Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Kong Yang

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

SDN Journal: Blog Post

Fabric Engineering Is More than Traffic Engineering

Traffic engineering has taken on a very specific meaning, very much related to the way traffic is mapped onto MPLS

It is human nature to try and relate new information and new ways of doing things to something that we know, something we are familiar with. Often when we talk about the way we fit traffic onto a Plexxi mesh network, the reaction is “I know what you mean, you are doing traffic engineering like we (used to) do in MPLS”. The response to that is usually “kinda, but not really”.

In the most basic meaning, everything that has to do with the placement of traffic onto links, routing and forwarding choices being programmed, etc., would be part of Traffic Engineering. But like too many words and phrases in our networking dictionary, traffic engineering has taken on a very specific meaning, very much related to the way traffic is mapped onto MPLS and like networks. For us, its a bit different. We build ethernet and IP networks that use packet by packet forwarding rules and while individual flows may have a hop by hop crafted path through the network, a very large portion of traffic travels using regular L2 and L3 forwarding tables. We just construct those tables differently than the typical network. Dare I say we engineer the tables to ensure forwarding occurs the way we calculated it to go.

Mike Bushong yesterday talked about equal cost paths and shortest path algorithms. We have discussed our views several times in this and other forums, and it is because we have a fundamental believe that  it can be done better. A Plexxi network consists of switches that are connected together using a variety of optical technologies with a mesh of 10GbE Ethernet connections. These point to point connections between switches for the basis of the L2 and L3 connectivity that exists, on top of which Plexxi Control Engineers the forwarding behavior of the fabric (skipping the part where Control can actually change those point to point connections for now).

So far this still smells like Traffic Engineering. I have a network, I have traffic I need to put on the network. The goal is simple, maximize the available network capacity. Use it as best as you can. All of it. While providing the best possible service for the providers and consumers of the traffic. But the way we do it is just a little different.

Our fabric is engineered based on a set of information sources. The most obvious of those sources is the actual network that is constructed. How our switches are connected together, and what initial L1/L2 topography (mesh of point to point networks) is created as part of our default connectivity. Our second source of information is the set of Affinities defined for the network. What application relationships are explicitly described, what is the requested network behavior for them and most importantly, where can I find these application components on the network. The latter is learned of course, not defined by the operator. The third component is actual traffic utilization on the fabric. What links are in use and how much of it.

These three inputs go into what we call the fitting engine. Heavy duty graph theory that we have blogged about before. The goal: resolve all Affinity constraints on top of the network infrastructure provided, and provide Non Equal Weighted Egress Based Multipath Trees for all non Affinitized traffic to ensure it gets the best service and spreads traffic as best as we can across all available paths between any two points in the fabric. That last one is a mouthful and not really what we call it, but at NFD7 yesterday I used it jokingly as the best descriptive term that articulates all it actually is. Last, a set of backup paths are calculated for link and switch failures. This can number 100s of paths easily. The results of these calculations are passed back to the switches in a multi phase commit fashion, ensuring that all switches will start using the same forwarding directions at the same time. Some of these are used in the switches as explicit flow like rules (similar to perhaps OpenFlow), others are used to populate forwarding tables when new MAC addresses are learned, or ARPs are resolved.

The result is a very carefully constructed description of connectivity from anywhere to anywhere on the fabric, satisfying the needs of Affinities, and balancing the remainder of the traffic across all available bandwidth. And once completed, the next set of traffic statistics that are entered into the overall traffic modeling will provide an even better tuned view of reality. When new Affinities are defined, you can run partial computations to just layer these new requirements on top of the previously calculated topologies.

Traffic Engineering has a very 90’s meaning attached to it. At least for me it does. Maybe this is Traffic Engineering 3.0 for the Datacenter and Data Center Interconnects (see last week’s blog post). Maybe the name does not matter. It’s a very mathematically engineered fabric. Mike said it well at NFD7: we are really a math company, masquerading as a software company, masquerading as a hardware company.

[Today's fun fact: Coconuts kill more people than sharks. Each year 150 people die from falling coconuts. Umbrellas make for safer shade than coconut trees.]

The post Fabric Engineering is more than Traffic Engineering appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Marten Terpstra

Marten Terpstra is a Product Management Director at Plexxi Inc. Marten has extensive knowledge of the architecture, design, deployment and management of enterprise and carrier networks.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...