Why are Real Time Network Analytics so important?

By: Gautam Chanda, GPLM DC Networking, HPE

In today’s world of hyper speed business decisions and need to be agile enough to stay ahead of the competition, match or exceed new market demands, and manage demanding customer expectations, your customer facing application behavior will succeed or fail based primarily on its performance.

This puts a tremendous responsibility on Network Engineers (aka Network Operators) in Enterprises and HyperScale Data Centers as most of the unexplained application performance shortfalls result from an underlying network infrastructure not providing proper performance and scale on demand, or it was not adequately designed for optimum application performance. The Network Operators will have to ensure that their networks are responsive, “always on” and capable of meeting the ever-growing demand from applications they run. Providing operators with deeper instrumentation and telemetry data about the network help operators diagnose network issues, plan and fine-tune the network to provide improved performance and make optimal use of network resources.

One of the main causes of these unexplained application performance issues stems from latency caused by underlying network congestion. Among the causes of a network, congestion is an elusive type of network congestion called “Microburst.” As the name suggest “microbursts” are sub-second periods of time when major bursts of network usage occur at line rate and can temporarily overflow the switch buffers and cause packet loss or backpressure.

Traditionally “congestion” has been associated with switch ports being utilized at close to line rate. In a congestion scenario, packets can be dropped by the switch or flows may backpressure due to lack of buffer space. However, a more recent analysis has uncovered the existence of these “microbursts” occurring more frequently than we may have guessed and there was no good way to detect them, resulting in network engineers looking for the proverbial “needle in a haystack” to find the causes of unexpected application performance issues in their network.

Typically, these “microbursts” do not last long enough to be detected by traditional switch counters such as SNMP or port statistics. This is because traditional tools used to monitor network traffic patterns, such as RMON and SNMP, have been based on a polling model where data is typically collected at one second or longer intervals. What about the events that will occur within these polling intervals? With the evolution to 100GbE attachment in the data center, within even a one-second interval a 100GbE interface could go from idle to forwarding over 280 million packets and back again. In a traditional SNMP/RMON polling model this 280 million packet burst can become invisible.

Let’s look at the potential business impact of these microbursts in a High-Frequency Trading (HFT) environment:

  • In a NetworkingWorld article, Charles Thompson – NI manager of system engineering, stated “When trading floors open at 9:30 am Eastern time, their networks are flooded with a ridiculous number of trades that have been queued up since the night before. To analyze performance issues, network managers often have to break out a one-second period into smaller, microscopic intervals. So, they’ll chop up the one-second interval into 100-millisecond intervals, 10-millisecond intervals, or 5-microsecond intervals for investigations. When you get to a sub-second resolution, it’s referred to as a microburst. It’s a small period of time when a major burst of usage occurred…….But, we’ve had many customers requiring 100-microsecond increments, who will take advantage of this drill down capability.”
  • An InformationWeek article stated, “A 1-millisecond advantage in trading applications can be worth $100 million a year to a major brokerage firm.”

Networks are critical to the business as they deliver applications and services to the rest of the organization. Networks must have high performance, low latency, reliability and security. Network/data center downtime is expensive and impacts the business outcome. By proactively detecting these elusive networks microburst allows the network operators to run their network at the most optimum performance level.

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 10.06.38 AM.png

Learn more about the HPE FlexFabric 5950 100G TOR (Top of the Rack) Switch. This switch will provide the capability of detecting these elusive microbursts by embedding BroadviewTM Instrumentation analytics in the switch.

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Performance management in IMC – Part 2: Cool stuff

In part 1 of this series we saw what we can do in terms of performance monitoring without any customization in IMC. This means only by installing IMC and discovering devices … Now let’s see the customization part.

