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Does your current data center network meet the requirements of increased data rates when all your employees work from home and need access to the corporate network?

 

Situations that require a majority of the population to work from home force us to rely on the existing network infrastructure of our company. We need to ensure that our network complies to modern standards in regards to

  • Bandwidth and throughput
  • Capacity and recency of hardware
  • Stability of the network
  • Accessibility and connectivity
  • Security

With the outbreak of COVID-19, tens of thousands of employees have been confronted with the unprecendeted situation of having to work from home. As a result of this, corporate networks have to manage heavily increased remote workloads.

This situation requires companies to review the current state of their network infrastructure, analyze and evaluate the performance, and find out what needs to be improved to maintain continued operations and keep the business running in the best possible way. They may need to set up a strategy to restructure the network in order to meet certain standards, avoid remaining below potential or being left behind the capabilities of modern technology.

Review your network with particular reference to the following aspects:

Capacity and Performance

The infrastructure needs to be able to handle heavy workloads due to the increased use of remote tools, as well as a quick adaption to new scenarios and requirements.

Administrative Conditions and Accessibility

Ensure ease of use for all employees when working remotely and connectivity for collaborative use.

Efficiency and Low Latency

Virtualize shared drives to cloud environments to prevent bottlenecks, separate upstream and downstream and get rid of unnecessary cabling to avoid loss of data traffic.

Security

When remotely accessing the corporate network via virtual private network (VPN), you need to make sure that the risk of attacks and threads from malware is reduced to a minimum.

How STORDIS can help you

As the ‘Open Networking Expert’ we are always up-to-date in our solutions‘ standards. Our STORDIS LABS offer the possibility to test and verify cutting-edge technology and to integrate it into the existing network regardless of the size and the vendor – on-site and remotely – to realize the best suitable solution. If you would like an Open Networking expert to review your current network environment, we are happy to offer professional consultation and support for a smooth integration to increase capacity, efficiency and adaptivity.

And once your digital infrastructure can handle the required traffic, your network is ready to take on any future challenges and provides a sustainable infrastructure that lasts beyond the threat of coronavirus.

In the long term, the outcome gives you the chance to elaborate a new mode of operation and improve work life for every employee, by enabling everyone to work flexibly, remotely and in a modern, convenient way.

Contact us for more information and free consultancy

STORDIS joins the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to support the open source communities spur the adoption of open standards-based architectures.

 

Telecom Infra Project (TIP)

Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a collaborative ecosystem operating in the field of telecommunication. It was founded by industry leaders in 2016 with the aim to create a platform which helps accelerate innovation and develop next-generation networks. The platform features project groups, startups, initiatives, provides physical space for research and development and organizes frequent events across the globe. The community hosts more than 500 participating member organizations, including operators, suppliers, developers and integrators. TIP has recently announced an arrangement for collaboration with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to accelerate the rollout of open networks.

Joining the Telecom Infra Project (TIP)

STORDIS actively participates in several organizations to promote open source and disaggregated networking, including the Open Compute Project (OCP), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and the Open Source Business Alliance (OSB Alliance). It was the next logical step for STORDIS to become a member of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), a community of experts which features numerous industry-leading companies and organizations, various partners and associates, including Delta Networks Inc., Edgecore Networks and NoviFlow Inc.

“Being a member of the TIP is important for us because it enables us to contribute to the transition of the IT industry. The concept of Open Source becomes more and more relevant across all fields of the network industry, including telecommunication, academia and research, broadcasting, and cyber security. Connecting with interested parties who actively contribute to this progress is essential for advancement and innovation. With this in mind, we have designed the STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches (APS), which are the only P4 programmable switches that support 1588v2,” says Alexander Jeffries, CEO at STORDIS

“NoviFlow is greatly pleased with our partner STORDIS’s affiliation to the TIP. We believe our programmable P4 solutions can contribute significantly to the TIP’s mission of driving new technologies and fostering innovation in telecommunications technology,” says Marc LeClerc, VP Strategy and Marketing at NoviFlow Inc.

“We are very pleased to welcome STORDIS to our community, which is expanding the scope and value of disaggregation to the industry,” says Attilio Zani, Executive Director, Telecom Infra Project. “We look forward to a promising collaboration on device programmability to make telecom networks far more open and efficient.”

STORDIS is elated to join the Telecom Infra Project. Being a member in the TIP enables STORDIS to contribute to the transition of the IT industry and the rapid adoption of open source technology within telecommunication networks.

You can find more information about the Telecom Infra Project at https://telecominfraproject.com/

STORDIS joins the Intel® Network Builders ecosystem to help the community shaping the future of business-ready open, next-generation technology.

