Software Gone Wild: Archive

So nice to see you're interested in older episodes of Software Gone Wild. Here they are:

Show 88: Data Center Routing with RIFT

30 March 2018

Years ago Petr Lapukhov decided that it’s a waste of time to try to make OSPF or IS-IS work in large-scale data center leaf-and-spine fabrics and figured out how to use BGP as a better IGP.

In the meantime, old-time routing gurus started designing routing protocols targeting a specific environment: highly meshed leaf-and-spine fabrics. First in the list: Routing in Fat Trees (RIFT).

Show 87: Linux Interfaces

9 March 2018

Continuing the Linux networking discussion we had in Episode 86, we focused on Linux interfaces in Episode 87 of Software Gone Wild with Roopa Prabhu and David Ahern.

We started with simple questions like “what is an interface” and “how do they get such weird names in some Linux distributions” which quickly turned into a complex discussion about kernel objects and udev, and details of implementing logical interfaces that are associated with ASIC front-panel physical ports.

Show 86: Packet Forwarding on Linux

19 January 2018

Linux operating system is used as the foundation for numerous network operating systems including Arista EOS and Cumulus Linux. It provides most networking constructs we grew familiar with including interfaces, VLANs, routing tables, VRFs and contexts, but they behave slightly differently from what we’re used to.

In Software Gone Wild Episode 86 Roopa Prabhu and David Ahern explained the fundamentals of packet forwarding on Linux, and the differences between Linux and more traditional network operating systems.

Show 85: How Did NETCONF Start

1 December 2017

A long while ago Marcel Wiget sent me an interesting email along the lines “I think you should do a Software Gone Wild podcast with Phil Shafer, the granddaddy of NETCONF

Not surprisingly, as we started discovering the history behind NETCONF we quickly figured out that all the API and automation hype being touted these days is nothing new – some engineers have been doing that stuff for almost 20 years.

Show 84: Ethernet History

27 October 2017

During Cisco Live Berlin 2017 Peter Jones (chair of several IEEE task forces) and myself went on a journey through 40 years of Ethernet history (and Token Bus and a few other choice technologies).

The sound quality is what you could expect from something recorded on a show floor with pigeons flying around, but I hope you’ll still enjoy our chat.

Show 83: Networking Trends Discussion with Andrew Lerner and Simon Richard: Part 2

6 October 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.

In the second half of our discussion (first half is here) we focused on these topics:

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

Show 62: Whitebox Switching at LinkedIn with Russ White

15 September 2016

When LinkedIn announced their Project Falco I knew exactly what one of my future Software Gone Wild podcasts would be: a chat with Russ White (Mr. CCDE, now network architect @ LinkedIn).

It took us a long while (and then the summer break intervened) but I finally got it published: Episode 62 is waiting for you.

Show 61: OpenStack on VMware NSX

8 September 2016

Does it make sense to run OpenStack on top of VMware infrastructure? How well does NSX work as a Neutron plug-in? Marcos Hernandez answered these questions (and a lot of others) in the Episode 61 of Software Gone Wild (admittedly after a short marketing pitch in the first 10 minutes).

Show 60: Software-Defined Navel Gazing

26 August 2016

Software Gone Wild podcast is well into its toddler years and it was time for a teambuilding exercise. Just kidding – we wanted to test new tools and decided to discuss the vacation experiences and podcast ideas while doing that.

On a more serious note: we’re always looking for cool projects, implementations and ideas. Contact us at podcast (-the weird sign-)

Build Your Own Service Provider Gear

24 June 2016

A few days after I published a blog post arguing that most service providers cannot possibly copy Google’s ideas Giacomo Bernardi wrote a comment saying “well, we managed to build our own gear.

Initially I thought they built their own Linux distribution on top of x86 server, but what Giacomo Bernardi described in Episode 59 of Software Gone Wild goes way beyond that:

Show 58: Big Chain Deep Dive

17 June 2016

A while ago Big Switch Networks engineers realized there’s a cool use case for their tap aggregation application (Big Tap Monitoring Fabric) – an intelligent patch panel traffic steering solution used as security tool chaining infrastructure in DMZ… and thus the Big Chain was born.

Curious how their solution works? Listen to Episode 58 of Software Gone Wild with Andy Shaw and Sandip Shah.

Show 57: Using Macvlan and Ipvlan with Docker

3 June 2016

A few weeks after I published Docker Networking podcast, Brent Salisbury sent me an email saying “hey, we have experimental Macvlan and Ipvlan support for Docker” – a great topic for another podcast.

