence of network paths as VM moves so that traffic will reach it quickly. You need ingress and egress traffic convergence and optimization to avoid having traffic go through the former default gateway after the VM has moved. You need learning of the effects of the live motion event and information distribution control so that the network isn’t impacted by signaling traffic. You need proper L2 & L3 interaction so that everything happens in a timely manner to ensure the best experience for the users of the applications that are affected by the VM move. VPLS has been the traditional methods of doing this, and now Juniper is supporting EVPN to provide enhancements to the solution.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Connecting Islands of Resources in an SDN Data Center

Application Agility is Critical
Organizations are rolling out new applications that they use to drive the business. These applications are virtualized. They are increasingly distributed, dynamic and they can span locations. They connect employees, customers and the supply chain. They make employees more productive, help customers to engage with the business and facilitate better inventory management. They also provide timely business intelligence.  This means revenue to the organization. Time to deploy is critical. Organizations need to be agile when it comes to deploying new applications.

The problem is that the network is an obstacle. Due to the complexity of configuring the network speed of deployment is an issue. There are so many things that need to be configured. You need to configure route mapping, port mapping, VLAN mapping, QOS, NAT, ACLs and the list goes on.  The networking side hasn’t changed since it was invented decades ago. It takes weeks to configure the network connections that are needed when you deploy an application.

Organizations have been using server virtualization for years to overcome the limitations of physical server virtualization. When you have to deploy a physical server it could take weeks from the time you first knew you needed it until it was up and running. Now provisioning virtual servers only takes minutes. With virtualized servers we realized agility and resilience and improved physical server utilization. We need the same type of benefits for the network. You can’t let the network get in the way when you need to move fast and gain the advantages of new applications. Organizations are looking for ways to provision the network work quickly.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Choosing the Right for Switch is Critical to your Transformation Project

If your organization is going through a data center transformation project you are probably looking at your options for switching infrastructure. As you design your network to support the move to virtualized compute infrastructure and the roll out of new application deployments the choice of switching infrastructure becomes a critical decision. One of the most versatile switching platforms on the market is Juniper’s QFX Series 10GbE/40GbE devices.  I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many of our customers about the projects that they are using the QFX switches for and why they chose it over the other options in the market. I’d like to share these examples with you.

Many organizations are undergoing data center transformation projects such as moving to a virtualized data center, deploying large scale Enterprise applications, converging data and SAN networks, and undertaking big data analytics projects. They are looking for a versatile switching platform that they can deploy in any of these scenarios. The QFX switches are high-performance, low-latency, 1RU edge devices that are installed at the top-of-rack in the data center. They include rich Layer 2 and Layer 3 support and standards-based bridging, routing and FCoE capabilities. They can be deployed as standalone switches and then as the deployments increase in scale they can be converted to a QFabric node through a simple software upgrade. This makes them ideal for these types of projects.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Simplifying the Network is the Key to Improving Application Performance

In order ensure application performance and increase productivity across the organization while trying to keep budgets under control Enterprise organizations have been increasingly evaluating and implementing a series of new technologies for the past few years. These technologies hold out the promise of increasing the agility of new application rollouts that deliver game changing services, and meeting the needs of the organization to understand the business and make timely and well informed decisions as well as meeting the changing needs of the organization as they adapt to moves, consolidations and mergers.

The first one of these technologies is server virtualization which is now reaching the middle of the bell curve of the adoption cycle with more than half of organizations at the pervasive or fully virtualized stage according to IDG. The next is cloud computing where investments are up over last year, and the year before, with private cloud now as the preferred model over public cloud. Lowering TCO is a top selling point for both private & public cloud. Cloud solves challenges around business continuity and disaster recovery by providing resources on demand, often in a pay as you go model. It also becomes more popular as organizations begin to see it as an alternative to large capital expenditures for infrastructure.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Computer Networking Delivers Performace to Formula One Racing

Throughout Europe and the rest of the world the most recognizable name in motor racing is the Formula 1 Grand Prix. If you follow Formula 1 racing then you know that last weekend the teams came back from their summer break. Now they are at a turning point in their strategy. It’s time for the teams to decide where to focus their development efforts. Should they focus on winning points this year, or on designing a car that will win next year? With the rewriting of the rules for car design for 2014 this decision is especially difficult. You may be wondering what this means for Juniper and for networking. The answer is quite a lot. Juniper provides networking equipment to the Lotus F1 Team and their driver Kimi Raikkonen was 2nd in the driver’s championship running until last Sunday’s race in Belgium. Data analysis and computer aided design are keys to determining a winning strategy and to building a winning car.

