It’s been something I’ve wanted to tackle for a while, but choosing one is damn hard, especially as a network guy who hasn’t programmed in a while. I had two years of Advanced Programming (AP) in high school, but that was it and that was a long time ago. With network agility, automation, APIs, and SDN on the horizon, how should you pick a language and what do you even want to program? For everyone, it will be different, but I’ll let you know the path I’m taking and how I ended up where I’m at today.
In Plexxi & Affinities Part 1, I gave a very high level overview of Affinities and how algorithms are used to ultimately figure out which network path certain traffic should use in a Plexxi network. In this post, I want to explore and speculate where else in the network Affinities make sense. Don’t forget, this is fully speculative and just my opinion.
The first Tech Field Day (@TechFieldDay) event I ever participated in was Wireless Field Day 2 in January 2012. I happen to be on Twitter and saw some people I followed talking about it, so I clicked a link, and there I was watching a LIVE feed on Meraki while I sat on my couch having dinner. I even asked a question on Twitter directed at the speaker. If my memory serves me correct, Tom Hollingsworth (@NetworkingNerd) was nice enough to relay the message from Twitter to the Meraki presenter as I waited and listened for an answer. My voice was heard from across the United States while not even being in the room. This was pretty sweet.
It Starts with Affinities
Plexxi is a start up in the network industry re-thinking networking from the ground up. A Plexxi network is different. It is cabled differently. It is thought about differently. It is integrated to other systems differently. With Plexxi, it all starts with conversations that are occurring on the network. These conversations, or relationships, occur between different systems on the network. These relationships are what Plexxi calls Affinities.
I’ve written in the past about how the virtual switch is an SDN war zone. Well, it still seems to be the early days for Software Defined Networking (SDN) no matter how much time goes by and I realized there isn't a whole lot of documentation out there, especially for the new guy or gal on the block, when it comes to Open vSwitch when compared to the vendor offerings from Cisco and VMware. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to hope to write more about Open vSwitch, Linux networking, and Open Stack Networking (Neutron, formerly Quantum). On that note, this post is meant to be an easy to read, longer than expected, concise introduction to Open vSwitch (OVS).
Jason Edelman, Founder & CTO of Network to Code.