VMUnderground Opening Acts: Networking


This was a panel discussion hosted by vBrownBag and VMUnderground.

Panelists: Chris Wahl, Scott Lowe, and several others that I didn’t catch. Sorry! These are real-time notes so forgive any typos.

1. SDN was defined because networks are too complex and slow to change.

2. The networking industry is long overdue for a change. Customers are under pressure to be more fluid. The hypervisor can become a natural place for SDN to live.

3. How does SDN change your life or is it important? Networks are inherently frail, and there’s a big human element. SDN will help automate network changes. “This VM needs to talk to that VM, through this firewall.” SDN can take care of the implementation details, and it has checks and balances.

4. The new SDN will enable policy among different devices to be shared, and unify management. Cumulus white box delivery model was mentioned.

5. SDN will be a long term process.

6. What is SDN? Separating the control plane from the data plane. Orchestration now becomes much easier. An API is really another CLI.

7. Step back, look at the problem you are trying to solve, then find the best set of tools. SDN is one tool to solve business problems.

8. How do admin roles change with SDN? The lines continue to blur between server, network and virtualization admins. We have to move past technology. SDN can enable businesses to differentiate their services.

9. The end goal is to enable what you want to do with the network. The specs are changing all of the time. Many business processes are not adapted for SDN.

10.  You will always need “ditch diggers” to rack hardware and plug in cables. The mid-tier network admins are going away. You need to expand your skillset to SDN.

11. The MCSE moved up the stack to be a virtualization administrator. The network admins haven’t had to change for 30 years.

12. Manual QoS configuration will cause you to go bald. SDN can help solve your QoS problems.

13. The key to SDN is to use business requirement justification for implementing SDN. SDN is a tool, and a good tool. “What is the problem I’m trying to solve.” Then you can assemble the right kind of tools.

14. SDN enables deep application introspection, much like VMware enabled easier application management.

15. One of the leading use cases of NSX and micro-segmentation. “Zero trust model.” Its about having a firewall on every VM. But the overhead using old technology for that was huge, and impractical. NSX is also great for multi-tenancy.

16. SDN should not require network folks to be a programmer or use languages like Python. GUIs are coming.

17. Be ready for change, and embrace it.

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