Winning Requires Constant Improvement
Unfortunately in last Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, a brake failure due to overheating forced Raikkonen out of a race for the first time in 39 Grands Prix and he dropped to 4th place in the standings. Another retirement will likely end his chances for a driver's championship this year. The team needs to analyze the data and discover ways to avoid any kind of failure for the rest of the season and they need to keep the car competitive with eight races to go. These F1 race cars are not static in design. The teams develop the car all though out the season. The pace of innovation can be daunting. The car can be up to 5% different each race according to the rules. Development is a tricky matter of resource allocation that is similar to high tech product development where a product’s life cycle could be shorter than its development cycle.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dealing with Change in the Data Center - Getting to Network as a Service

We are continuing on a long transition from the physical data center to the virtual data center. Resources that were wholly physical are being virtualized. Resources that were static are now dynamic. This trend started with server virtualization and has expanded to network virtualization. With the move to virtualization you have made progress in gaining better utilization your physical resources. You are using fewer physical servers but they are larger and denser. There are more virtual machines and more network ports to connect them. This has created an exponential growth in the number of interactions that you must make on the network to get everything connected and communicating. The challenge is in the time it takes to get work done. Let’s look at some tools that Juniper provides to make your life easier.

Zero Touch Provisioning
Your first step is to get the equipment up and running. Juniper provides a zero touch provisioning tool that lets you do this using standard configurations for the switches and a DHCP server to assign an IP address and things like that. It’s used by the networking team. It handles routine tasks that are typically done once. With ZTP highly repetitive routing tasks that took hours can be reduced to minutes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Leveraging Data Center Interconnect For Business Continuity

It’s Time to Reengineer the Wide Area Network
Similar to the data center, organizations are growing increasingly reliant on the wide area network that connects data centers to help them run their businesses.  While the WAN is key to data backup plans for maintaining business continuity, many WAN links aren’t up to the task. Standards-based data center interconnect technology could help you keep operating in the face of a disaster, but some reengineering of the WAN might be in order if the plan is going to work.

Business continuity planning is not always a top priority, since many view it as insurance and not a business driver.  However, you might be able to combine efforts to help you achieve your goals. For instance, transitioning to a private cloud may require WAN links to be reengineered to provide bandwidth on demand so that virtualized workloads can move between data centers based on user demand and resource utilization. This has the added benefit of supporting the varying bandwidth requirements for backing up data between data centers.

Business Continuity and DCI Strategies
When you use DCI to replicate data between geographically distributed locations you will want to configure your LAN connections so that application and storage traffic can flow between data centers as needed to so that you can maximize application availability and provide data redundancy in the case of an outage. Here are some things to think about.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Making the Transition to Converged Storage and Data Networks

Storage and data network convergence holds the promise to transform the data center and make it a more cost effective operation for the Enterprise. There is the potential for considerable savings as a result of reducing the number of network interface cards per server, reducing cabling, and lowering the power and cooling draw, as well as having one less physical network to manage. The change is made possible by the capability to transport Fiber Channel frames over 10 GB Ethernet using Fiber Channel over Ethernet technology. Making the transition isn’t an easy task though. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations and how the transition can be made more easily.

The value of converging networks using FCoE is compelling and many organizations are considering making the move to FCoE but the question is how to do it without disrupting operations. For organizations that are building new data centers and consolidating older ones the answer is easy. They can just build an FCoE capable network in the new data center and migrate their applications and storage over to the new infrastructure. The more difficult situation is what to do if you need to convert an existing production network and cut over to FCoE live? This is where it gets interesting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Practical Look at SDN Software and Hardware Considerations

The Opportunity for SDN
Software Defined Networking represents the biggest change to the network in many years. What makes SDN interesting is the transformation that it can enable. Businesses are looking for more control over their applications on the network. SDN promises to deliver agility and simplification in the network to support applications. With SDN, the network becomes more efficient and agile, and an enabler for delivering on business goals for application performance. As a buyer, it’s understandably difficult to separate the hype from the reality. I’d like to suggest a few points to consider as you map out your SDN strategy.

