Open Networking for Large-Scale Networks

Live session on Tuesday, May 9th 10:00 EDT

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Event details

Most modern data centers are still using vendor-driven "future proof" routers and switches with offering lots of (often unnecessary) capabilities. To build large, however, it is often better to build simple—radically simple.

This webinar will cover the design components involved in building a data center or cloud fabric using a single, disaggregated device—the way some hyperscale and web scale operators build their networks. The first live session of the webinar will consider the benefits of disaggregated switch, focusing on the components, sources, and challenges in using disaggregated hardware and software in data center fabrics. The second live session will focus on the topologies and design concepts used in large scale data center fabrics using a single switching device as a leaf, spine and superspine switch.



  • What is SDN
  • What is white box
  • What is disaggregation, and how is this different

Business drivers for disaggregation

  • Single kind of control
  • Reduce opex and capex
  • Integrate the network better with the business architecture
  • More flexibility around business changes, less of the network as a "thing that stands alone"
  • Challenges to disaggregation

What pieces do you need to disaggregate?

  • Hardware
  • Network Operating System (NOS)
  • Control plane

Who makes hardware?

  • Chip vendor overview
  • White box vendor overview

Who makes software?

  • NOS options overview
  • Routing stack overview

Why is the single SKU data center interesting?

  • Reduced opex
  • Reduced capex
  • Troubleshooting simplicity
  • Fixed delay
  • Simplified optics
  • Get rid of the chassis

Topologies for the single SKU data center

Getting rid of the chassis means externalizing the internal fabric into live optics, which means larger external fabrics — no more "two switches and you're done". While the leaf-and-spine topology is commonly used to build a data center fabric, we'll also cover Butterfly/Beneš topologies and their variants.

Challenges in the single SKU data center

  • Optics and varying speeds
  • Optical Cabling
  • Power (more outlets, smaller draw)

About the Author

Russ WhiteRuss White (CCIE #2635, CCDE 2007:001, CCAr) has more than twenty years' experience in designing, deploying, breaking, and troubleshooting large scale networks. Across that time, he has co-authored more than forty software patents, has spoken at venues throughout the world, has participated in the development of several internet standards, has helped develop the CCDE and the CCAr, and has worked in Internet governance with the ISOC. Russ is currently a member of the Architecture Team at LinkedIn.

More about Russ…

Shawn ZandiShawn Zandi is a principal network architect with LinkedIn. For the past two decades, he has worked as network consultant for various Fortune 100 companies from Dubai to Silicon Valley, building infrastructure for universities, hospitals, airports, the most luxurious hotels, plain old dial-up service providers and mega-scale data centers.

More about Shawn…

Delivery format

The Open Networking for Large-Scale Networks is a 4-hour technical presentation available as a set of downloadable videos that you can buy in our online store; we can also organize an on-site workshop, where the topics of this presentation are combined with in-depth discussion of other data center or cloud networking topics that apply to your network.

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To get more information about customized versions of this webinar, on-site workshops, pricing or scheduling details, please contact us.

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