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Building Next-Generation Data Center - Autumn 2016 sessions

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9:38 Introduction

Course Introduction and Logistics 9:38 2016-09-07

1:43:57 Collecting the Requirements

In the first session of the Spring 2016 course we focused on lock-in, considered the role of OpenStack, and had a lively discussion about collecting the requirements.

Requirements - 2016 1.4M 2016-09-06
Lock-In 47:21 2016-09-07
OpenStack 27:36 2016-09-07
Collecting the Requirements 29:00 2016-09-07

1:20:19 Creating a Great Presentation

It doesn't help if you have the best ideas in the world if you can't present them, so I asked Marjan Bradeško (NIL Data Communications) to explain how to create a great presentation.

Creating a Great Presentation 4.1M 2016-09-06
Creating a Great Presentation 80:19 2016-09-07
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
Confessions of a Public Speaker (Scott Berkun)
100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

1:37:01 Network Automation and Orchestration Systems

Elisa Jasinska started her presentation with a brief description of typical microservices-based network automation architecture.

Next she listed the services and components you might need in your automation/orchestration solution, including single-source-of-truth database, templating system, device access, telemetry data collection systems and monitoring systems.

In the final part of the presentation you'll find a few guidelines on automation/orchestration system design.

Network Automation and Orchestration Systems 3.2M 2016-09-14
Network Automation and Orchestration Systems 97:01 2016-09-14

50:00 Network Automation Tools

In the automation/orchestration section of Spring 2016 course I briefly listed common open-source automation tools. This section has since been superseded by the Network Automation Tools webinar.

Network Automation Tools 5.7M 2016-09-13
Network Automation Tools 50:00 2016-09-14

2:05:16 Whitebox Switching and Disaggregation

Russ White described business and technology drivers for whitebox switching adoption and the third-part networking operating systems you could use on whitebox switches. This section has since been superseded by the Open Networking webinar.

Whitebox Switching and Disaggregation 1.1M 2016-09-22
Whitebox Switching and Disaggregation - Concepts and Hardware 58:11 2016-09-23
Whitebox Switching and Disaggregation - Architectures and Challenges 67:05 2016-09-23

3:38:11 Networking Discussions

During the networking Q&A session we covered overlay virtual networking, interesting aspects of stretched leaf-and-spine fabrics, and the concepts of pods and superspines. The leaf-and-spine topics have since been expanded in the Leaf-and-Spine Fabric Architectures webinar.

Networking Discussions 486K 2016-09-21
Overlay Virtual Networking Discussions 99:03 2016-09-23
Overlay Networking Questions 31:10 2016-11-16
Leaf-Spine Fabrics 74:23 2016-09-22
Pods and Superspines 13:35 2016-11-16

2:39:09 Storage

Howard Marks, a renowned storage guru, started his presentation with a brief introduction of traditional storage technology including:

  • performance metrics,
  • storage systems,
  • RAID data redundancy,
  • storage protocols.

The core of his presentation focused on modern storage concepts including object storage, software-defined storage, scale-out architectures, erasure coding, the impact of flash storage, and hyperconverged infrastructure.

He concluded with a plethora of interesting topics we rarely hear about in enough details including snapshots, storage QoS, per-VM storage services and VMware vVols, and various storage replication mechanisms.

Software Defined Storage 3.3M 2016-09-26
Storage 101 66:54 2016-09-28
Software-Defined Storage 47:31 2016-09-28
Storage Services 44:44 2016-09-28

2:51:34 Lessons Learned Operating Active-Active Data Centers

Networking and virtualization vendors keep proposing crazier and crazier ideas that are supposed to allow you to run active-active data centers without touching the applicatino architecture. Not surprisingly, most of them fail disastrously under the right failure conditions.

If you want to have a highly-available application, there's simply no substitute for good design including global and local load balancing. In his presentation, Ethan Banks described the architecture he used when running multiple data centers for a large credit card payment processor, and lessons learned while operating them.

Lessons Learned Operating Active-Active DCs (Ethan Banks) 411K 2016-10-09
Lessons Learned Operating Active-Active Data Centers 96:04 2016-10-12

1:15:30 Q&A session

After Ethan's presentation we had a lively Q&A session focused on application- and infrastructure high-availability.

High-Availability Concerns 75:30 2016-10-12

1:41:30 Putting It All Together - VMware NSX on Cisco Nexus 9000

Can you combine VMware NSX with Cisco Nexus 9000 switches? Should you run EVPN or ACI on the physical switches? What design guidelines should you follow? What are the potential gotchas? In his presentation Mitja Robas answered all these questions, and described a few of the lessons learned while building a production NSX+EVPN environment.

VMware NSX on Cisco Nexus 9000 using EVPN 6.7M 2016-10-17
Introduction 30:09 2016-10-20
Physical Network 18:17 2016-10-20
Design and Deployment 36:40 2016-10-20
Lessons Learned 16:24 2016-10-20

46:38 Design Reviews

We concluded the Spring 2016 course with a review of submitted design assignments.

Design Reviews 46:38 2016-11-16
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