 

Intel® Network Builders

 

Intel® Network Builders ecosystem is an Intel-led ecosystem of independent software vendors, original equipment manufacturers, system integrators and service providers coming together to accelerate and transform the adoption of network functions virtualization (NFV)- and software defined networking (SDN)-based solutions in telecommunications networks.

Since then, this vibrant community has grown to around 700 partners globally, including industry-leading companies.

Joining the Intel® Network Builders

As the Open Networking Expert and supplier of our Barefoot Tofino-based Advanced Programmable Switches (APS), STORDIS appreciates Intel’s efforts to transition today’s network infrastructures to an open, programmable, scalable cloud-ready environment.

“Intel is an industry-leading visionary with a vast range of capabilities. We are proud to be able to contribute to their efforts and strive to actively support the development of innovative, standardized, future-ready open network solutions,” says Alexander Jeffries, CEO of STORDIS.


As a partner of Barefoot Networks, who were acquired by Intel in 2019, STORDIS decided to take further action and contribute to the progress of Open Networking by joining the Intel® Network Builders ecosystem.

Intel® fosters a large community, hosting collaborative projects to accelerate innovation and open standards within the industry. Together with many industry-leading companies, STORDIS actively contributes to several relevant associations dedicated to open source technology.

You can find more information about the Intel® Network Builders ecosystem at https://networkbuilders.intel.com/

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) operates massive workloads for large enterprises while educating its own students on cutting-edge open source technologies and providing research opportunities, all within the constraints of a tight budget.

The recently published case study shows their Cloud and Big Data Lab ecosystem leveraging Edgecore Networks 10G/40G Open Networking switches and Cumulus Linux to simplify their stack and enhance flexibility, while reducing acquisition cost and operational expenses.

Product Deployment

  • 2 x AS6712-32X 40G data center switch, serving as spine switches with 40G downlinks to leaf switches
  • 4 x AS5712-54X 10G data center switch, serving as leaf switches with uplinks to spine switches and downlinks to controllers and compute nodes
  • Cumulus Linux operating system

Background
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is a state research university in San Antonio, Texas, US. With over 30,000 students, it is the largest university in San Antonio. UTSA is also home to the first Open Compute Project (OCP) Certification and Solution Laboratory in North America. The laboratory serves the goal to certify Open Compute technologies and key workloads for large enterprises while educating its own students on cutting-edge open source technologies and providing research opportunities.

As a rapidly evolving environment, the data center of UTSA must grow at a rapid pace while enabling research projects based on the latest technologies, within the constraints of a tight budget.

 

Solution
UTSA leverages OCP networking technologies with Cumulus Linux in the UTSA Cloud and Big Data Laboratory and in various cloud projects for research and education. Over 90% of server ports are based on OCP technology. Now, two thirds of the network infrastructure is based on OCP networking with AS6712-32X 32-port 40G switches and AS5712-54X 48-port 10G & 6-port 40G switches from Edgecore Networks

 

As the first OCP-approved 10G/40G switches, Edgecore open networking switches with pre-loaded ONIE enable different network operating systems to easily run on top of the Edgecore hardware, disaggregating the models with ONIE and Cumulus Linux. This disaggregation gives power back to users, with Linux as the network OS and the server OS.

 

The disaggregation goes one step further with Cumulus Linux: As a native linux network OS, it supports both networking and a range of widely available server packages, mostly open source. Switching from the world of various network operating systems, the team rapidly felt comfortable with Linux, a familiar tool. With Cumulus Linux, the switch is just another server with many accelerated ports; the administrator only needs to understand Linux. Since UTSA computer science graduates are skilled in UNIX/Linux, adoption was easy once they complete the program.

By leveraging Edgecore Open Networking technologies with Cumulus Linux, UTSA achieved simplified their stack and got flexibility that resulted in reducing both CapEx and OpEx.

 

Edgecore AS6712-32X

  • Spine switch supporting 10G or 40G spine interconnects
  • 32 fixed x 40 GbE QSFP+ switch ports in compact 1RU form factor
  • Full line-rate Layer 2 or Layer 3 forwarding of 2.56 Tbps full duplex

Edgecore AS5712-54X

  • 10G Top-of-Rack Switch for enterprise and cloud data centers
  • VXLAN and NVGRE tunneling support in hardware for network virtualization
  • Full line-rate Layer 2 or Layer 3 forwarding of 1.44 Tbps full duplex

 


Curious about how you can benefit from Opent Networking solutions as well? Get in touch with us and we will show you how.


Disclaimer: Please note that this case study is not the property of STORDIS and we are therefore not responsible if information made available in this case study is not accurate, complete or current. STORDIS was not involved in the production of this case study. The case study was published by Edgecore Networks. A more detailed description can be found here.

This 7-minute snippet from the 260th Packet Pushers Network Break podcast features Pica8’s Threshold architecture and AmpCon automation framework. It provides a quick overview of the features and puts it into perspective with other available options like Cisco’s DNA Centre. Enjoy listening and make sure to visit www.packetpushers.net for more networking insights.

