Show 69 – HP Talks Tech At Interop NYC On OpenFlow, Optical Backplanes, IRF, and IPv6

At Interop NYC held the first week of October 2011, HP invited several network engineers engaged in social media to attend at HP’s expense. Ethan Banks was one of those in attendance, and he captured several hours worth of audio from the event. This podcast is not the typical “let’s gather around the virtual conference table and chat” format, but is instead a compilation of the most interesting technical audio from the event, focused on discussions HP held with the bloggers.

Topics Discussed

  • Saar Gillai, leader of HP Networking’s Advanced Technology Group, talks about HP’s position on OpenFlow. It’s not the same over-hyped story you’ve maybe heard before. Saar’s view is a little different, and – dare I say – more balanced than what you hear from some pundits.
  • Saar continues by discussing the issues driving the need for optical backplanes. In short, we can’t aggregate very many 100Gbps links into a chassis using copper-based backplane technology before exceeding what science will allow. The change to optical backplanes is therefore inevitable.
  • HP kicks off a discussion with the bloggers about IRF, HP’s Intelligent Resilient Framework. IRF allows you to bond as many as 4 switches into a single logical super-chassis. I know some of you just shuddered. The bloggers ask some hard questions about IRF (the ones that made you shudder), and HP comes back with their answers.
  • The final discussion is a technical explanation of how HP handles memory space such that their switches’ IPv6 forwarding performance is on par with their IPv4 performance. Not all vendors can say this (often IPv6 performance lags behind IPv4), and HP explains what’s different in their systems that allows IPv4 and IPv6 performance parity.


Saar Gillai’s Profile

Greg Ferro’s Live Shots Of A Prototype HP Optical Backplane

HP Overview Whitepaper on IRF

HP A5820X & A5800 Switch Series IRF Configuration Guide

Ivan Pepelnjak’s Take On IRF

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