Here is where the cool stuff begins:

  1. We can add some performance views with the data we already have, in order to enable. For example, here are some Trend Lines of CPU and Memory usage for our core devices:
    Perf_Advanced_picture_1.png
  2. We can also add some customised “Real-Time monitoring” pages (in Performance Management à Real-Time monitoring). Doing so we can have a very quick access to live information for live debugging.
    Perf_Advanced_picture_2.png
  3. You may feel frustrated with only a few performance metrics to monitor … Don’t worry, there are about 445 predefined performance indexes you just need to activate in order to monitor these 🙂
    Perf_Advanced_picture_3.pngSo we can, for example, monitor device temperature, interfaces bandwidth, error packets, QoS … Below is an example of adding temperature monitoring:
    Perf_Advanced_picture_4.pngAnd the result:
    Perf_Advanced_picture_5.png
  4. And if you need even more … You can add your own global index (everything you want if this can be obtained through SNMP), either in an existing category or in a user-defined one. Only things you need to know are the SNMP system Object Identifier of the data you need and the formula to calculate the performance index. Below we add SFP transceiver Transmitted Power for ArubaOS devices to the predefined category “Transceiver Current Transmitted Power”.
    Perf_Advanced_picture_6.pngAnd so we can now add this metric as we usually do with predefined ones 🙂
  5. Let’s finish with another interesting feature. We can add any of the monitoring indexes configured above to the topology. For example, we can say that for switches we want to display the temperature and that we want to display some interface statistics on the links:
    Perf_Advanced_picture_7.pngAnd so when you select a device or a link you should see something like this:
    Perf_Advanced_picture_8.png

There are many other things you can do, such as adding dashboards, playing with RMON, configuring schedule reports to be sent by email … I’ll let you discover by yourself. And also we can use IMC NTA (Network Traffic Analyser) module in order to analyse more precisely the traffic on our infrastructure. I promise I’ll be back soon with another blog in this series.

netmanfabe

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HPE and Arista Networks extend their partnership

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Today in Boston at our HPE Global Partner Conference, Antonio Neri, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Group for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, announced an exciting new strategic partnership with Arista Networks that will advance our strategy to provide secure Hybrid IT solutions built on the industry’s leading software-defined data center infrastructure portfolio.

This partnership expands on the existing HPE Converged Architecture agreement we announced last June that focused on building application workload reference architectures as part of our HPE Converged Architecture ecosystem. HPE is now advancing this partnership in offering our customers and partners the ability to purchase Arista Networks switching products directly from HPE starting November 7, 2016.

Cloud Optimized Data Center Networking

Arista was founded to pioneer and deliver software-driven cloud networking solutions for large data center storage and computing environments. Arista has accomplished this by offering customers a better, open, software-defined alternative for cloud-scale data centers. Arista had focused initially in the US on the financial industry (FSI/low latency) and the “cloud titans” such as Microsoft with solutions that target hyper-scale and Web 2.0 data centers. Arista has become the fastest growing vendor in high-speed data center networking (40/100GbE) segment and is growing at remarkable pace with Q2 revenue of $268M growing 37% year over year putting them on a one billion dollar annualize run rate.1

The move to Software-defined Data Centers

Software-defined networking continues to gain market traction as an innovative architectural model capable of enabling automated provisioning, network virtualization, and network programmability for data centers at cloud-providers and enterprise networks. Although SDN initially found favor in hyper-scale data centers and at large-scale cloud service providers, it is also winning adoption in a growing number of enterprise data centers across a broad range of vertical markets

HPE and Arista share a common vision around the need to deliver secure Hybrid IT solutions and experiences built on industry-leading software-defined infrastructure – helping customers to operate their workloads with speed and agility to grow their business. This partnership will provide our customers with best of breed networking solutions that are superior to legacy networking solutions and that are complementary to our HPE Data Center Infrastructure Group (DCIG) solutions including HPE compute, storage, virtualization and cloud offerings.

According to Crehan Research’s latest Data Center Switch Long-Range Forecast Report, a confluence of faster data center Ethernet switch upgrades will propel the market to $15 billion by 2020. The firm projects that 100 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switching will ramp strongly by the second half of this year and that 400GbE will experience robust growth in 2018.

HPE networking portfolio positioning

Adding Arista to our current HPE FlexFabric and Altoline product lines will expand our ability to address a wider variety of data center networking customer use cases and requirements.

