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Enhanced Routing and QOS Models using Software Defined Networking

Quality of service implementations that utilize Integrated Services (IntServ) provides end-to-end service guarantees to IP traffic traversing campus networks. IntServ allows applications to signal their QOS requirements to the network while providing strong guarantees to individual traffic flows from sender to receiver,however IntServ quality of service architectures require all routers to implement a reservation protocol and maintain state information for all flows.

Computation of routes and the maintenance of states requires copious amounts of RAM and Processing power in order to scale to support large route and flow tables. Routers and switches built on merchant Asic are typically equipped with a limited  amounts of ram and processing power when compared to the typical X86 computer. The price of multi-core CPUs and DDR memory modules are at an all time low and this reality should allow the development of  a x86 based SDN controller that will be able to incrementally store router flow and link states.

Signaling:

SNMP or NETFLOW could be used to measure various constraints such as bandwidth,latency and delay. The values measured could be used to perform constrained shortest path route calculations for each node and also to modify route or congestion management characteristics on a per interface basis. 

 

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Virtual Infratructures need Virtualized Security

Most companies by now have virtualized a large percentage of its datacenter infrastructure.One mistake that may be made is to rely on existing physical security devices only to protect your virtual infrastructure . A physical servers traffic normally traverses our physical network devices but inter vm traffic may never leave your hypervisor hence an intruder who gains access to one improperly secured  Virtual Machine may be able to compromise additional virtual machines without  being detected by a physical Intrusion prevention  system or firewall,since inter vm traffic flows exists within virtual switches.In order to properly protect virtual machines hypervisor level firewalls are required,these Vfirewalls are virtual comstructs managed like a physical device and providing visibility into virtual network traffic flows.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Technology

 

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Software Defined Networking will spur innovation

The gradual shift to SDN is being executed with a number of goals in mind.The rapid provisioning of network equipment along with the ability to provide granular traffic flow mechanisms are some of the many benefits being posited. One area which will greatly benefit from moving network configuration ,control and design into software is the release of new features independent of hardware asics. Bidirectional shaping is a feature that has arisen from software based network devices.Software development cycles due to their inherently incremental nature provides the easiest path to add future features to our networks without waiting on long hardware cycles. Open source provides another advantage when used to produce SDN components since it allows anyone with an innovative idea to add these ideas to existing FOSS based SDN suites,hardware based network devices do not provide this flexibility

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Enhance Collaboration and Automate Business Processes using an ECM

The use of shared folders as a means of allowing multiple persons to access documents may seem like an efficient approach but in a world where decisions taken minutes too late could cost millions there is a greater need for more efficient solutions.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Systems provides a more efficient means of storing, searching and capturing hard and soft copies of your documents. An ECM also allows greater collaboration by allowing the assignment of business rules and workflows to your documents. Unlike traditional shared folders an ECM allows owners of content such as Word files to be able to share their content without the intervention of a Systems Administrator.

Lets say you work in insurance and your business process dictates the following. The collections department collects applications from potential customers and reviews them for completeness. If the collected application is complete route to your risk department, if the application is incomplete reject the application. The risk department will either approve the application and assign an insurance cost or reject the application. The risk departments’ decision can be communicated via email to both the customer and the collections department.

By assigning business rules to these applications, if-then-else logic can be applied to these documents. Metadata can be added to documents to store the validity, the decision taken on a application and any other Metadata deemed useful. This Metadata can be used as conditions in your business logic.

At LTGJAMAICA we want to help your company become as efficient as possible.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A guide to choosing the appropriate wide Area network technology

As your organization grows and need to open offices in disparate geographic Locations, the question of how to access IT resources such as your SAP/Dynamics ERP systems and other centralized applications will arise. Currently business may choose to use one of three technologies to meet your connectivity objectives.

1:Businesses may choose to use IPsec based VPNs. These VPNs connect your locations using commodity internet services which will greatly reduce your Wan charges since you will not be required to pay for a dedicated WAN service. IPsec VPNs provide security via symmetric encryption algorithms which are used to protect data traversing the internet.

