Network Field Day 9 (NFD9): Wednesday 2/11/2015

Peter Welcher
Architect, Operations Technical Advisor

Networking Field DayI’m writing this as I fly out to San Jose for Network Field Day 9 (#NFD9). I’ve learned that the actual TFD and NFD events are rather fast-paced, with little time for onsite blogging or preparation. The forecast predicts heavy Tweeting, however. For Wednesday’s line-up, we delegates are looking forward to hearing in person from VeloCloud, Cumulus Networks, and Pluribus Networks. You the reader are, I hope, looking forward to the live streaming video from Silicon Valley, and planning to watch. 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.

Wednesday’s Schedule

Times are PST.

  • 9:30 – VeloCloud Presents
  • 11:30 – Lunch with VeloCloud
  • 12:30 – Cumulus Networks Presents
  • 16:00 – Pluribus Networks Presents

VeloCloud: Product Category = SD-WAN

Vendor website: VeloCloud

Who can best describe what VeloCloud does? How about their own home page:

“VeloCloud is the only complete solution with all the key elements of a Cloud‐Delivered WAN. VeloCloud dramatically simplifies the WAN by delivering virtualized services from the cloud to branch offices and mobile users everywhere. VeloCloud services deliver enterprise grade performance, visibility and control over both Internet and private networks, combining the economy of the Internet with the flexibility of the cloud.”

I trust the presentation will provide details to back that up!

I like the name “SD-WAN” for this type of product. Smart WAN might be another name.

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

  • What WAN services does the product offer? WAN bonding? IPsec VPN?
  • Where do I put it in my network?
  • Does it supplement or replace my WAN or Internet edge router?
  • What kinds of High Availability does the product support?
  • What does it do in the way of WAN or ISP failure detection, or quality degradation?
  • Does it do load balancing? How about QoS in the form of local policy for priority traffic and bandwidth allocation? And QoS in the form of SLA support and traffic shifting between links?
  • Does it do routing? If so, which protocols?
  • Does it support Internet or WAN failover and re-routing via another site?

Cumulus Networks and Pluribus Networks: Product Category = Switching Control/OpenFlow

Vendor websites:

I’m tempted to say that Wednesday is the day we bare it all. Bare metal that is – what were you thinking?

Cumulus is about a common Linux OS for bare metal networking and the base for an ecosystem of add-on products. I’d like to know more!

Prior exposure to Pluribus leads me to expect great presentations. The products are a unique spin, with a mix of combination server and L2 switch chassis and “pure” Top of Rack switches that can be configured by the programmable Netvisor OS, described as a distributed network OS that supports bare-metal hypervisor virtualization.


  • What can I do with your product that I can’t do with existing products?
  • Who do you see as your typical customer?
  • What are the use cases for your product?
  • Who do you see as your competition?
  • What edge does your product provide compared to the competition?
  • Cumulus: Do you/will you have a Hardware Compatibility List, similar to what hypervisor and SAN vendors provide?
  • Pluribus: Please tell me about interoperability of your products with other vendors’ products in a datacenter?


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 YearsCisco Champion 2014

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