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Improve visibility and debug in network virtualized environments

On the Network Heresy blog, Martin Casado and Amar Padmanahban teamed up with Scott Lowe, Bruce Davie and T. Sridhar to write the first of a multipart series on how to gain visibility and debug in network edge overlays.

Overall, issues with visibility and troubleshooting in current environments stem back to the lack of consistent abstractions that should provide an aggregate view and hide unnecessary complexity. Network virtualization addresses this problem by providing a global view that aids in troubleshooting and debugging the physical network.

Check out the post in its entirety to learn more about current visibility issues and how network virtualization addresses problems and increases workflow.

ONF members gain SDN momentum

On the Open Networking Foundation site, Executive Director Dan Pitt offers a rundown of recent SDN advancements made by ONF members, as well as some commentary on these announcements. The list ranges from Arista Networks to Vello Systems and describes a diversity in SDN and virtualization technology.

Read Pitt's full post detailing recent SDN accomplishments by ONF members.

SDN programming and abstraction

Enterasys Chief Technology Officer Markus Nispel asks on SDN Central: Who will be responsible for doing the programming in an SDN environment, and what level of abstraction do we need? Nispel breaks down the characteristics and "promises" of SDN into three parts: centralized management and control, network programmability, and vendor interoperability and integration capabilities. But he also addresses the challenges for network pros in reaching these goals.

Read Nispel's post detailing the promises of SDN and how all will need to be fulfilled for SDN to realize its full potential.

SDN adoption progressing

A recent survey commissioned by Brocade shows that one in five enterprises are using software-defined networks -- though there are discrepancies in what respondents "had in mind" when they said they are using SDN technology.

Putting the definition of SDN aside, Jordan Novet writes that companies are realizing the benefits of the technology in one form or another. About 55% of companies are evaluating SDN now or plan to do so within the next couple of years. Respondents also said they could see gaining a myriad of benefits from SDN, ranging from lower capital expenditures to higher productivity.

Take a peek at Novet's full post covering the rate of SDN adoption among enterprises.

Open access key to avoiding vendor lock-in

Mike Bushong continues his series titled "Open" on the Pexxi site this week by exploring the idea of open access. He writes most are afraid of succumbing to vendor lock-in, and open access is one way to guarantee that won't happen.

Although he writes that the essence of this Open discussion will center mainly on interoperability and interchangeability, Bushong predicts users will start to look at the issue of open versus closed and realize the importance of having open access in their vendor solutions. In turn, this will result in a much more "clean" SDN discussion.

Check out Bushong's next installment in his Open series on the Plexxi blog site.

VMware details the future of VLANs

On the recently launched VMware network virtualization blog, the company explores the future of virtual local area networks (VLANs) through a post that was originally written by VMware pro Scott Lowe. The post focuses on the usability of VLANs but questions where they'll come into play with the emergence of SDN, network function virtualization and network virtualization.

Currently, VLANs are being stretched beyond their originally intended use, which is causing discord among compute-centric teams and networking-centric teams, Lowe writes. In turn, what's needed is separation or layering of functions. The compute-centric folks need a logical identifier that can be used to group traffic; however, the identifier needs to be separate and different than the one networking folks use to build scalable networks with broadcast domains.

Read more of Lowe's thoughts on VLANs and how to address their changing roles with the advent of SDN.

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