It took a while to get the stars aligned, but finally we got Brent, Madhu Venugopal, John Willis and Nick Buraglio on the same Skype call resulting in Episode 57 of Software Gone Wild.

Model-Driven Networking

20 May 2016

The Model-driven Networking seems to be another buzzword riding on top of the SDN wave. What exactly is it, how is it supposed to work, will it be really vendor-independent, and has anyone implemented it? I tried to get some answers to these questions from Jeff Tantsura, chair of IETF Routing Area Working Group, in Episode 55 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 56: More Open-Source Network Management Tools

29 April 2016

After listening to Open-Source Network Engineer Toolbox Nick Buraglio sent me an email saying “we should do another podcast on open-source network management tools…” and so we did. In Episode 56 of Software Gone Wild Nick, Elisa Jasinska and myself discussed a whole range of network management challenges and open-source tools you can use to address them.

Show 54: Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) and Avaya Fabric

15 April 2016

A few months ago I met a number of great engineers from Avaya and they explained to me how they creatively use Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) to create layer-2, layer-3, L2VPN, L3VPN and even IP Multicast fabrics – it was clearly time for another deep dive into SPB.

It took me a while to meet again with Roger Lapuh, but finally we started exploring the intricacies of SPB, and even compared it to MPLS for engineers more familiar with MPLS/VPN. Interested? Listen to Episode 54 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 53: Palo Alto Integration with Cisco ACI and OpenStack

1 April 2016

A while ago Christer Swartz explained how a Palo Alto firewall integrates with VMware NSX. In the meantime, Palo Alto announced integration with Cisco ACI and OpenStack, and it was time for another podcast with Christer deep-diving into the technical details of these integrations.

Spoiler: It’s not OpFlex. For more details, listen to Episode 53 of Software Gone Wild

Show 52: x86-Based Switching at Ludicrous Speed

20 March 2016

Imagine you want to have an IPv6-only access network and transport residual IPv4 traffic tunneled across it. Sounds great, but you need to terminate those tunnels and encapsulate/decapsulate IPv4 traffic at multi-gigabit rate.

There are plenty of reassuringly-expensive hardware solutions that can do that, or you could work with really smart people and get software-based solution that can do 20 Gbps per CPU core.

Show 51: Troubleshoot Your Network with PacketDesign

26 February 2016

Imagine you get a routing outage in your network resulting in three minutes of traffic blackholing. After a few tense minutes it goes away and life is good, but you desperately want to know what went wrong. Can you figure it out? Well, you could if you were using PacketDesign tools, as Cengiz Alaettinoglu explained on Episode 51 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 50: VMware NSX Update

11 February 2016

A few months ago VMware launched NSX version 6.2, and I asked my friend Anthony Burke to tell us more about the new features. Not surprisingly, we quickly started talking about troubleshooting, routing problems, and finished with route-health-injection done with a Python script. The end result: Episode 50 of Software Gone Wild. Enjoy!

Show 49: Docker Networking

27 January 2016

A year and a half ago, Docker networking couldn’t span multiple hosts and used NAT with port mapping to expose container-based services to the outside world.

Docker is the hottest Linux container solution these days. Want to know more about it? Matt Oswalt is running Introduction to Docker webinar in a few days.

In August 2014 a small startup decided to change all that. Docker bought them before they managed to get public, and the rest is history.

Show 48: OpenSwitch Deep Dive

15 January 2016

A while ago I watched a Networking Field Day Extra video in which Chris Young and Michael Zayats talked about HP’s open source initiative – they decided to build yet another open networking operating system.

Obviously I wanted to know more, reached out to Chris, and we quickly managed to set up an online chat resulting in Episode 48 of Software Gone Wild podcast.

Show 47: Running Open Daylight in Production Network

14 December 2015

Nick Buraglio used OpenDaylight and OpenFlow-enabled switches to build a part of the exhibition network of a large international supercomputing conference and was kind enough to talk about his real-life experience in Episode 47 of Software Gone Wild.

We covered:

Show 46: CPLANE Networks

11 December 2015

When I wrote a blog post explaining the difference between centralized control and centralized control plane, John Casey, CEO of CPLANE Networks wrote a comment sayingyeah, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

It took us a while to get the stars aligned, but finally we managed to sit down and chat about what they’re doing, resulting in Episode 46 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 45: Fibbing: OSPF-Based Traffic Engineering with Laurent Vanbever

27 November 2015

You might be familiar with the idea of using BGP as an SDN tool that pushes forwarding entries into routing and forwarding tables of individual devices, allowing you to build hop-by-hop path across the network (more details in Packet Pushers podcast with Petr Lapukhov).

