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SDN blogs: SDN troubleshooting; APIs and network programmability

This week, SDN bloggers take a look at how SDN troubleshooting, issues with APIs and network programmability, VXLAN and OTV, and network code upgrades.

Do we have tools for SDN troubleshooting?

Network engineer Terry Slattery reviewed SDN troubleshooting and necessary tools on the No Jitter website. Several tools already exist for troubleshooting, such as Ping and Traceroute, but Slattery wonders how they will work when flows are determined by a central controller.

Slattery takes a look at how Ping and Traceroute work in detail, including what must happen when SDN becomes involved. He also includes a section on the new tools that will need to emerge as SDN takes hold, such as a bi-directional path viewing tool.

Check out Slattery's post in its entirety to learn more about troubleshooting SDN.

API issues and network programmability

Network programmability is becoming front and center, but the foundation of it all -- i.e. APIs -- could cause some issues, writes The Networking Nerd's Tom Hollingsworth. APIs are everywhere -- Hollingsworth cites writing for POSIX, JSON, or even the Microsoft Windows API as examples. And he notes that writing and documenting functions for APIs is hard work.

Not to mention, APIs are constantly changing, Hollingsworth continued. He looks at Twitter's update from version 1.0 to version 1.1 as an example of procedural API changes. In terms of network programmability, these issues relate to network flexibility and automation. Software can often outpace the rest of the technology, and Hollingsworth wonders what will happen when network API development hits this same pace. At the end of the day, although APIs are necessary, Hollingsworth believes we need a guarantee from vendors that APIs will be around long enough to ensure apps developed on their network equipment works properly.

Review all of Hollingsworth's post to learn more about network programmability and issues with APIs.

VXLAN versus OTV

On his ipSpace blog, author Ivan Pepelnjak answers a reader question regarding VXLAN and Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) -- specifically, why VXLAN is a better option than OTV. Pepelnjak starts by explaining the failure domains. He then compares the bridging domains in three scenarios: VXLAN VTEP on the hypervisor, VXLAN VTEP on the first ToR switch, and VXLAN VTEP or OTV on the WAN edge router. He explains the benefits of VXLAN, and then breaks down issues with OTV, point by point.

Read more about VXLAN and the issues with OTV in Pepelnjak's full post.

The ugly truth about network code upgrades

Gartner Inc. Research Director Andrew Lerner compared network code upgrades to going to the dentist on the company's blog site. While some vendors claim the process to upgrade code is fairly easy, in reality, it tends to be cumbersome and somewhat painful, Lerner writes. He details six points comparing code upgrades to a routine dental visit and includes issues like having to schedule it weeks in advance, unnecessary delays in time, and follow-up appointments and added money to fix further issues.

Take a look at Lerner's post in its entirety, comparing code upgrades to dentist visits.

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