Feeds

A Tapestry of network complexity

Open source network scoring tool set for release

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Forget drawing network maps or sending your network management software on an epic tour of auto-discovery: a group getting ready to launch an open-source “network complexity scoring” tool says it's all about the endpoint.

Infoblox, part of the Flowforwarding.org SDN (software defined networking) community, is prepping the ground for its soon-to-be-released Tapestry, under the Apache license, which it says will give users a straightforward metric for assessing the growth in network complexity over time.

Their argument is simple: if (for example) you are a BYO device-warrior, accessing a company in-house app by logging into the corporate network from home over a 4G connection, while the app itself is hosted on a third-party private cloud service … well, yes, the network is complex.

Infoblox's Stuart Bailey and the University of Chicago's Robert Grossman argue that the complexity of such a mix of endpoints is becoming more important in determining how things work and how they perform than might be indicated by the network bandwidth you have available.

(That, at least, will make sense to anyone who's watched a website slow to a crawl, regardless of the fatness of the pipe, because some third-party ad network is slow to respond.)

“In the same way that providing the average degree of a node for a web graph does not summarize the network complexity—there are some nodes with lots of links while most nodes have a relatively small number of links—providing the average size of the sub-communities in a network graph does not summarize the network’s complexity,” they write.

Hence Tapestry, the idea of which is to pull data from the DNS requests it sees on a company's network, and turn that into a score of the network's complexity – not as a traditional LAN and WAN map, but as a set of numbers derived from an equation.

The equation (below as an image) is a statistical expression of the size of sub-communities in the network, based on the statistical concept of the H-index.

Network complexity equation

Tapestry, when released, will provide nice C-class-friendly metrics over time that'll look like this:

Tapestry screenshot

The open source Tapestry aims at a simple score for network complexity

As Bailey puts it: “Discussions about network complexity focus on the tangle of wires and boxes, rather than the relationship of business processes to an increasingly large, dynamic, and shared global IT infrastructure.”

Tapestry will be available here, and is expected to ship within weeks. It will run on the Loom SDN control plane software from FlowForwarding.org, sitting on cheap white-box Ethernet controllers. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.