Implications for the Network
Network operators still need to design, provision, manage, operate and troubleshoot their network. While SDN offers greater simplicity, operators have to continue current network management functions and, at the same time, become educated on  SDN developments. With SDN, new protocols and technologies will emerge. The investments you make in your network infrastructure today need to be flexible enough to see you through the next several years. There will be a hybrid model in the network. This means a mix of overlay technology and physical networks – and the demarcation points will depend on use cases for those overlays and the ability for the physical network to support these overlays. Network operators will have to understand the relationship between the two and be able to design networks appropriately with the right on-ramps and off-ramps. As the management of network shifts away from CLI and more towards orchestration platforms, the network interfaces and integration points (APIs) need to be clearly defined and deliver automation and agility.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Meet Juniper at Interop, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, May 7 – 9

Juniper will be at Interop Las Vegas from May 7 to May 9 at booth 1751. We have a lot going on and hope that you will come by to see our new products and meet our team. We will be featuring 8 demo areas in the booth that will include a look at the new EX9200 programmable core switch and the JunosV Contrail overlay network technology. There will be a presentation theater that will feature 4 presentations on topics including SDN and the virtual data center. We will also have meeting rooms so that you can discuss your network requirements with our executives and technology specialists.

Booth Hours
Our booth 1751 will be open during the Expo hall hours
Tuesday, May 7    4:30pm – 7pm
Wednesday, May 8 10:30am – 6pm
Thursday, May 9 10:30am – 6pm

What Does It Take To Be The Juniper Lab Madness Champion?

Lab Madness, a competition for the best lab setup, took off on our social channels a few weeks ago, bringing together fantastic selection network setups that the community could vote on. See this blog for details, Juniper Lab Madness. I checked-in with this year’s Lab Champion, Ezekiel Castro, whose setup, The Playground, took the title win. At twenty years old, Ezekiel is working to pioneer the adoption of Juniper Networks’ equipment in the Philippines. Find out what he has to say about why he participated and why he like to work with Juniper equipment in this interview.

Did you enjoy your championship experience, and what was your motivation to join?
Yes of course, it is a great privilege on my part that my entry was chosen to be the first Champion in your Annual Juniper Lab Madness Competition. I remember when I received an invite from you. I just talked to my boss and he encouraged me to join. However, when I submitted my entry, I guess it was the last day of submission, I submitted   my personal picture with our lab because I did not have more time to take another picture.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Making the Move to Juniper and Junos – Why it is Worth the Effort.

Is it hard to move to Juniper and Junos and is it worth the effort? It’s a question that we hear often. Many people have been trained on one vendors equipment and OS and used it for years. Then the time comes to upgrade those old switches or routers or maybe add to the WLAN or security infrastructure. It’s the opportunity to try something new. Maybe you’ve been thinking of making the move to Juniper, but you've been wondering how hard it is and if it is worth the effort. I’ve gathered comments and observations that I’d like to share

Why take a multi-vendor approach?
There are many reasons to look at a multi-vendor network. There might be some features that you need to support your applications. You might want to select the devices that give what you really want, instead of buying from the incumbent just because they are familiar. One of the biggest advantages can be to keep your network standards based and rely on proprietary protocols. This might save you down the road.

Introducing Juniper's Enterprise Data Center Solution

The data center infrastructure is evolving. Application architectures have become more distributed; compute has gone from dedicated hosts to hypervisors, and storage has become converged and shared.  The challenge facing organizations is that they need to evolve the network to better serve the business. The network must become simpler and flatter, more automated, more open and integrated with the rest of the environment. A simple and flat network delivers the performance, and management and orchestration integration help the businesses to stay agile. Let’s take a look at how we make this happen.

