Network Field Day 9 (NFD9): Friday 2/13/2015

Peter Welcher
Architect, Operations Technical Advisor

Networking Field DayFor Friday’s Network Field Day 9 (#NFD9) line-up, we delegates are looking forward to hearing in person from Cisco and Brocade. You the reader are, I hope, informed, entertained, and maybe even amazed by what you’ve seen and heard so far, and planning to watch the live streaming video from Silicon Valley. No doubt you’re also preparing to follow the various Tweets from the delegates. The streaming video links will be posted on the Network Field Day 9 web page.

As noted previously, please tweet me or any of the delegates with any questions you’d like us to ask the vendors.

Friday’s Schedule

Times are PST.

  • 8:00- Cisco Presents about ACI
  • 12:00- Brocade Presents

Cisco ACI: Product Category=SDN, Datacenter

Vendor website: Cisco

I’ve been tracking Cisco ACI developments since being present at the launch with Tech Field Day. One recent measure of how important Cisco thinks ACI is: there were 34 ACI-related presentations at CIscoLive Milan 2015!!! (No, I haven’t finished reading them all yet.) I’m looking forward to deepening my knowledge of ACI.

What’s ACI? For those who haven’t been tracking it: I see Cisco ACI and VMware NSX as the two main contenders for automated SDN software control of the datacenter. NSX lacks the ability currently to control the physical datacenter switching “underlay,” which begs the question of troubleshooting visibility correlating overlay VXLAN tunnel problems with underlay glitches. Cisco ACI is more all-encompassing, including a way for third-party vendors to provide automated (partial) configuration of their devices. The sales pitch either way is faster, easier and more agile deployment of applications.

Here’s my starter list of questions I have about products in this category:

  • Who do you see as your competition?
  • How is your product better?
  • What are you doing to facilitate interoperability?
  • Does ACI provide Cisco lock-in?
  • Enabling ACI security functionality is like having a new big firewall in the middle of all datacenter traffic. How do sites get from “permit ip any any” to real rules controlling server flows without disruption? Besides “very carefully”? Is there a magic bullet not named “Cisco Advanced Services”?

Brocade: Product Category=Networking/OpenFlow/SDN

Vendor website: Brocade

The NFD9 delegates haven’t yet been told what Brocade will be talking about yet, hence the rather generic product category above.

Brocade has grown from a SAN vendor into a vendor of high-speed networking equipment, with R&D into use of OpenFlow and other SDN-related technologies. Some of their OpenFlow work has supported very high-speed research links. Their work on the Vyatta virtual router has removed performance bottlenecks and enabled use of multiple cores in modern CPUs. I’m looking forward to hearing what Brocade has for us!


Comments are welcome, both in agreement or informative disagreement with the above, and especially good questions to ask the NFD9 vendors! Thanks in advance!

Hashtags: #NFD9 #VeloCloud #CumulusNetworks #PluribusNetworks #SD-WAN #OpenStack

Twitter: @pjwelcher

Disclosure Statement

Cisco Certified 15 Years Cisco Champion 2014


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.