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SDN blogs: Open vSwitch, RedHat Fedora; a Big Switch, Microsoft deal?

SDN bloggers discuss how a Microsoft-Big Switch SDN partnership would work and how to install Open vSwitch v2 on RedHat Fedora 19.

How a Big Switch-Microsoft partnership could benefit SDN

It's time for Microsoft to get in the SDN game, and one company that could make a viable partner is Big Switch, wrote The Networking Nerd's Tom Hollingsworth.

Microsoft has been noticeably absent from all the SDN discussion, mostly due to its history of problematic networking. However, Hollingsworth argued Microsoft could be a major player in the SDN space with the acquisition of Big Switch. Big Switch could be a good fit considering its shift away from overlays and onto software in bare metal, which allows it to compete directly with VMWare's overlay approach. Microsoft could also benefit from Big Switch's SDN applications.  

Read more about how Microsoft and Big Switch could benefit mutually from an SDN partnership.

Network optimization and elephants

On the Network Heresey blog, Martin Casado and Justin Pettit came together to address network optimization using large -- or "elephant" -- flows, and the issues that accompany this strategy. Casado and Pettit wrote why elephant flows are important to be considered, what can be done with them in the network, and how to detect these flows and signal their presence. They also include thoughts on why elephant flows are key to traffic optimization.

There are a number of approaches to handling elephant flows in the physical fabric, such as using separate queues for elephant flows versus mice (smaller) flows, and using a dedicated network -- like an optical fast path -- for elephant flows. The authors also described how elephant detection can be done relatively easily in the vSwitch, and they illustrated how to handle elephant flows using industry-standard hardware.

Check out Casado and Pettit's full post on using elephant flows for network optimization.

A guide to Open vSwitch v2 on RedHat Fedora 19

Brent Salisbury broke down how to install Open vSwitch v2 on RedHat Fedora 19 on his Network Static blog. He wrote that new Open vSwitch (OVS) tables include some "neat concepts," and that OVS is looked at as the SDN reference data plane implementation in the early SDN space. This is key, since it reduces research and development risk and cost, Salisbury wrote. Now, Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol is looking like the reference SDN management protocol, while Fedora remains a favorite Linux platform for many.

View Salisbury's full break down of installing Open vSwitch v2 on RedHat Fedora 19.

Does Cisco ACI promote independent network operating system models?

Greg Ferro sought to answer this question on his Ethereal Mind blog, where he wrote that Cisco's Nexus 9000 supports two versions of operating systems on a device. To Ferro, it's obvious Cisco has embraced the business model of an independent network operating system and that the company is promoting the decoupling of software from hardware.

Cisco's move is a show of support for the new network operating system model and programmable networks in general, yet it could also be a threat to smaller SDN companies. If the 9k is aggressively priced, small competitors may find difficulty competing.

Check out Ferro's full post on how Cisco ACI supports independent network operating system models.

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