HPE continues to invest in and position our existing solutions in the specific segments they serve best – namely traditional data centers (FlexFabric) and white box, enterprise and service providers data centers (Altoline).

Moving forward, Arista will be our preferred networking partner in Data Center Networking as an infrastructure foundation for HPE’s software-defined infrastructure solutions.

Together – HPE and Arista are uniquely positioned to help organizations transition to a software-defined data center through innovations that enable network automation. Augmenting our HPE Data Center Infrastructure Group (DCIG) portfolio with Arista networking enables HPE to offer highly differentiated solutions that create impactful business outcomes for our customers.

If you are in the HPE Partner Ready Program, you can find the announcement and frequently asked questions on your home page of the Partner Ready Portal in the News & Events section.

1 – https://www.arista.com/en/company/news/press-release/1368-pr-20160804

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Virtualization Triple Play: VMware NSXv/ESXi Certifications for HPE Network, Cloud & IoT Solutions

Triple plays are a rare and exciting part of baseball, but in the world of virtualization and IT and IoT infrastructures, they become particularly meaningful in enabling HPE customers to better embrace the New Style of IT by transitioning to hybrid infrastructures, empowering data-driven organizations and better enabling workforce productivity.

This week at VMworld, HPE has stepped up to the plate and elevated our relationship with VMware via a “Virtualization Triple Play” with the VMware NSX and VMware ESX virtualization platforms.

We are proud to announce that after months of rigorous testing, our flagship data center networking and open source cloud solutions have received NSXv certification from VMware, along with our new converged IoT system receiving certification for VMware ESXi. These new certifications raise our game with VMware and ensure our customers receive reliable and predictable experiences when deploying HPE/VMware infrastructure.

At a high level, our HPE FlexFabric 5930 Switch Series is certified for VMware NSXv 6.2.3 and 6.2.4, our open source cloud platform HPE Helion OpenStack 3.0 is certified with VMware’s NSXv 6.2.2 and our new Edgeline Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000 Converged IoT Systems compute blades (m510 and m710x) are now certified for VMware ESXi.

These certifications underpin a 16-year relationship and represent significant achievements as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the HPE VMware (NSX) OEM agreement which allows HPE to design, sell and support the full gambit of VMware data center virtualization solutions (ESX, NSX) that enable our customers to deploy applications faster, simplify and automate their data center network fabric, and improve security. As a result, HPE is now the industry’s largest global reseller of VMware solutions.

Below is the exciting play-by-play analysis of our VMware NSX and ESX certifications.

From Third to Second to First: NSXv/ESXi Certified Solutions Analysis

The HPE FlexFabric 5930 Switch Series provides advanced features and high performance in a top-of-rack, data center switch architecture. Consisting of a 1U 32-port 40GbE Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP+) switch, a two-slot modular version with two 40GbE ports and a four-slot modular version, the 5930 brings high density to a small footprint. The switch supports VXLAN, an encapsulation protocol for running an overlay network on existing Layer 3 infrastructure.

Flexfabric 5930.png

With the FlexFabric 5930 certification, HPE networking is delivering an entire hybrid cloud infrastructure that customers can deploy with complete confidence, built on VMware NSX. The solution includes the HPE FlexFabric 5930 as a top-of-rack switch providing industry-leading Ethernet fabric connectivity for HPE servers, storage and management portfolio.

VMware certification tests are designed to simulate real-world environments so that customers can deploy solutions with confidence. FlexFabric 5930 testing included reliability and high availability, stress, performance, upgrade and downgrade and security. The FlexFabric was shown to support 250 tunnels, 160 virtual network instances (VNIs), and 250 virtual LANs (VLANs) with 250 media access control (MAC) addresses per VLAN.

HPE Helion OpenStack is Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s enterprise-grade distribution of OpenStack® software, the leading open source cloud computing platform. HPE Helion OpenStack is a hardened, extensible product designed to deliver open-source cloud computing while adhering tightly to OpenStack software API standards and services. Our HPE Helion OpenStack solution enables IT teams to configure this open cloud platform to work with existing data center resources and drive business outcomes with the assurance that they are backed by the industry-leading support and experience of a trusted IT partner.

