Remember to do difficult things…
I took a day in May to spend on the corporate development function at Plexxi, which means I spent a day in Boston with a sell side analyst meeting with buy side clients of his firm. It was a really fun day talking networking with new acquaintances and old colleagues alike. In one meeting, I was greeted with “I read your blog,” which was reminded me that I had not written a blog post in few months. My writing time is correlated to the pace of work at Plexxi. When the pace is fast and the activity levels are high, I need a break from work and the blog suffers.
Corporate Development Day
Most investors and analysts want to know about the state of the networking industry. Who is winning, who is losing, who has hot product cycle, who is having a bad product cycle, etc. When I meet with them I try to talk them about the evolution of the industry and where disruption points can be found and the size of the disruption. Not all disruptions will be big disruptions and investors and consumers alike need to be wary of geeks bearing gifts. Here is a link to the presentation I provided that day:
In my last post, I wrote about an interaction I had with a potential client. I distilled the exchange into a presentation. Here is a link to the presentation I provided that day:
DISA SDN Demonstration
Recently the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) released a lengthy video of SDN use cases in which Plexxi was part of the demonstration, along with Juniper, Ciena and VMware. If you need a background on DISA, here is a link to the Wikipedia page. The PDF can be found here and the video has been uploaded to YT here. Plexxi mentions happen at:
- 8 min – equipment in the rack and discussion of Plexxi Switch 2
- 10:50 min – demo intro
- 12 min – demo – auto provisioning
- 14 min – demo – vMotion
- 15:40 min – Affinities
DISA demonstrated two primary use cases and to save the reader from a click out, I pasted the summaries below:
Use Case #1: Use SDN to dynamically program flows between data centers to augment existing connectivity for priority flows. Using software, dynamically adjust flows using low latency connectivity and centrally manage all flows between data centers. Additionally, facilitate transport of virtual machines from one data center to another (likely in concert with an orchestration agent of a product such as VMWARE NSX) and seamlessly redirect traffic without changing IP addressing or requiring path changes to be distributed via route convergence.
Use Case #2: Use Case Two: This use case focuses on migration of services on existing infrastructure to SDN control on a service by service (interface/sub-interface by interface/sub-interface) basis. DISA seeks to automate the provisioning of a service to eliminate redundant and unnecessary human to machine interfaces for tasks that are capable of being effectively implemented with the automation that is possible through SDN. Automation of the current L2 Private LAN service that is implemented with VPLS (BGP based) worldwide is desired. The approach is to integrate a HTML client based order entry within Storefront that interacts through a new orchestration engine to manage the service through SDN and a SDN controller for one or more services on existing IPT-PE interfaces. The intent is to give the customer ordering options and near real-time service availability information at the time of order (new service start, existing service stop, existing service modify); to give the service manager near real-time service status information; to give the service manager the ability to reduce provisioning times through interface pre-positioning, interface reservation, and service provisioning automation. Further, this use case seeks to use automation to assist the service manager with automating the tear down of endpoints that are no longer needed or are isolated (i.e. single endpoint passing no traffic).