Kokkuvõte Dell EMC võrgulahenduste osakonna uue müügidirektori Mario M. Ueno esinemisest

25. oktoobril 2018 Dell EMC Technology Forum raames esines erikülalisena ainult Tallinnas Mario M. Ueno, uus Dell EMC võrgulahenduste osakonna müügidirektor. Tema jutu põhiline sõnum rõhutas võrgulahenduste muutumise algust sarnaselt serverite virtualiseerimise revolutsioonile kümmekond aastat tagasi, samuti selle muutuse põhjustest, majanduslikust kasust ning uutest võimalustest, mis läbi avatud võrgulahenduste luuakse. Praeguse aja rahvusvahelist keskkonda ja IT-maailma sõnavara arvestades on ülevaatlik täispikk artikkel kirjutatud inglise keeles.

The following story will take about 14 minutes to read and will provide a good understanding of technological revolution that is taking place in networking area.

Mario M. Ueno, Sales Director Networking Western Europe @Dell EMC made special appearance on Dell Technology Forum 2018 in Tallinn and discussed about the most important innovation in networking since the start of virtualization started happening. He has over 25 years experience in the Telecoms Industry and many years working with Force10 Networking until Dell bought the company and built its current disruptive and open networking portfolio on their platform. The following article is just very slightly modified summary of his presentation, allowing to understand the important message without being lost in translation.

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The best thing about Dell EMC networking is being a part of the Dell EMC universe. There aren’t too many companies on the market that can offer our customers an overall solution. Dell EMC is the #1 in several product range but what all these products have in common – everything is connected to a network. The new paradigm in networking is that the world is changing and network world is no longer what it used to be. There has been a lot of talk about applications and the new virtualized world. Networking has been traditionally an area that is very reluctant to changes. In most of the cases the way we now configure a switch is still the same way like it was 15 years ago, with tiny differences. 

What is happening today and why market is recognizing Dell EMC as a revolutionary in networking space? The volume of traffic is growing dramatically and it’s not only about the mobile devices but also the way datacenters are virtualized. The east-west traffic in datacenters is becoming much more intensive so customers are realizing that the time to provision networks compared to virtual machines is very different and therefor also in the response time they get. A VM can be launched very easily but with network it’s completely different in most cases. Networking with all its protocols has its own language and is still very complex – but it shouldn’t be like that anymore. When we are used to providing servers and storage as a service, obviously network has to change that way as well. 

To better understand the revolution we’re talking about it is best when we bring an analogy in the server space. Once upon a time there was a big box, a compute node, and when you bought that box you were buying hardware, operating system, programming language that was all stitched together and it could not be changed - a complete vendor lock. In networking market that is still the situation today. The revolution in the compute node changed that model, separating hardware from the software with x86 architecture and allowing to choose hypervisor and OS to work with. When you buy a switch today you are still tied to that hardware and software, there’s no option to change anything. This is what Dell EMC decided to change 5 years ago, replicating same virtualization approach.

  1. Instead of using ASIC silicon we started using merchant standard silicon.
  2. Allow using several operating systems, not just Dell EMC’s to provide choices to customers that they want and fits their needs.
  3. Move from proprietary tools and architectures to open, flexible tools and options.
     

For that purpose was created a sort of BIOS software called ONIE, that allows to install 5 different options of OS’s and that is unique to Dell EMC only. One is Dell Networking OS that is completely compatible with the existing standard protocols and on top of that have agreements with 4 companies who each have some tiny differences that allows customers to choose the best one for their needs. The key concept is segretated hardware and software. 

There are 3 steps how software has influenced networking virtualization. 

  1. First step was when people started talking about SDN. Basically is instead of having very intelligent switches that are talking to each other in order to know where the packet has to go – this is where OpenFlow showed up. Their idea was to run an external server to run a process with the intelligence about packet directing. As analogy from airplanes, without the control plane the protocol would be very complex for the planes to communicate by themselves to avoid a crash. SDN is so basically a control tower and all the planes are simply following its instructions. That is the reason why network has been historically so complex, because lot of switches in a network had to be intelligent to communicate with others to find the right path. 
  2. Second step was moving the software to a network overlay solution where software was presenting all the different devices as one single big switch. 
  3. And 3rd step in the evolution is what Dell EMC executed with the segregated hardware and software, the ultimate entry point for the software segregation at the network level. 
     

It’s also very important to consider what the analysts are saying. For Moor, as an example, the one key part of digital transformation in the datacenter on top of all the rest of equipment is definitely the network because it has to evolve to a state where the flexibility, provisioning, configuring, deploying has to be radically different from what it is today. And they are mentinoning Dell EMC as one of the key players in that space. 

On top of Moor these slides show the progression. In 2014 we were in the niche space, in 2015 we made the announcement about the dissegregation approach and was moved to the visionary quadrant. From there we have been moving nearly to cross the line to the leaders quadrant. 

To give a more detailed overview of the 5 options mentioned earlier. 