HPE Helion OpenStack 3.0 was tested with VMware’s NSX for vSphere version 6.2.2 and the corresponding Neutron based plugin on the OpenStack Liberty release. The solution allows deployment of Helion OpenStack with NSX network virtualization platform to manage ESXi hosts using the VMware vSphere and NSX platforms. This testing was conducted as part of our Helion Ready program, which is designed to provide validated and documented procedures to configure the two products for basic interoperability. In addition, customers who purchase VMware NSX for vSphere through HPE will be able to take advantage of a single point of contact for technical support across the entire solution.

HPE Edgeline EL1000 and Edgeline EL4000 servers represent the industry’s first converged systems for the Internet of Things (IoT). These systems integrate compute, storage, data capture and control. With built-in enterprise-class systems and device management, these systems are designed to thrive in hardened environments with the ability to easily handle shock, vibration and extreme temperatures. In addition, they are optimized to deliver heavy-duty data analytics and insights, graphically intense data visualization and real-time response at the edge.

EL1000EL1000

Edgeline systems also provide dynamic security to IoT devices via HPE Aruba ClearPass, which allows IoT devices to be automatically added and profiled, with strict adherence to security policies. Edgeline EL4000 systems also run the HPE Vertica Analytics Platform to deliver historical and predictive analytic insights from in-database machine learning algorithms across a broad range of IoT analytic use cases.

HPE ProLiant m510 and HPE ProLiant M710x computer cartridges, which serve as the compute nodes for the Edgeline EL1000 and ES4000 systems, each passed all ESXi certification tests as well as HPE deep, robust internal testing with flying colors. This enables our customers to use their hypervisor of choice as they implement edge-based IoT solutions to collect, analyze and control data from all types of IoT devices.

VMware NSX and ESX 101

VMware’s NSX software-defined networking is part of VMware’s software-defined data center concept, which offers cloud computing on VMware virtualization technologies. VMware’s goal with NSX is to provision virtual networking environments without command line interfaces or other direct administrator intervention.

Like server virtualization enabled the creation of virtual machines that represent the x86 server environment to applications, the NSX network virtualization platform enables the creation of software components that represent complete network environments to application workloads.

NSX abstracts and distributes complex network functions into the data center virtualization layer (the Hypervisor and vSwitch) allowing enterprise data center operators to transform data center network operations and economics, without modifying their applications.

VMware ESXi is the industry-leading, purpose-built bare-metal hypervisor. ESXi installs directly onto your physical server enabling it to be partitioned into multiple logical servers referred to as virtual machines.

Why the HPE/VMware partnership is significant

In the same way that HPE and VMware led the industry in fostering mainstream adoption of x86 server virtualization, the two companies are now focused on unlocking the untapped potential and innovation in today’s data center by accelerating the adoption of network virtualization – helping customers break free from an arcane, decades-old legacy networking operating model that is standing in the way of SDDC.

Picture1.png

Click on the below links to access HPE’s NSXv and ESXi certifications, as well as other useful information.

HPE FlexFabric entry on VMware certification page

Helion Ready Certification of VMware NSX for vSphere 6.22

HPE Proliant m510 entry on VMware ESX certification page

HPE Proliant m710x entry on VMware ESX certification page

Solution Brief – Hewlett Packard Enterprise solutions and services for VMware NSX

Quick Specs – VMware Virtualization Software for HPE ProLiant Servers (NSX cert. on pages 11-12)

HPE-VMware Alliance Page

HPE Data Center Networking

HPE Internet of Things

VMworld game summary

Well, that about wraps it up for the HPE Virtualization Triple Play and the first year of our OEM partnership.

