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Don't write off BGP in data center fabrics

In recent blog posts from around the Web, experts discuss BGP as a routing protocol in data centers, whether software will really 'eat hardware' and the role of SDN in IoT.

BGP in data center fabrics

In a recent post on his blog, ipSpace, network engineer Ivan Pepelnjak urged enterprise networking pros to consider using the Border Gateway Protocol as the routing protocol in data center fabrics.

Pepelnjak wrote that while large data centers increasingly use BGP, many enterprise engineers falsely believe that it is too challenging for smaller-scale use, or that it is obsolete. Some of his key points include:

  • BGP isn't going anywhere.
  • In data center environments, engineers don't need to adjust BGP routing policies, thus minimizing complexity.
  • network automation reduces the challenges of long BGP configurations. Additionally, Pepelnjak wrote, vendors such as Cumulus Networks have simplified BGP configurations for use in data center fabrics.

Read the whole post to learn more about using BGP in enterprise data center fabrics.

Rise of the machines

Blogger Greg Ferro wrote that we are moving toward a new era in which machine-to-machine interactions drive network activity, citing Cisco's recent acquisition of a cloud-based IoT platform vendor as evidence of the impending shift.

Human-to-machine interactions currently dominate, with people prompting connections between clients and servers to load webpages, access apps and send emails. Ferro said he believes, however, that the Internet of Things will soon generate a preponderance of network traffic free of human engagement.

SDN will play a key role in supporting this new paradigm, he wrote, by automating and orchestrating these machine-to-machine interactions. Software-defined infrastructure that enables IoT will thus prove critical.

Will software eat hardware?

In a guest post on the NetCraftsmen blog, network architect Russ White asked whether software will render hardware irrelevant. He concluded that, while hardware's role in the network continues to evolve, it will never completely disappear.

White argued that generic processors will simply never work as well, across the board, as their specialized counterparts. He predicted that particular tasks -- such as graphics processing and packet switching -- will always call for custom hardware.

While White said he believes that network engineers will likely always use some specialized hardware, he added that the abstraction of software will continue -- allowing for more user choice.

Read the full post here.

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