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NSX from HP


CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpgBy Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy  vExpert 2011, 2012, 2013.png


One of the topics I've wanted to explore is VMware NSX - network virtualization or software-defined networking (SDN).  At VMware Partner Exchange, I grabbed a couple of guys from HP Networking to get an overview of what NSX is and what HP is doing with NSX and SDN.  This is a really good intro to the topic so check it out!  Here's the podcast.



If you rather download this as a podcast, right click here and save the MP3 file. You can also subscribe to my podcast on iTunes - go to the iTunes store and search for "Around the Storage Block" or you can open this link and click on the "View in iTunes" button under my picture.


P1030646.JPGThere's a blog post on VMware's blog site that was co-written by HP and VMware that is a good read that dives deeper into the topic of NSX and the "mice and elephant" flows that we talked about in the podcast - it's titled Elephant Flow Mitigation via Virtual-Physical Communication.  Check it out.  Also, there are a couple of blog posts on the HP Networking blog that talk more about it - from when we first introduced our partnership.  One of the articles talks about the market reaction to the announcement that was made during VMworld and the other is the blog post give some details of the actual announcement.  Check them out as well.


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About the Author


I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.


Interesting interview. It makes sense to federate controllers for better coordination of underlay and overlay networks.


However, while the statement in the interview that rack switches don't keep state because they are focused on performance is true, the conclusion that top of rack switches cannot be used to detect elephant flows isn't correct. HP switches include support for the sFlow measurement standard - a stateless measurement protocol implemented in the switch ASIC that can be enabled without impacting switch performance. sFlow analytics software can detect elephant flows in real-time and the OpenFlow capabilities of the HP switches used to engineer traffic. The following article demonstrates QoS marking of elephant flows using the sFlow and OpenFlow capabilities of an HP switch:


Integrated hybrid OpenFlow control of HP switches


The ability to get real-time traffic analytics from the physical switches is important - the top of rack switch may be acting as an NSX gateway for physical servers or you may be running big data applications like Hadoop etc. In addition, visibility into the spine switches allows colliding elephant flows to be detected and re-routed.

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