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SDN blogs: SDN networking; Cisco ACI fabric forwarding

This week, SDN bloggers reviewed SDN networking with Optical and Amazon, the issues with networking versus the rest of IT, and Cisco ACI fabric forwarding.

On his Ethereal Mind site, blogger Greg Ferro broke down the four different types of SDN networking he's been reviewing the past few weeks -- optical networking, SDN, Amazon VPC and Microsoft Azure networking, and portals and orchestration.

Recently, optical networking vendors have begun looking to SDN platforms that can configure and manage optical systems. This is making them both easier to use and more cost effective, making for a change in data center interconnect, he writes. Cisco ACI and HP VAN continue to be major players in the SDN space, while Amazon and Microsoft continue to develop concepts that are entirely different from traditional networking. Lastly, Ferro writes that with portals and orchestration, it’s all about software which will play a major role in building the cloud.

Check out Ferro's post in its entirety to read more about the four different types of SDN networking.

The issues with networking and the rest of IT

On his ipSpace blog, author Ivan Pepelnjak reacted to a Packet Pushers discussion in which one listener mentioned that networking is broken because all devices implement the same functionality but in different ways and using different CLI or API syntax. Pepelnjak writes that the rest of the IT world is the same, and that the main issue with networking is that pros are too quick to reinvent the wheel to solve their problems.

Pepelnjak points to databases to and their use of abstractions to get things done. He brings this back to networking, writing that networking pros are too quick to look to startups to sell them a solution rather than solve the problem on their own. He adds that no one would do away with all database products, simply because they’re deemed "broken," and networking should take a lesson from that.

Read Pepelnjak’s full post, looking at the issues with networking and what pros can learn from the rest of the IT community.

Cisco ACI fabric forwarding: What you need to know

Ethan Banks reviews Cisco ACI fabric forwarding on his personal blog site. Banks calls traffic forwarding one of the most interesting elements in SDN architectures, and he writes that Cisco's approach is unique since it doesn't rely on a controller or engineers to configure it. Instead, the fabric is self-configuring and is a cloud of leaf and spine switches.

Banks goes into detail with the topology of ACI and the initial setup process for the ACI fabric. He reviews packet flows and how they work with it, as well as including a brief section on spine forwarding. Banks answers a series of questions users may have regarding ACI, including what happens during multicast forwarding. He ends his post by writing that the APIC is the "real magic" and that ACI is strategically attempting to "get the network out of the way."

Check out more about Cisco ACI and how it forwards traffic in Banks' full post.

Route adding and Cisco onePK

Jason Edelman looks at the good, the bad and the practical in Cisco OnePK on his personal blog site. OnePK tends to be difficult to understand and isn't suited for engineers looking to learn the program from the ground up, he writes. It also isn’t intended to be a configuration API, he writes. Edelman illustrated the complexity of onePK through screenshots showing how to add a route using it.

Its benefits, though, include router support for onePK on all Cisco DevNet virtual machines. Keeping this in mind, Edelman illustrated how he would add a route, and he argues why it’d be important to have more consumable libraries available to increase the rate of adoption and learning.

Read more of Edelman's post to learn about onePK and application routes.

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