Challenges in the Data Center Today
The two major challenges in today’s virtualized data center networks are connectivity and operations. Organizations are looking to achieve greater business agility to respond and adapt quickly to business needs. For enterprises that view IT as a strategic business asset, this is characterized by:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Automate Network Configuration with Puppet for Junos OS

With the exponential growth in the numbers of servers in Enterprise Data Center and the corresponding complexity and confusion that can follow the need for management automation of server resources is well understood by the IT staff. However for every server there are one or more network connections that need to be configured and managed and until recently this was still a manual process.  Juniper Networks has addressed this challenge with the release of Puppet for Junos OS.

Why Resource Automation is Needed
Driven to reduce costs while providing high levels of computing power, enterprises are adopting cloud-based computing models based on large numbers of low-cost processors and virtual machines. This is fueling an exponential increase in the volume and complexity of server and network management. Meanwhile, understaffed IT organizations are tasked with supporting the business, as the organizations they serve are under pressure to move with agility in a competitive business environment.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Build your Network with the Vertical Campus Implementation Guide

Designing a large campus network can be a daunting task. It is certainly a complex undertaking. It can be especially difficult if you have to configure equipment that you haven’t worked with before. You might find yourself wishing that someone would write a how to guide. At Juniper Network we hear you and that’s why we’ve published another one of our Implementation guides. This one is for the Vertical Campus. It will show you the way to set up Juniper LAN, WLAN, and security devices and help you get up and running in a shorter time, with a tested and proven design.

The Vertical Campus Implementation Guide
The Juniper Networks® Vertical Campus Implementation Guide provides a simple, tested, step-by-step process for rapidly deploying a large campus solution. The design incorporates the most commonly used enterprise network technologies to provide a simple and scalable network architecture that includes LAN, WLAN, and security components. The guide presents a specific configuration of Juniper Networks hardware and software platforms that have been tested and provide a reliable foundation on which to base a customized network for your business.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Inter Data Center Workload Mobility with VMware

Server virtualization has increasing become implemented in the data center because it enables higher utilization of physical servers increasing their value to the organization. By abstracting the server operating system from the server hardware, virtualization allows physical resources to be shared among many virtual machines. The capabilities of cloning, suspending, and migrating live VMs among a cluster of physical hosts enhances resiliency and performance of applications. Advancements in networking technology allow servers within a single cluster to be located across the entire data center, or in another data center some distance away, further enhancing application availability, but making this technology work isn’t simple.

The Case for Live Migration
There are may use cases put forward for live workload migration and they are covered in the document, and were also covered in my previous blog “Making the Case for Long Distance Virtual Machine Mobility.” These use cases include optimizing server resource utilization, optimizing resource consumption at various locations, hybrid cloud where overflow workloads move to another data center, and disaster avoidance were workloads are moved to saftey, as well as a follow the sun model where workloads move according to the time zone of users. Some scenarios for data center migration for live workloads can be accomplished without implementing complicated first-hop-responder and route-optimization techniques. Other scenarios are possible however, they require implementing protocols that share state and fate, thereby increasing the complexity and reducing the reliability of the connected data centers. As a result of these considerations the network is a critical factor.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Integrating SRX Security Services with QFabric in the Data Center

The data center is a concentrated deployment environment for networking equipment, consisting of thousands of servers that are accessed by tens of thousands of client systems. The need for large-scale access creates a complex set of data flows to business applications that must be protected. Determining firewall deployment configurations and sizing in a data center is a considerable effort and firewall performance is critical to handle the volume of connections per second, and sustained connections. To address these challenges, Juniper Networks created a new class of security products, the SRX Series Services Gateways, to provide the ability to scale in the data center.

Implementation Guide for the SRX in the Data Center
To help customers deploy the SRX Juniper has created an implementation guide that provides various design considerations and implementation guidelines to deploy firewall services in a Juniper QFabric switch-based data center. The guide is intended for architects, network engineers and operators, and those who require technical knowledge regarding integrating the SRX Series with QFabric technology. The guide reviews the technical concepts of the SRX Series Services Gateways related to design and implementation of firewall services. Deployment scenarios are based on a single logical switch design using the Qfabric.