The primary advantage of IPsec VPNs are cost and security but the down side relates to the internet services over which it is constructed. Typical non dedicated internet services provide asymmetrical bandwidth which usually means that download speeds are much greater than its upload speeds. The nature of these connections means that data access will only be optimal in one direction.Also since these IPsec VPNs utilize the public internet they will be unable to  provide quality of service to traffic between sites,lack of QOS means that Voice and Video Traffic might suffer from high delays and latency which will result in skipping and choppines of voice and video sessions between sites.

2: Multi Protocol Label Services or MPLS is a layer three WAN service that provides enterprises with symmetric bandwidth,Security and Quality of services. MPLS is a very scalable Wide area solution based on BGP routing and Label switching of customer traffic.

MPLS services relieves enterprises of the routing and qos configuration necessary when dealing with layer 2 services such as ATM and Frame relay. The only major disadvantages of MPLS is latency when compared to Metro Ethernet and Cost.

3: Metro Ethernet uses Optical networks to transmit customer traffic encapsulated as Ethernet frames. Ethernet scalability is limited by Spanning Tree and a hard limit of on the number of VLANS that can be supported by an Ethernet network. Metro Ethernet scales up to 10 Gigabits per second and provides low latency forwarding of customer traffic.

The main drawbacks of Metro Ethernet is the need for the customer to configure their own routing policies and the potential for network outages due to STP loops should the customer decides to use layer two switches instead of routers to terminate the Metro-E circuits at each location.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Building a Vmware Powered Hybrid Cloud using Ecalyptus

The Cloud means many things to many different persons,but personally I view a Cloud as a distinct pool of  computing resources that can be manage centrally, provides the ability to scale resources via pre configured policies and lastly provides the ability to automate manual requests such as Virtual Machine creation and deployment.

Though not recommended by many IT professionals, I am planning on making our IT department an internal service provider. In this vain it is my vision to build out a Private Cloud that can provide self service to authorized internal clients such as our developers and application administrators.Currently we utilize a Vmware Vsphere platform, but in another few months this platform will possess all the attributes of a true cloud.To provide the functions necessary I have decided that we will look at the Open Source Eucalyptus platform.

Eucalyptus is Open Source so it reduces our initial capital expenditure ,it is compatible with Vmware and it has the ability to support Amazon based workloads thus providing a Hybrid platform mangement tool.

At Stage one, we will roll out a Private Cloud  that will allow authorized internal clients to perform various tasks related to a an assigned blocked of computing resources.

At Stage two we will seek to allow the migration of workloads between Amazon and our Vmware based private cloud,this should provide Disaster recovery and scalability benefits to our group.

 

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Technology

 

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Open Source Unified Communications

Unified Communications or UC is ruled by the Cisco,Microsoft and Avaya. All three companies are developers of great UC software suites but come in at prices that may be out of range  for small and medium sized companies. Now i am huge proponent of cutting costs when possible and as such my advice to small companies is to evaluate Open Source UC tools when looking for a new solution to replace your PBX systems.

The state of affairs in the Open Unified Communications market is as follows. The most popular Open Source UC package would be asterisk but it also a little harder to manage than alternative packages. For a small shop with less than 100 phones my recommendation would be Fonality’s Trixbox. Trixbox has a commercial and community edition which is backed by a large user base. Trixbox’s major drawback is its inability to scale for large installs but this is not an issue for a small company.

The best Open Source UC package for Small and Medium size companies is sipXecs. SIPX is totally sip based and was built to scale up to 1000 users. Unlike asterisks which switches voice streams and was built to sit between endpoints, SIPX functions as a sip proxy and does not require endpoints to pass voice data through the SIPX server, it is this fact that allows SIPX to scale better than asterisks.While not as extensible as asterisks SIPX represents a great option for medium sized companies looking to jump into the UC world and at this moments represents the top of the open source UC pile.

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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