If you are at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas stop by HPE Booth # 1523 and visit the “Enabling cloud-based business agility with network virtualization” demo to see the industry’s broadest portfolio of Network Virtualization solutions supporting VMware NSX/ESX and NFV use cases, helping customers transition to open, standards-based, software-defined infrastructure. Live demonstrations include VMware VXLAN/NSX federation & integration.

Going forward, HPE is committed to hitting it out of the ballpark with continued innovation for HPE/VMware solutions as we enter into Year Two of our OEM relationship. We are very excited for what the future holds for our mutual customers and how we can further their journey to the New Style of IT.

Related:

Virtualization Triple Play: VMware NSXv/ESXi Certifications for HPE Network, Cloud & IoT Solutions

Triple plays are a rare and exciting part of baseball, but in the world of virtualization and IT and IoT infrastructures, they become particularly meaningful in enabling HPE customers to better embrace the New Style of IT by transitioning to hybrid infrastructures, empowering data-driven organizations and better enabling workforce productivity.

This week at VMworld, HPE has stepped up to the plate and elevated our relationship with VMware via a “Virtualization Triple Play” with the VMware NSX and VMware ESX virtualization platforms.

We are proud to announce that after months of rigorous testing, our flagship data center networking and open source cloud solutions have received NSXv certification from VMware, along with our new converged IoT system receiving certification for VMware ESXi. These new certifications raise our game with VMware and ensure our customers receive reliable and predictable experiences when deploying HPE/VMware infrastructure.

At a high level, our HPE FlexFabric 5930 Switch Series is certified for VMware NSXv 6.2.3 and 6.2.4, our open source cloud platform HPE Helion OpenStack 3.0 is certified with VMware’s NSXv 6.2.2 and our new Edgeline Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000 Converged IoT Systems compute blades (m510 and m710x) are now certified for VMware ESXi.

These certifications underpin a 16-year relationship and represent significant achievements as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the HPE VMware (NSX) OEM agreement which allows HPE to design, sell and support the full gambit of VMware data center virtualization solutions (ESX, NSX) that enable our customers to deploy applications faster, simplify and automate their data center network fabric, and improve security. As a result, HPE is now the industry’s largest global reseller of VMware solutions.

Below is the exciting play-by-play analysis of our VMware NSX and ESX certifications.

From Third to Second to First: NSXv/ESXi Certified Solutions Analysis

The HPE FlexFabric 5930 Switch Series provides advanced features and high performance in a top-of-rack, data center switch architecture. Consisting of a 1U 32-port 40GbE Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP+) switch, a two-slot modular version with two 40GbE ports and a four-slot modular version, the 5930 brings high density to a small footprint. The switch supports VXLAN, an encapsulation protocol for running an overlay network on existing Layer 3 infrastructure.

Flexfabric 5930.png

With the FlexFabric 5930 certification, HPE networking is delivering an entire hybrid cloud infrastructure that customers can deploy with complete confidence, built on VMware NSX. The solution includes the HPE FlexFabric 5930 as a top-of-rack switch providing industry-leading Ethernet fabric connectivity for HPE servers, storage and management portfolio.

VMware certification tests are designed to simulate real-world environments so that customers can deploy solutions with confidence. FlexFabric 5930 testing included reliability and high availability, stress, performance, upgrade and downgrade and security. The FlexFabric was shown to support 250 tunnels, 160 virtual network instances (VNIs), and 250 virtual LANs (VLANs) with 250 media access control (MAC) addresses per VLAN.

HPE Helion OpenStack is Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s enterprise-grade distribution of OpenStack® software, the leading open source cloud computing platform. HPE Helion OpenStack is a hardened, extensible product designed to deliver open-source cloud computing while adhering tightly to OpenStack software API standards and services. Our HPE Helion OpenStack solution enables IT teams to configure this open cloud platform to work with existing data center resources and drive business outcomes with the assurance that they are backed by the industry-leading support and experience of a trusted IT partner.

