Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: End-to-End QoS Network Design, 2nd Edition

End-to-End QoS Network Design 2nd Edition
As a Network Consultant and CCIE 5022, I have worked with Cisco QoS since, frankly, the beginning of QoS (yes I am old). I have been eagerly awaiting this books release. In the two weeks, I have had this book; I have already referred to it several times to gain additional insight. This book is an all-encompassing presentation and tutorial on Cisco Quality of Service (QoS).

The book flows very well. A reader new to QoS can start at the beginning and build up to the design strategies and product specific sections. Those more experienced, can fast forward to the more advanced sections. The authors have done a tremendous job explaining the foundational architecture and concepts of QoS, and the flow and syntax of Cisco's Modular QoS Command-line (MQC).

The opening section, “Part 1: QoS Design Overview” (Chapter 1 – 9) layout the history of QoS, including the evolution of IETF RFCs, and the QoS implementation tools. The chapters build on each other, and do a great job of introducing a topic, then diving deeper into the details. Each of these chapters starts with a ‘Terminology’ section. This has the nice effect of clearly defining the chapters’ concepts.

The next section, “Part II: QoS Design Strategies” offers a discussion of business and application QoS requirements and thoroughly explores the overall design principles and implementation strategies. Applications covered include voice, broadcast video, multimedia conferencing, and mission-critical data applications. Within this section are my favorite nuggets… The design best practices and recommendations.

The remaining sections provide comprehensive design and configuration information on campus networks (Cisco Catalyst switches), traditional wireless networks, and new ‘Converged Access’ wired and wireless networks (Catalyst 3850, and Cisco 5760 WLC).

Of particular help to me was the Data Center QoS section. On the Cisco web site, Nexus QoS design and best practices information is lacking. This section fills this void and provides great information on the QoS hardware architectures and configuration. The covered platforms are Nexus 7000, 5500, 2000 and 1000v. Great stuff!

The final sections explore WAN, VPN and Branch QoS. I was pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of the Cisco ASR 1000, ASR 9000, and Cisco CSR.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone working with Cisco infrastructure. QoS is intimidating; however, this book is a tremendous resource that will ease your anxiety.

This book is kept in my cubicle and is already filled with highlights, notes in the margin, and many dog-eared pages.

End-to-End QoS Network Design 2nd Edition at Cisco Press

End-to-End QoS Network Design 2nd Edition at Amazon

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cisco ACI - My Take

Recently Cisco introduced Application Centric Infrastructure and the Nexus 9000 family. I have read many terrific posts about ACI and everything ACI brings to the table.

Assistant network Engineer
My New Assistant
Network Engineer

To recap, ACI uses the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) to unite physical and virtual networks. APIC is a policy management application, which creates application profiles and their associated physical, virtual, layer 4-layer7 dependencies, and automates their deployment. Think data center automation combined with SDN.

Sounds like a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) doesn’t it? Well…there is more. Insieme, now part of Cisco, also developed the hardware and ASICs for the Nexus 9000 as the Infrastructure.

To support ACI, the Nexus 9000s are deployed in a leaf and spine architecture and run in ACI mode. Together the Nexus 9000 and APIC provide an integrated hardware, software, custom ASIC, 40Gb, smoking fast, secure, multi-tenant cloud infrastructure.

Application Deployment in ACI Fabric

So with ACI and the Nexus 9000, can better define this as a Software Defined Hardware Implemented Data Center?  SDHDID….

Needs a better acronym