3 Reasons Why the Network at InteropNet Will Be Our Best Yet

In my last blog post, I talked about Interop selecting Avaya to run the backbone for its InteropNet showcase network for the second year in a row, using its unique Fabric Connect technology, based on enhanced IEEE 802.1aq Shortest Path Bridging.

With the Hot Stage for this event now winding down, I sat down with Steve Emert, one of our solutions architects supporting the network, to find out how it went and how we are helping make InteropNet bigger, bolder and better than last year.

Related article: From Russia to California: What the Olympics Taught Us About InteropNet

InteropNet is the network that powers all the connectivity services for exhibitors, conference attendees and conference organizers at the Interop tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year, the event runs from March 31 to April 4 at the Mandalay Bay convention center.

It represents an environment where competing companies work together to put together a leading example of a heterogeneous, temporary, volunteer run network–where the mandate is to deliver 100 percent network availability for its users.

Last year, the main attraction for Avaya was showing interoperability of the IEEE/IETF standard Shortest Path Bridging, with HP, Alcatel-Lucent and Spirent. We enjoyed working with Tail-f Systems and developing integration between our switches and their multivendor service orchestration tools.

InteropNet will be bigger and more impressive this year than ever before. Here are the reasons why, based on input from Steve Emert and the rest of the InteropNet team (Jeff Cox, Carl DeVincentis and Bob Thais):

1. Video Surveillance

This year, we are excited to be working with Axis Communications and OnSSI to showcase an industry-leading video surveillance deployment. Video surveillance is at an inflection point, as it rapidly transitions from analog formats to IP. An IP network that is easy to deploy and operate is necessary to facilitate this transition.

Video surveillance deployments today generally fall into three categories: Analog with encoders, unicast, and multicast. Having a network that is optimized for all three is important.

Avaya Fabric Connect, with its support for IP shortcuts and IP multicast shortcuts, allows for simple, scalable, high-performance video surveillance without any need for additional IGPs or complex PIM-based protocols. This is a huge advantage, as those of you who have worked with PIM or any other multicast protocols know very well! (For more, check out this video)

At this year’s Interop, we will be leveraging the Axis/OnSSI Video Management System and placing IP surveillance monitoring stations in the InteropNet NOC, Axis booth and Avaya booth showing real-time video streams from Axis IP cameras located across the Interop show floor. It will be highly worth checking out!

2. New, More Compact Products

Last year, we extended Fabric Connect to the show floor pedestals, using the ERS 8800 as the distribution switch. This year, we chose to leverage the VSP 7000 to provide line-rate 10GB distribution between the VSP 4000 switches used in the show floor pedestals, so that we have a smaller form factor product.

The fact that we are delivering a consistent architecture from the VSP 9000 core switches, to the VSP 7000 distribution switches to the VSP 4000 access switches–all Fabric Connect enabled–make things much simpler to operate and troubleshoot. We are also using the VSP 7000’s unique Switched UNI capability to transport the traffic for IPv6 routing to separate IPv6 interfaces in the VSP 9000’s.

InteropNet 2014 Networking Diagram

3. More Wireless

This year, wireless connectivity is being provided by Ruckus (Avaya has a WiFi solution; however, we only bid on the backbone portion of the InteropNet network). Our VSP 4000 access switches will be providing connectivity and power for up to 4 AP’s per pedestal.

Aside from a minor software issue we discovered during the Hot Stage related to IPv6 multicast router discovery (which was easily remedied by the R&D team in Bangalore) the test went extremely well. This was good, since much of the team was jetlagged and sleep-deprived from their adventures in Sochi.

Much of their time was spent on simple configuration modifications (easy to do with the end point provisioning capabilities of Avaya Fabric Connect) and testing, testing and more testing, which, of course, is the key to pulling off a successful high-profile deployment!

For more details on how to visit us in the InteropNet NOC, email me at camillec@avaya.com.

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