Podcast/Software Gone Wild

Software Gone Wild

Are you sick and tired of SDN, NFV, SDDC and network programability hype? You came to the right place - Software Gone Wild is focusing on architectures, solutions and technologies that real networking engineers use in production networks.

Show 82: Self-Driving Networks with Kireeti Kompella

22 September 2017

A while ago I got a kind email from Kireeti Kompella, CTO @ Juniper Networks, saying “A colleague sent me an email of yours regarding SDN, the trough of disillusionment, and the rise of automation. Here's a more dramatic view: the Self-Driving Network -- one whose operation is totally automated.

Even though Software Gone Wild podcast focuses on practical ideas that you could deploy relatively soon in your network, we decided to make an exception and talk about (as one of my friends described it) a unicorn driving a flying DeLorean with a flux capacitor.

Show 81: Networking Trends Discussion with Andrew Lerner and Simon Richard

8 September 2017

In June 2017, we concluded the Building Next Generation Data Center online course with a roundtable discussion with Andrew Lerner, Research Vice President, Networking, and Simon Richard, Research Director, Data Center Networking @ Gartner.

During the first 45 minutes, we covered a lot of topics including:

Show 80: Packet Fabric

9 June 2017

Imagine a service provider that allows you to provision 100GE point-to-point circuit between any two of their POPs through a web site and delivers in seconds (assuming you’ve already solved the physical connectivity problem). That’s the whole idea of SDN, right? Only not so many providers got there yet.

Show 79: Start Using OpenConfig with NAPALM

26 May 2017

OpenConfig sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately only a few vendors support it, and it doesn’t run on all their platforms, and you need the latest-and-greatest software release. Not exactly a set of conditions that would encourage widespread adoption.

Things might change with the OpenConfig data models supported in NAPALM. Imagine you could parse router configurations or show printouts into OpenConfig data structures, or use OpenConfig to configure Cisco IOS routers running a decade old software.

Show 78: Network Testing

12 May 2017

Network automation and orchestration is a great idea… but how do you verify that what your automation script wants to do won’t break the network? In Episode 78 of Software Gone Wild we discussed the intricacies of testing network automation solutions with Kristian Larsson (developer of Terastream orchestration softare) and David Barroso of the NAPALM and SDN Internet Router fame.

Show 77: Salt and SaltStack

28 April 2017

Ansible, Puppet, Chef, Git, GitLab… the list of tools you can supposedly use to automate your network is endless, and there’s a new kid on the block every few months.

In Episode 77 of Software Gone Wild we explored Salt, its internal architecture, and how you can use it with Mircea Ulinic, a happy Salt user/contributor working for Cloudflare, and Seth House, developer @ SaltStack, the company behind Salt.

Show 76: Programmable ASICs

14 April 2017

During Cisco Live Europe 2017 (where I got thanks to the Tech Field Day crew kindly inviting me) I had a nice chat with Peter Jones, principal engineer @ Cisco Systems. We started with a totally tangential discussion on why startups fail, and quickly got back to flexible hardware and why one would want to have it in a switch.

Show 75: NETCONF on Cisco Campus Switches

31 March 2017

During Cisco Live Europe (huge thanks to Tech Field Day crew for bringing me there) I had a chat with Jeff McLaughlin about NETCONF support on Cisco IOS XE, in particular on the campus switches.

We started with the obvious question “why would someone want to have NETCONF on a campus switch”, continued with “why would you use NETCONF and not REST API”, and diverted into “who loves regular expressions”. Teasing aside, we discussed:

Show 74: TCP in the Data Center and Beyond

17 March 2017

In autumn 2016 I embarked on a quest to figure out how TCP really works and whether big buffers in data center switches make sense. One of the obvious stops on this journey was a chat with Thomas Graf, Linux Core Team member and a founding member of the Cilium project.

Show 73: CloudScale ASICs

3 March 2017

Last year Cisco launched a new series of Nexus 9000 switches with table sizes that didn’t match any of the known merchant silicon ASICs. It was obvious they had to be using their own silicon – the CloudScale ASIC. Lukas Krattiger was kind enough to describe some of the details last November, resulting in Episode 73 of Software Gone Wild.