Researchers from University of Louvain, ETH Zürich and Princeton figured out how to use OSPF to get the same job done and called their approach Fibbing. For more details, listen to Episode 45 of Software Gone Wild podcast with Laurent Vanbever (one of the authors), visit the project web site, or download the source code.

Show 44: Test-Driven Network Development with Michael Kashin

13 November 2015

Imagine you’d design your network by documenting the desired traffic flow across the network under all failure conditions, and only then do a low-level design, create configurations, and deploy the network… while being able to use the desired traffic flows as a testing tool to verify that the network still behaves as expected, both in a test lab as well as in the live network.

Show 43: Optimizing Traffic Engineering with NorthStar Controller

30 October 2015

Content providers were using centralized traffic flow optimization together with MPLS TE for at least 15 years (some of them immediately after Cisco launched the early MPLS-TE implementation in their 12.0(5)T release), but it was always hard to push the results into the network devices.

PCEP and BGP-LS all changed that – they give you a standard mechanism to extract network topology and install end-to-end paths across the network, as Julian Lucek of Juniper Networks explained in Episode 43 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 42: SDN Internet Router Is in Production

16 October 2015

You might remember the great idea David Barroso had last autumn – turn an Arista switch into an Internet edge router (SDN Internet Router – SIR). In the meantime, he implemented that solution in production environment serving high-speed links at multiple Internet exchange points. It was obviously time for another podcast on the same topic.

Show 41: Software-Defined IXP with Laurent Vanbever

5 October 2015

A while ago I started discussing the intricate technical details of fibbing (an ingenious way of implementing traffic engineering with traditional OSPF) with Laurent Vanbever and other members of his group, and we decided to record a podcast on this topic.

Things never go as planned in a live chat, and we finished talking about another one of his projects – software defined Internet exchange point (SDX), the topic of Episode 41 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 40: DLSP – QoS-Aware Routing Protocol

18 September 2015

When I asked “Are there any truly QoS-aware routing protocols out there?” in one of my SD-WAN posts, Marcelo Spohn from ADARA Networks quickly pointed out that they have one – Dynamic Link-State Routing Protocol.

He also claimed that DLSP has no scalability concerns – more than enough reasons to schedule an online chat, resulting in Episode 40 of Software Gone Wild. We didn’t go too deep this time, but you should get a nice overview of what DLSP is and how it works.

Show 39: Use nProbe and ELK Stack to Build a Netflow Solution

4 September 2015

How do you capture all the flows entering or exiting a data center if your core Nexus 7000 switch cannot do it in hardware? You take an x86 server, load nProbe on it, and connect the nProbe to an analysis system built with ELK stack… at least that’s what Clay Curtis did (and documented in a blog post).

Obviously I wanted to know more about his solution and invited him to the Software Gone Wild podcast. In Episode 39 we discussed:

Show 38: Layer-3-Only Data Center Networks with Cumulus Linux

21 August 2015

With the advent of layer-3 leaf-and-spine data center fabrics, it became (almost) possible to build pure layer-3-only data center networks… if only the networking vendors would do the very last step and make every server-to-ToR interface a layer-3 interface. Cumulus decided to do just that.

Show 37: Software-Defined Hardware Forwarding Pipeline on HP Switches

26 June 2015

Writing OpenFlow controllers that interact with physical hardware is harder than most people think. Apart from developing a distributed system (which is hard in itself), you have to deal with limitations of hardware forwarding pipelines, differences in forwarding hardware, imprecise abstractions (most vendors still support single OpenFlow table per switch), and resulting bloated flow tables.

Show 36: Open-Source Network Engineer Toolbox

19 June 2015

Elisa Jasinska, Bob McCouch and I were scheduled to record a NetOps podcast with a major vendor, but unfortunately their technical director cancelled at the last minute. Like good network engineers, we immediately found plan B and focused on Elisa’s specialty: open-source tools.

Show 35: NAPALM: Integrating Ansible with Network Devices

12 June 2015

What happens when network engineers with strong programming background and focus on open source tools have to implement network automation in a multi-vendor network? Instead of complaining or ranting about the stupidities of traditional networking vendors and CLI they write an abstraction layer that allows them to treat all their devices in the same way and immediately open-source it.