1.    Dell Network OS10 – Industry hardened feature rich L2/L3 capabilities.

OS10 is based on linux and it uses standard language, the protocols and the way you configure it is very much the traditional CLI language that most of the network is used to having. It’s not disruptive and if you have XYZ certifications from other vendors you can use Dell devices perfectly the same way in order to be part of your network. But on top of that, in OS10 Dell EMC has segregated the software itself inside OS10, allowing 3rd party specific connectivity applications that can be running in the switch. 

Nothing prevents customers to change later if they want to do a conservative approach first using standard protocols in order to coexist with all other vendors in the current network and later migrate and upgrade to a SDN architecture for better automation and other features it provides

2.    Cumulus – Linux driven systems admin focused networking.

When you install this and turn on the switch you see a login request that is exactly the same as with a server running linux. You don’t have to be a network admin, because if you know how to configure ethernet ports in a linux server you can do exactly the same thing in the switch because it looks just the same. A lot of customers in the university and researchers space are using that and in general anybody who has a lot of management tools and deployment tools for linux environments. 

3.    Bigswitch Networks – controller driven applications and monitoring. 

2 use cases basically. One is to allow very easy deployment of several racks in a datacenter. You turn on the rack, the switches understand the setup and become self-configured - a very rapid population and works very well. Another and very interesting application is called BigMonitoring Fabric that enables the specific switches to do initial analysis of the traffic. Traffic monitoring is something that companies IXIA, Gigamon used to do with a very big box that is very expensive. BMF converts the switch hardware into a free analysis device where you can define rules for example to analyze the IP origin address and then take action with that packet – whatever you want, drop it, route it to a different port etc, destination IP or even specific content that is in the packet. Who uses this? For example we have one of the biggest mobile service provider in the central europe and in order to monitor the quality of service they are providing to their customers and to take action in advance about what is happening to the traffic. The solution is basically tapping in and analyzing traffic going through the network and with all the information they are getting, a sort of big data environment, they take actions to improve the service. If something changes they can rapidly modify background services to maintain the service level. 

4.    IP Infusion – traditional network virtualization with MPLS between datacenters.

5.    Last but not least: Pluribus Networks – distributed fabric and analytics with DC interconnection.

They basically handle the standard protocols and with some specific mechanisms makes easier the datacenter interconnection with a much more cost effective approach than traditional MPLS connectivity. Just for an example, one customer in Central Europe with 5 datacenter in 5 different cities in 2 countries. Very well known networking companies made proposals for that requirements and Dell EMC was almost 30% more cost effective than any of the other companies, even the most aggressive one. The reason lies in the way Pluribus creates a virtual point-to-point connectio between 2 datacenters, not based on MPLS and therefor not requiring specific and very expensive devices. Another interesting thing about Pluribus is that in addition to being a standard switch with standard configuration language it does 100% traffic analysis that can be taken through an application for other actions (Dashboard example https://vcf-ia-demo.pluribusnetworks.com/maestro/dashboard ). On the dashboard suddenly you can see all the details what’s going on in the network. What applications are mostly used, what devices are overloaded etc – the network has all that information. This is a fantastic tool for comprehensive daily monitoring and providing information with statistics in advance! 

To summarize, 5 key messages to take away.

  1. Dissagerating hardware from software, Dell EMC was the first and has the biggest number of options on the market today.
  2. One single point to buy, one single point for support.
  3. You can reuse your hardware to start the traditional way but nothing stops you from moving to SDN later without replacing the devices.
  4. Integration in a more IT-driven environment OS10 or Cumulus Linux
  5. And last but not least, coexisting with the existing traditional network. All the options can interact perfectly with existing network whatever the vendor is because the protocols are standard protocols. 
     

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We @ MAX 123 understand and support the importance of Mario’s message. Majority of Estonian (or any country basically) networking market has been historically dominated by Cisco, and probably for a good reason because at the time of the market development and implementation of new virtualization technologies they had the best available options to support that. But times have changed and we don’t need to be afraid anymore of devices not being interoperable because of some specific protocols – 98% of the use cases can be solved with standard network language. And as IT as a service, hyperconverged systems and containerized provisioning becomes the new standard, so should be open networking solutions that support this revolution.

Dell EMC networking portfolio has the widest range of products available from 1GbE Campus up to 100GbE datacenters and big telco suitable solutions. Special attention requires new range of high-density ToR 25GbE switches that is said to be launched end of 2018. For example, S5212F-ON has 12x 25GbE and 3x100GbE ports while S5296F-ON has 48x25GbE and 8x100GbE ports – all that supporting Open Networking philosophy.

Lowering Opex and Capex, automation and no vendor lock-in have been around a long time as hype words. This time, Dell EMC networking makes the difference by making it real and delivering the actual value as they promise. For more information and consulting, ask us at MAX 123 lahendused@max.ee 

   Viljar Vaht
   Senior Solutions Sales Consultant
   mob: +372 555  88 721
   e-mail: viljar@max.ee