For even more details, watch the Cisco Nexus 9000 Architecture Cisco Live presentation.

Show 72: OpenConfig: From Basics to Implementations

17 February 2017

In 2013, large-scale cloud providers and ISPs decided they had enough of the glacial IETF process of generating YANG models used to describe device configuration and started OpenConfig – a customer-only initiative that quickly created data models covering typical use cases of the founding members (aka “What Does Google Need”).

Show 71: Linux Networking Update from NetDev Conference

3 February 2017

When I recorded the first podcast with Thomas Graf we both found it so much fun that we decided to do it again. Thomas had attended the NetDev 1.2 conference so when we met in November 2016 we warmed up with What’s NetDev and then started discussing the hot new networking stuff being added to Linux kernel:

Show 70: To Drop or To Delay, That’s the Question

27 January 2017

A while ago I decided it's time to figure out whether it's better to drop or to delay TCP packets, and quickly figured out you get 12 opinions (usually with no real arguments supporting them) if you ask 10 people. Fortunately, I know someone who deals with TCP performance for living, and Juho Snellman was kind enough to agree to record another podcast.

Update 2017-03-31: Added More information section

Show 69: VXLAN Ping and Traceroute

13 January 2017

From the moment Cisco and VMware announced VXLAN some networking engineers complained that they'd lose visibility into the end-to-end path. It took a long while, but finally the troubleshooting tools started appearing in VXLAN environment: NVO3 working group defined Fault Managemnet framework for overlay networks and Cisco implemented at least parts of it in recent Nexus OS releases.

You'll find more details in Software Gone Wild Episode 69 recorded with Lukas Krattiger in November 2016 (you can also watch VXLAN Technical Deep Dive webinar to learn more about VXLAN).

Show 68: Snabb Switch with vMX Control Plane

9 December 2016

In Software Gone Wild Episode 52 Katerina Barone-Adesi explained how Igalia implemented 4-over-6 tunnel termination (lwAFTR) with Snabb Switch. Their solution focused on very fast data plane and had no real control plane.

No problem – there are plenty of stable control planes on the market, all we need is some glue.

Show 67: StackStorm 101

25 November 2016

A few weeks ago Matt Oswalt wrote an interesting blog post on principles of automation, and we quickly agreed it’s a nice starting point for a podcast episode.

In the meantime Matt moved to StackStorm team so that became the second focus of our chat… and then we figured out it would be great to bring in Matt Stone (the hero of Episode 13).

Show 66: Becoming a Programmer

11 November 2016

During our summer team-building podcast we agreed it would be fun to record a few episodes along the “how do I become a programmer” theme and figured out that Elisa Jasinska would be a perfect first candidate.

A few weeks ago we finally got together and started our chat with campfire stories remembering how we got started with networking and programming.

Show 65: NAPALM Update

28 October 2016

We did a podcast describing NAPALM, an open-source multi-vendor abstraction library, a while ago, and as the project made significant progress in the meantime, it was time for a short update.

NAPALM started as a library that abstracted the intricacies of network device configuration management. Initially it supported configuration replace and merge; in the meantime, they added support for diffs and rollbacks

Show 64: Fast Linux Packet Forwarding with Thomas Graf

14 October 2016

We did several podcasts describing how one could get stellar packet forwarding performance on x86 servers reimplementing the whole forwarding stack outside of kernel (Snabb Switch) or bypassing the Linux kernel and moving the packet processing into userspace (PF_Ring).

Now let’s see if it’s possible to improve the Linux kernel forwarding performance. Thomas Graf, one of the authors of Cilium claims it can be done and explained the intricate details in Episode 64 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 63: Distributed On-Demand Network Testing (ToDD) with Matt Oswalt

30 September 2016

In March 2016 my friend Matt Oswalt announced a distributed network testing framework that he used for validation in his network automation / continuous integration projects. Initial tests included ping and DNS probes, and he added HTTP testing in May 2016.

The project continues to grow (and already got its own Github and documentation page) and Matt was kind enough to share the news and future plans in Episode 63 of Software Gone Wild.

To ask questions about the project, join the Todd channel on networktocode Slack team (self-registration at slack.networktocode.com)