2019 Internet2 Global Summit

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Advanced Networking in Big Open Spaces: A New Distributed IX in Texas and Network Automation in Australia

Time 03/07/19 08:45AM-10:00AM

Room Archives (M4)

Session Abstract

This session will include the following two talks:

  1. Regional Internet Exchange (IX) Strategy Driving Down the
    Network TCO [Speaker: Akbar Kara, LEARN]

    In the southwest region of US, Dallas has emerged as a major cross-road for network backbones (e.g. the Internet, data centers, and content & cloud providers). Over the years, the Regional networks have made discrete infrastructure investments to drain traffic in Dallas. While it has been valuable, it came with costs that continue to escalate. Starting in 2018, five regional networks -- which represent over 15 Million ‘eyeballs’ -- agreed to collaborate to drive down the network TCO (total cost of ownership) by enabling a resilient, Nx100G-distributed, Layer 2 Internet Exchange (IX) fabric. Numerous web-scale companies, popular content providers, and transit networks have elected to connect to the new IX fabric at multiple 100G links to seamlessly deliver traffic to millions of eyeballs. The speaker will share the business and technical details of this collaboration before reflecting on lessons learned.

  2. Automate all the things! [Speaker: David Wilde, AARNet]

    AARNet is on a journey. In the beginning, network engineering was done by old-school artisans. Configurations were lovingly hand-crafted. Routers and switches petted and cared for. Loving attention was paid to each device under monitoring. This was fine…. until it wasn’t fine any more. We’re in 2018 now. Our systems have become cattle, not pets.

    Our ‘CloudStor synch&share’ service got to the point where the number of users shot up from 500 to 50,000 over the course of a couple of years, and we ended up manually configuring hundreds of containers; that was really spreading the love too thin. AARNet network engineers are reluctantly handing in their CLI licences and learning to navigate Ansible + python + Git + Jenkins. Operator error is reduced, time to deployment is minimized, troubleshooting tools are improved, integration with applications is achieved.

    It all sounds wonderful. But - it’s still a journey. What have we achieved to date? What has turned out to be harder than expected? How do we decide what to automate and what to leave manual? What’s our long term goal? All shall be revealed…


Speaker Akbar Kara LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network)

Speaker David Wilde AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network)

Presentation Media

media item thumbnail Automate all the things!

Speaker David Wilde AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network)

media item thumbnail Regional Collaboration—Enabling a New Distributed IX in Texas

Speaker Akbar Kara LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network)

Primary track Advanced Networking

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