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How challenging is containerized networking for IT departments?

This week, networking industry analysts and engineers examine containerized networking, Brocade's new router and the cost of modern networking.

Is containerized networking hard? That's the question Keith Townsend posed on his blog, The CTO Advisor. Townsend...

examined two different pitches about containerized networking at Future:NET -- one from Google and the other from Docker.

Operating containerized networks at scale requires good ecosystems, often focused on application development and workload orchestration. For its part, Townsend said Google is having difficulty shifting old paradigms to containers. The search engine has found practical challenges with assigning IP addresses, dealing with large amounts of telemetry data and managing thousands of containers.

Docker's method for containerized networking involves a plug-in approach, using technology from its SocketPlane subsidiary, coupled with Linux vSwitch for mapping. In Townsend's view, Docker is a company focused more on developers than infrastructure.

Read more of Townsend's thoughts on containerized networking.

Brocade launches new router

Drew Conry-Murray, blogging in Packet Pushers, offered his take on Brocade Communications Systems Inc.'s new data center router, which supports both visibility and monitoring applications. The new SLX 9850 data center router, available later this year, features 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet port options, and it is based on Brocade's Jericho chipset. The router includes a virtualized operating system, modular design and a new feature, dubbed SLX Insight Architecture, which lets engineers capture device state and perform some basic traffic analysis.

The router incudes x86 CPUs with virtual machines to run system-level software. VMs are also used to control forwarding operations from individual interface modules. The SLX 9850 is engineered with up to 230 Tbps nonblocking chassis fabric, as well as support for IPv4, IPv6 and MPLS. In addition, the router provides NETCONF and REST support, and it can manage up to  4 million routes and 2 million policies. Conry-Murray said the router will sell for about $4,000 per 100 GbE port.

Explore more of Conry-Murray's thoughts on the Brocade router.

Has the cost of networking changed?

Ivan Pepelnjak at IPSpace took issue with SDN supporters who believe the cost of networking remains high, despite declining prices for server and storage architectures.

In fact, he wrote, "Networking (like any other IT hardware technology) is getting ridiculously cheaper over time. You can get dirt-cheap 1 Gbps switches today (16-port switches costs less than $100 on Amazon). Compare that to what we were paying for them a decade ago."

The caveat is inexpensive networking might cost in other ways.

Dive deeper into Pepelnjak's thoughts on network costs.

Next Steps

Looking into Brocade routers

How does container networking relate to SDN?

Does SDN mean more cost-effective networks?

Dig Deeper on Network virtualization technology