Packet Pushers’ 260th Network Break takes a look at Pica8’s recently launched campus architecture Threshold™, including the automation framework AmpConTM to manage deployment, configuration, security and operational tasks within disaggregated enterprise network environments. Drew Conry-Murray and Greg Ferro from Packet Pushers and their guest, Brad Casemore, Research Vice President, Datacenter Networks at IDC, are evaluating the capabilities of the open networking management platform in regards to usability, automation and pricing.

You can listen to the part on Pica8’s Threshold™ here:

 

If you would like to know more about Pica8, PICOS, and how Open Networking can help your company, then please contact us at enquiries@stordis.com

You will find the entire podcast episode at Packet Pushers.

About Packet Pushers

Packet Pushers is an independent community of IT practitioners and vendors who provide comprehensive content covering networking, data center design, virtualization, and general technology trends through different formats. The community is primarily built around a successful podcast, but they also operate a blog, a newsletter and a forum to share practical and technical information and evaluation. A major part of the work relies on sponsorship, enabling the members to perform essential research and ensure valuable and high-grade content.


Disclaimer: Please note that this podcast is not the property of STORDIS and we are therefore not liable for the expressed opinions. The podcast ‘Network Break 260: Pica8 Launches Campus Automation Framework; VMware Adds IPS To NSX’ is the property of Packet Pushers. STORDIS was not involved in the production of this podcast. The podcast was published initially by Packet Pushers on November 12th, 2019.

Pica8’s senior vice president of marketing, Jeff Paine, provided STORDIS with a detailed introduction to their AmpCon™ automation framework, which is integrated in the recently launched end-to-end open networking architecture Threshold™.

 

Back in very early 2012, Palo Alto, California-based Pica8 kick-started the open networking revolution when it shipped the world’s first Linux-based network operating system (NOS), called PICOS®, on a disaggregated bare-metal white box switch.  Since then, Pica8 has grown its market to thousands of customers across the globe, and, with the launch of the AmpConTMautomation framework, the company’s PICOS software has left its “NOS-on-a-box” roots to mature into a complete white box networking solution for enterprise campus and access networks of any size.  Now a PICOS-powered white box solution includes:

 

  • A centralized, single point of management
  • Automated deployment, configuration, monitoring, alerting and lifecycle management
  • GUI-based network-level system view
  • CLI-based switch-level management/control
  •  Centralized data collection for analytics/visibility

 

AmpCon – short for “Amplified Control” – is the world’s first, and only, automation framework that can deploy, configure and manage an entire enterprise network of white box switches.  As such, it creates the very first alternative that any enterprise has ever had to using the expensive automation solutions that they get from their traditional legacy networking vendors. Even better, to make sure that AmpCon delivers the full open networking value proposition, it is deliberately priced at a literal fraction of the cost of its legacy competitors, such as Cisco DNA Center.

 

In a 100-access-switch deployment scenario, for example, AmpCon would typically be priced at less than the sales tax of its Cisco DNA Center comparable solution.  What’s more, AmpCon is far, far easier to use.  So easy, in fact, that an intern with zero network programming experience can use AmpCon’s Quick-Start Mode to turn on and successfully configure thousands of white box switches at the push of a button.  And, unlike Cisco, AmpCon can either run on premises or in a public cloud (at no additional cost), and the AmpCon license has no limits to either the number of connected devices or the number of users.

 

AmpCon executes ZTP – zero touch provisioning via a GUI for white box switch provisioning.  It takes care of all Day 0 tasks – new switch turn-on, image load, switch config, license DB update, and so on – and Day 1 tasks, such as configuration validation, commit, rollback, and inventory.  AmpCon also manages security and operational tasks, including global/regional configurations, compliance, remediation, license maintenance, RMA, status monitoring, role-based access control (RBAC), as well as offering configurable security controls.

 

AmpCon offers particular value to customers, such as schools/colleges/universities and government agencies that have multiple locations but limited networking staff resources. PICOS and AmpCon are, of course, fully backwards-compatible, so Pica8 white box open networks can be incrementally deployed in existing networks as budgets and staff permit.

 

Pica8 and STORDIS

 

Global hardware and software support is also provided in a Pica8-powered white box network. Pica8’s key regional partners, such as STORDIS in Germany, will typically be the first line of support, with software issues escalated, if necessary, to Pica8’s global 24×7 support staff and hardware issues escalated to the white box manufacturers, again, on a 24×7 basis. 

 

To get more information on Pica8’s new AmpCon solution, please visit https://www.pica8.com/open-access-network-automation/or the company’s home page at www.pica8.com

 

This article was provided to STORDIS by Jeff Paine, senior vice president of marketing at Pica8.