HPE Helion OpenStack 3.0 was tested with VMware’s NSX for vSphere version 6.2.2 and the corresponding Neutron based plugin on the OpenStack Liberty release. The solution allows deployment of Helion OpenStack with NSX network virtualization platform to manage ESXi hosts using the VMware vSphere and NSX platforms. This testing was conducted as part of our Helion Ready program, which is designed to provide validated and documented procedures to configure the two products for basic interoperability. In addition, customers who purchase VMware NSX for vSphere through HPE will be able to take advantage of a single point of contact for technical support across the entire solution.

HPE Edgeline EL1000 and Edgeline EL4000 servers represent the industry’s first converged systems for the Internet of Things (IoT). These systems integrate compute, storage, data capture and control. With built-in enterprise-class systems and device management, these systems are designed to thrive in hardened environments with the ability to easily handle shock, vibration and extreme temperatures. In addition, they are optimized to deliver heavy-duty data analytics and insights, graphically intense data visualization and real-time response at the edge.

EL1000EL1000

Edgeline systems also provide dynamic security to IoT devices via HPE Aruba ClearPass, which allows IoT devices to be automatically added and profiled, with strict adherence to security policies. Edgeline EL4000 systems also run the HPE Vertica Analytics Platform to deliver historical and predictive analytic insights from in-database machine learning algorithms across a broad range of IoT analytic use cases.

HPE ProLiant m510 and HPE ProLiant M710x computer cartridges, which serve as the compute nodes for the Edgeline EL1000 and ES4000 systems, each passed all ESXi certification tests as well as HPE deep, robust internal testing with flying colors. This enables our customers to use their hypervisor of choice as they implement edge-based IoT solutions to collect, analyze and control data from all types of IoT devices.

VMware NSX and ESX 101

VMware’s NSX software-defined networking is part of VMware’s software-defined data center concept, which offers cloud computing on VMware virtualization technologies. VMware’s goal with NSX is to provision virtual networking environments without command line interfaces or other direct administrator intervention.

Like server virtualization enabled the creation of virtual machines that represent the x86 server environment to applications, the NSX network virtualization platform enables the creation of software components that represent complete network environments to application workloads.

NSX abstracts and distributes complex network functions into the data center virtualization layer (the Hypervisor and vSwitch) allowing enterprise data center operators to transform data center network operations and economics, without modifying their applications.

VMware ESXi is the industry-leading, purpose-built bare-metal hypervisor. ESXi installs directly onto your physical server enabling it to be partitioned into multiple logical servers referred to as virtual machines.

Why the HPE/VMware partnership is significant

In the same way that HPE and VMware led the industry in fostering mainstream adoption of x86 server virtualization, the two companies are now focused on unlocking the untapped potential and innovation in today’s data center by accelerating the adoption of network virtualization – helping customers break free from an arcane, decades-old legacy networking operating model that is standing in the way of SDDC.

Picture1.png

Click on the below links to access HPE’s NSXv and ESXi certifications, as well as other useful information.

HPE FlexFabric entry on VMware certification page

Helion Ready Certification of VMware NSX for vSphere 6.22

HPE Proliant m510 entry on VMware ESX certification page

HPE Proliant m710x entry on VMware ESX certification page

Solution Brief – Hewlett Packard Enterprise solutions and services for VMware NSX

Quick Specs – VMware Virtualization Software for HPE ProLiant Servers (NSX cert. on pages 11-12)

HPE-VMware Alliance Page

HPE Data Center Networking

HPE Internet of Things

VMworld game summary

Well, that about wraps it up for the HPE Virtualization Triple Play and the first year of our OEM partnership.

If you are at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas stop by HPE Booth # 1523 and visit the “Enabling cloud-based business agility with network virtualization” demo to see the industry’s broadest portfolio of Network Virtualization solutions supporting VMware NSX/ESX and NFV use cases, helping customers transition to open, standards-based, software-defined infrastructure. Live demonstrations include VMware VXLAN/NSX federation & integration.

Going forward, HPE is committed to hitting it out of the ballpark with continued innovation for HPE/VMware solutions as we enter into Year Two of our OEM relationship. We are very excited for what the future holds for our mutual customers and how we can further their journey to the New Style of IT.

Related: