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Cloud NetsMarch 17, 2022

Episode 13: Network Cloud Our Real World Experience

Real World Experience

Why is it important?
As a newcomer into the networking space, the DriveNets disaggregated approach faced doubts.
Explore how service providers have experienced the benefits of network disaggregation

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Full Transcript

Hi and welcome to a very special episode of Cloud Nets, where networks meet cloud.
Because the value of Network Cloud is not theoretical anymore.
We have stories from the field, and for that, we brought our man in the field – Run.
That’s me.
Sitting by the fireside and talking about experience with the Network Cloud.
So, Run, tell us stories about the natural cloud in the field.
Yeah, a few stories.
As a newcomer, as an entrant into the network, we had some doubts placed upon us. And in a way, a few stories really tell what the details, what the details are. So, obviously there are issues with protocols and how we interoperate with other devices. That’s well known. That’s common. We have our experts in the field and they know how to fix the network protocol issues and connectivity. Easy stuff.
That’s not really the issue. But there are some items which really kind of boil down what the benefit of disaggregation.
And I will give a couple of experiences that we had.

We had one case where we needed to enlarge a network node.
It grew faster than what was expected, so it was…
We talk about a live network.
Yeah, yeah. This is this is a live network scenario, a real deployment, running live traffic and this point of presence actually needed to grow faster than what was planned. So there were no devices. So orders were put in place, obviously, because it’s a standard customized, off-the-shelf white box. It was easy to obtain these devices, even though they were not preordered in a year in advance. So we could get these devices onto the side. But you needed to get the right people to make the installation. Now this device was located in a data center and what we did because essentially it’s just adding more standard white boxes and just applying the connectivity. It automatically adheres itself to the existing infrastructure and everything is done automatically.
So the skills that required from the one who…
It was essentially zero skill set. We use the guys on site, the guys, you know, operating the data center, doing all the day to day connectivity issues. And there were the ones that took in the order, put the box into the… kind of connected physically the box into the network and then from that point onwards, everything was done remotely via software.
So essentially, we doubled the capacity of that site within 48 hours from the order.
Forty eight hours and the capacity, the site was doubled in capacity.
Zero downtime during the process. Everybody is happy and you could not do
that with the traditional method. This is where disaggregation comes into play.
Wow. Ok.
Really exiting.
That’s a good story. Do you have another one?

There was another case, which was, you know, on the down side of things.
You know, networks break, devices break, there is always issues,
there are always issues of failure and we also experienced such a case…
And it could be hardware related, software related…
In this case, it was hardware related, which is kind of…
Again, kind of put upon us because we are not the hardware provider and sometimes the hardware fails. That was an NCF, one of the fabric devices, and again, a live production site and one of the NCF failed. We needed to put in a new one, a new one in place. So, you know, accessing the spare repository and bringing in a new NCF.
NCF is the Natural Cloud Fabric.
Exactly. The fabric element, the fabric element of the cluster.
Taking out the faulty device, putting in the new one, rearranging the connectivity accordingly. Everything was done, again, with local personnel. But the interesting thing is that all of this happened with zero outage to the network.
Usually when the fabric fails, you have one heck of a blast radius.
Not only that, it’s the blast radius when you have a fabric element in a chassis. It’s the amount of risk that you’re taking because one fabric device impacts the entire chassis.
Accessing the chassis – sometimes it’s from the rear, pulling it out.
It impacts the power distribution within the chassis. I had cases, you know, in my history, where you pull out a card and another card, code resets, as a result.
You don’t have that when you have a disaggregated model.
So, you took, like, the most stringent scenario of your fabric device failing, and essentially it resulted in zero downtime to the network.
Wow, this is amazing. And again, these are real stories.

You know, it’s not the script we wrote. It’s not a marketing pitch.
We could not invent that script.
Ok, so thank you very much, Run. Off you go back to the field…
Back to the field. -Thank you for watching.
Can I finish my tea? -Yeah, but do it fast.
Ok, thank you very much. Thank you for watching.
See you next time on Cloud Nets. Thanks. Bye bye.