Building Next-Generation Data Center


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This 6-week highly interactive online course will give you all the knowledge (and confidence) you need to design and implement modern data center and private cloud infrastructure.

This page contains the pointers to self-study materials, module descriptions and hands-on exercises for the Building Next-Generation Data Centers online course.

For more details, please visit the main course page.

13:22:11 Collecting the Requirements

The first module of the course focuses on the big picture and requirement collection phase. Topics discussed include:

  • How to identify services that have to be offered by the data center infrastructure
  • Identifying the reliability and recovery requirements
  • Multi-DC considerations
  • DC placement (on-premises or colocation)
  • How to collect the infrastructure requirements
Self-study materials
Design Assignment

19:52:26 Automation and Orchestration

The automation and orchestration topics are usually discussed as an afterthought, but we’ll start with them because they are one of the most crucial aspects of a successful data center deployment.

We'll figure out what our single source of truth is, what data storage mechanism to use, and how to use the network and services state to provision infrastructure and services, and validate network operations. We'll also discuss various network automation tools, and select the best one for the job that needs to be done.

Self-study materials

17:25:58 Compute Infrastructure

You can’t start designing or building a data center infrastructure from the bottom up. Before designing the network you need to understand the workloads the network has to support. In this section we’ll talk about:

  • Server virtualization and impact of high-density virtualization
  • Bare-metal servers, virtual machines and containers
  • Networking requirements of hypervisor- and container products
Self-study materials

4:19:40 Storage Infrastructure

In immortal words of Howard Marks, "Storage is different". In this section you'll figure out why storage administrators have to have a totally different view of the world, how traditional storage was implement, what software-defined storage and hyperconverged infrastructure are, and what protocols you might have to support to connect physical or virtual servers with the storage arrays or scale-out storage infrastructure.

Self-study materials
Design Assignment

5:50:55 Introduction to Data Center Fabrics

The first networking infrastructure module of the course introduces the data center fabrics concept and the leaf-and-spine architecture.

After completing this module you'll be able to design a small leaf-and-spine fabric.

Self-study materials
Design Assignment

17:45:18 Designing Leaf-and-Spine Fabric

In this module you'll learn how to design stable and scalable leaf-and-spine fabrics, regardless of whether they have to provide layer-2 or layer-3 transport.

Self-study materials
Design Assignment

19:29:29 Overlay Virtual Networking

Overlay virtual networking is the new (scalable) approach to providing dynamic on-demand virtual networks.

In overlay virtual networking architectures the physical fabric provides stable IP transport while the fabric edge or the hypervisor virtual switches encapsulate customer Ethernet or IP traffic using encapsulation technologies like VXLAN.

After completing this module you'll be able to design an overlay virtual networking solution.

Self-study materials
Design Assignment

9:44:56 IPv6 in Data Centers

As Internet IPv6 adoption is reaching significant levels (25% global penetration, with large countries like US reaching 40% penetration), you cannot ignore the impact of IPv6 on your infrastructure any longer.

This section will help you understand the role of IPv6 in your data center and provide additional information in case you decided to deploy it.

Self-study materials

4:51:50 Network Services

In this section we'll discuss most common network services used in data center environments: load balancing and firewalling.

We'll also discuss whether to use physical or virtual appliances, and whether the in-kernel distributed firewalls are good enough to secure inter-server traffic.

Self-study materials

High-Availability Concerns

This part of the course focuses on high-availability aspects of modern data center designs and deployments including:

  • How to define high availability
  • Dispelling the high availability myths
  • Identifying real business needs and their viability
  • Deciding what’s feasible to do based on application architecture, and what makes sense to deploy;
  • Security in private and public cloud environments;
  • Impact of modern application deployment processes on security and high availability.
Module description
Self-study materials

Putting It All Together

In the last section of the course we’ll yet again refocus on the big picture: how to combine all the pieces we’ve discussed in the previous modules into an optimized data center infrastructure.

Module description
Self-study materials

105:34:00 Webinars Included in Self-Study Materials

This section contains the comprehensive list of webinars included in the self-study materials.

Several presentations from the past live sessions are also part of the mandatory or recommended materials - see the individual modules for more details.

11:05:00 Introduction, Collecting the Requirements and High-Level Design

Data Center Infrastructure for Networking Engineers 6:57:00
Designing a Private Cloud Infrastructure 3:04:00
Sizing the Network 1:04:00

11:20:00 Automation and Orchestration

Network Automation 101 1:48:00
Network Automation Use Cases 6:54:00
Network Programmability 101 49:00
Network Automation Tools 1:49:00

6:43:00 Hypervisor Networking

Introduction to Virtualized Networking 1:57:00
vSphere 6 Networking Deep Dive 4:46:00

3:19:00 Containers and Docker

Introduction to Docker 1:40:00
Docker Networking Fundamentals 1:39:00

35:29:00 Networking Infrastructure

Data Center Fabric Architectures 16:38:00
Leaf-and-Spine Fabric Architectures 10:52:00
Open Networking for Large-Scale Networks 2:22:00
Networks, Buffers, and Drops 1:12:00
EVPN Technical Deep Dive 4:25:00

8:02:00 IPv6 in the Data Center

Enterprise IPv6 - the First Steps 1:33:00
Building Large IPv6 Networks 3:13:00
IPv6-Only Data Centers 1:18:00
IPv6 Transition Mechanisms 1:58:00

3:01:00 High Availability

Designing Active-Active and Disaster Recovery Data Centers 3:01:00

12:12:00 Overlay Virtual Networking

Overlay Virtual Networking 3:22:00
VXLAN Technical Deep Dive 3:46:00
Virtual Firewalls 2:39:00
VMware NSX Architecture Overview 2:25:00

4:43:00 Cloud Computing

Networking in Private and Public Clouds 4:43:00

9:40:00 Software-Defined Networking

Introduction to Software Defined Networking (SDN) 3:09:00
SDN Architectures and Deployment Considerations 1:57:00
SDN Use Cases 4:34:00
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