Show 34: Network Monitoring in SDN Era

29 May 2015

A while ago Chris Young sent me a few questions about network management in the brave new SDN world. I never focused on network management, but I know a few people who do, including Terry Slattery and Matt Oswalt. Interop brought us all together, and we sat down one evening after the presentations to chat about the challenges of monitoring and managing SDN networks.

We started with easy things like comparing monitoring results from virtual and physical switches (and why they’ll never match and do we even care), and quickly diverted into all sorts of potential oscillations caused by overly-dynamic load balancing caused by flow label-based ECMP and flowlets.

Show 33: Segment Routing 101

22 May 2015

With all the hype around Segment Routing we said: “let’s chat about it, what could possibly go wrong”. The result: Episode 33 of Software Gone Wild. We didn’t get very far into the technical details, but you might still find the overview useful (or not – do tell me how good or useless it is).

Show 32: Build Your Development or Lab Environment with Ravello Systems

15 May 2015

When preparing for my Simplifying Application Workload Migration workshop (coming in webinar format in autumn) I tried to find a solution that would allow me to recreate existing enterprise virtual network infrastructure in a cloud environment. Soon I stumbled upon Ravello Systems, remembered hearing about them on a podcast, and got in touch with them to figure out whether they could help me solve that challenge.

It turned you might use Ravello Systems’ solution to implement disaster recovery, but I got way more excited about the possibility to use their solution for labs or testing. To learn more about that, listen to Episode 32 of Software Gone Wild.

Show 31: OpenFlow in HP Campus Solutions

8 May 2015

When I finished my SDN workshop @ Interop Las Vegas (including a chapter on OpenFlow limitations), some attendees started wondering whether they should even consider OpenFlow in their SDN deployments. My answer: don’t blame the tool if people use it incorrectly.

Two days later, I discovered HP is one of those companies that knows how to use that tool.

Show 30: PF_RING Deep Dive with Luca Deri

30 April 2015

Whenever software switching nerds get together and start discussing the challenges of high-speed x86-based switching, someone inevitably mentions PF_RING, an open-source library that gives you blazingly fast packet processing performance on a Linux server.

I started recording a podcast with Luca Deri, the author of PF_RING, but we diverted into discussing ntopng, Luca’s network monitoring software. We quickly fixed that and recorded another podcast – this time, it’s all about PF_RING, and we discussed these topics:

Show 29: NSONE – Data-Driven DNS

17 April 2015

DNS is a crucial component in modern scale-out application architectures, so when Alex Vayl and Kris Beevers from NSONE contacted me just as I was starting to work on my Active-Active Data Centers presentation, I was more than interested to hear what their solution can do.

The result: Episode 29 of Software Gone Wild in which we discussed a number of topics including:

Show 28: ntopng Deep Dive with Luca Deri

10 April 2015

PF_RING is a great open-source project that enables extremely fast packet processing on x86 servers, so I was more than delighted when Paolo Lucente of the pmacct fame introduced me to Luca Deri, the author of PF_RING.

When we started chatting, we couldn’t resist mentioning ntopng, another open-source project Luca is working on.

Show 27: Microsegmentation in VMware NSX

27 March 2015

VM NIC firewalls have been around for years (they’re also the reason I got my first invitation to the awesome Troopers conference), but it sounds so much better when you call them Microsegmentation (not the one I talked about @ Troopers this year).

Marketing gimmicks aside, VMware NSX includes an interesting in-kernel stateful firewall, and Brad Hedlund was kind enough to explain the intricacies of that feature in Episode 27 of Software Gone Wild

Show 26: Networking Field Day 9 Wrap-up

20 March 2015

A few days after the Networking Field Day 9 event Nick Buraglio organized a virtual meetup with Brandon Carroll, Brandon Mangold, Bob McCouch and myself, and we discussed the presentations from NEC, Cumulus, Cisco and Brocade. Nick recorded the conversation and so Episode 26 of Software Gone Wild was born.

Show 25: TCP Optimization with Juho Snellman

13 March 2015

Achieving 40 Gbps of forwarding performance on an Intel server is no longer a big deal - Juniper got to 160 Gbps with finely tuned architecture - but can you do real-time optimization of a million concurrent TCP sessions on that same box at 20 Gbps?

Juho Snellman from Teclo Networks explained how they got there in Episode 25 of Software Gone Wild… and you’ll learn a ton of things about radio networks on the way.

Enjoy the show!

Show 24: Scalable Load Balancing with Avi Networks

6 March 2015

How many times have you received exact specifications of the traffic the e-commerce platform you have to deploy will generate? How do you buy a load balancer (application delivery controller in marketese) to support that (somewhat unknown) amount of traffic? In most cases, you buy a box that’s several times too big for the traffic the site is receiving most of the time, and still crashes under peak load.

Show 23: Hands-On Tail-F Experience – Part 2

17 February 2015

Want to know even more about Tail-F NCS after listening to Episode 22 of Software Gone Wild? Boštjan Šuštar and Marko Tišler from NIL Data Communications continue their deep dive into the secrets of NCS in Software Gone Wild Episode 23.

Show 22: Hands-On Tail-F Experience

13 February 2015

Tail-F NCS implements one of the most realistic approaches to service abstraction (the cornerstone of SDN – at least in my humble opinion) – an orchestration system that automates service provisioning on existing infrastructure.

Is the product really as good as everyone claims? How hard is it to use? How steep is the learning curve? Boštjan Šuštar and Marko Tišler from NIL Data Communications have months of hands-on experience and were willing to share it in Episode 22 of Software Gone Wild.

Whiteboarding Cisco ACI

6 February 2015

Late last year David Gee and I wanted to test another interesting gizmo: an online virtual whiteboard. David was pondering some interesting aspect of Cisco ACI and they seemed like a perfect topic for an impromptu discussion.

Show 20: Troubleshooting VMware NSX

30 January 2015

When we started planning a VMware NSX-focused podcast episode with Dmitri Kalintsev, I asked my readers what topics they’d like to see covered. Two comments that we really liked were “how do I get started with VMware NSX?” and “how do I troubleshoot this stuff?

Show 19: SDN Router @ Spotify

16 January 2015

Imagine you need a data center WAN edge router with multiple 10GE uplinks. You’d probably go for an ASR or a MX-series router, right? How about using a 2 Tbps ToR switch and an SDN solution to make it work with full Internet routing table?

If you happen to have iTunes on your computer, please spend 10 seconds rating the podcast before you start listening to it. Thank you!

Show 18: Palo Alto Virtual Firewalls

9 January 2015

One of the interesting challenges in the Software-Defined Data Center world is the integration of network and security services with the compute infrastructure and network virtualization. Palo Alto claims to have tightly integrated their firewalls with VMware NSX and numerous cloud orchestration platforms - it was time to figure out how that’s done, so we decided to go on a field trip into the scary world of security.

Show 17: L2VPN over IPv6 with Snabb Switch

12 December 2014

Highly customizable high-speed virtual switch written in Lua sounds great, but is it really that easy to use? Simon Leinen was kind enough to get me in touch with Alex Gall, his colleague at Switch, who's working on an interesting project: implementing L2VPN over IPv6 with Snabb Switch.

Show 16: Transactional Thoughts on a Stormy Night

26 November 2014

It was a dark stormy autumn night and three networking engineers had nothing better to do than ponder the heavy topics of transactional consistency in a distributed SDN environment in Episode 16 of Software Gone Wild podcast.

Here are a few of the topics that crossed our minds:

Show 15: Viptela SEN: Hybrid WAN Connectivity with an SDN Twist

14 November 2014

Like many of us Khalid Raza wasted countless hours sitting in meetings discussing hybrid WAN connectivity designs using a random combination of DMVPN, IPsec, PfR, and one or more routing protocols… and decided to try to create a better solution to the problem.

Viptela Secure Extensible Network (SEN) doesn’t try to solve every networking problem ever encountered, which is why it’s simpler to use in the use case it is designed to solve: multi-provider WAN connectivity.

Show 14: FlipIT Cloud: Orchestrating IT-as-a-Service

7 November 2014

Imagine being an IT administrator running a multi-tenant enterprise environment (example: an SMB business center). How many things would you have to configure to add a new tenant? How about adding a new user for an existing tenant?

The engineers behind the scenes of FlipIT cloud service ended up with a 40-page configuration guide when they started the service years ago… and obviously decided full-blown automation is the only way to go.

Show 13: Cumulus Linux in Real Life

27 October 2014

A year ago Matthew Stone first heard about Cumulus Linux when I ranted about it on a Packet Pushers podcast (which only proves that any publicity is good publicity even though some people thought otherwise at that time), and when his cloud service provider company started selecting ToR switches he considered Cumulus together with Cisco and Arista… and chose Cumulus.

Show 12: Border6 Non-Stop Internet: a Commercial BGP-Based SDN

16 October 2014

Several SDN solutions that coexist with the traditional control- and data planes instead of ripping them out and replacing them with the new awesomesauce use BGP to modify the network’s forwarding behavior.

Border6 decided to turn that concept into a commercial product that we dissected in Episode 12 of Software Gone Wild podcast.

Enjoy the show (this time in video format).

Show 11: Network Automation Tools with Jason Edelman on Sofware Gone Wild

3 October 2014

The stars have finally aligned, and after months of scheduling Jason and myself found time to chat about network automation tools and all the other exciting things Jason is doing (and blogging about).

We started with easy topics:

Show 10: Schprokits with Jeremy Schulman

26 September 2014

Jeremy Schulman was the driving force behind the Puppet agent that Juniper implemented on some Junos switches (one of the first fully supported Puppet-on-a-switch implementations). In the meantime, he quit Juniper and started his own company focused on a network automation product – more than enough reasons to chat with him on Software Gone Wild.

Show 9: Virtual Networking in CloudStack

19 September 2014

If you mention open-source cloud orchestration tools these days, everyone immediately thinks about OpenStack (including the people who spent months or years trying to make it ready for production use). In the meantime, there are at least two other comparable open-source products (CloudStack and Eucalyptus) that nobody talks about. Obviously having a working product is not as sexy as having 50+ vendors and analysts producing press releases.

Show 8: Open-Source Hybrid Cloud Reference Architecture

11 September 2014

A while ago Rick Parker told me about his amazing project: he started a meetup group that will build a reference private/hybrid cloud heavily relying on virtualized network services, and publish all documentation related to their effort, from high-level architecture to device and software configurations, and wiring plans.

In Episode 8 of Software Gone Wild Rick told us more about his project, and we simply couldn’t avoid a long list of topics including:

Show 7: Snabb Switch Deep Dive

4 September 2014

The pilot episode of Software Gone Wild podcast featuring Snabb Switch created plenty of additional queries (and thousands of downloads) – it was obviously time for another deep dive episode discussing the intricate innards of this interesting virtual switch.

During the deep dive Luke Gorrie, the mastermind behind the Snabb Switch, answered a long list of questions, including:

Show 6: Toolsmith @ Netflix

27 August 2014

I first met Elisa Jasinska when she had one of the coolest job titles I ever saw: Senior Packet Herder. Her current job title is almost as cool: Senior Network Toolsmith @ Netflix – obviously an ideal guest for the Software Gone Wild podcast.

In our short chat she described some of the tools she’s working on, including an adaptation of pmacct to environments with numerous BGP exit points (more details in her NANOG presentation).

Show 5: Pmacct: the Traffic Analysis Tool with Unpronounceable Name

20 August 2014

SDN evangelists talking about centralized traffic engineering, flow steering or bandwidth calendaring sometimes tend to gloss over the first rule of successful traffic engineering: Know Thy Traffic.

In a world ruled by OpenFlow you’d expect the OpenFlow controller to know all the traffic; in more traditional networks we use technologies like NetFlow, sFlow or IPFIX to report the traffic statistics – but regardless of the underlying mechanism, you need a tool that will collect the statistics, aggregate them in a way that makes them usable to the network operators, report them, and potentially act on the deviations.

Show 4: Network Automation @ Spotify

17 July 2014

What can you do if you have a small team of networking engineers responsible for four ever-growing data centers (with several hundred network devices in each of them)? There’s only one answer: you try to survive by automating as much as you can.

In the fourth episode of Software Gone Wild podcast David Barosso from Spotify explains how they use network automation to cope with the ever-growing installed base without increasing the size of the networking team.

Show 3: The F-Script with John Herbert

9 July 2014

The use of tools has accelerated human evolution and made us what we are today. Networking is no different, and yet there aren’t that many tool builders among the networking engineers… or maybe all you need is a nudge and some hints on how to get started.

Show 2: Network Programmability with David Gee

2 July 2014

For the second episode of Software Gone Wild I got a truly interesting guest: David Gee, a network engineer already working on numerous network programmability and orchestration deployment.

During our half-hour chat we couldn’t avoid the question of whether every networking engineer will become a programmer and David provided an interesting answer: you don’t have to program, but you’ll definitely have to start thinking more like a good programmer.

Show 1: Snabb Switch and NFV on OpenStack in Software Gone Wild

25 June 2014

Last September I received a peculiar tweet from Luke Gorrie pointing me to a software switch pushing 200 Gbps through an Intel server literally hours after I’d watched the Deutsche Telekom Terastream presentation, so I mentioned Luke’s Snabb Switch as a potential performance solution in an email to Ian Farrer… and before Ian managed to reply, Luke was already working for Deutsche Telekom.