In just two days, Wednesday April 17, we will have the 2nd live broadcast of the Cisco Unified Access webinar series. We will have excellent technical content to dig deeper into the subject of “One Network”, specifically converged wired and wireless access (CLICK HERE TO REGISTER). Read More »
Wow! We just published our tenth bundle of Cisco IOS Software Security Advisories and what a ride it’s been!! Way back when in the fall of 2008 when we produced our first Cisco IOS Software Security Advisory bundle, we had no idea of the impact that this delivery format would have on us internally and, more importantly, on you -- our customers!! The decision to deliver the biannual (on the fourth Wednesday of every March and September) Cisco IOS Software Security Advisory Bundled Publication brought with it many challenges, process changes, and—in the end—a format for Cisco Vulnerability Disclosure that we hope addresses at least some of your concerns. This format was modeled after the scheduled monthly release used by Microsoft for years, known affectionately as “Microsoft Tuesday” and based on requests we heard through discussions with many of our customers.
On the road to becoming a shipping product, our Cisco ONE Controller goes thorough a number of steps. One such step is interoperability testing at InCTRE Interoperability Lab. I recently caught up Phil Casini, Product Manager for the controller to see exactly what that entails and why our customers should care.
Phil, What exactly is InCTRE?
iNCTRE is the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education hosted out of Indiana University. Their goal is to increase understanding, development and adoption of OpenFlow and other SDN technologies. We became a member in 2011 and utilized their Openflow testing services to provide us feedback on our Controllers interoperability with various network devices based on our Openflow 1.0 implementation.
How did they test our Controller?
The lab has a number of Openflow test suites that IU has developed over time In our case, they installed the Cisco Controller in their lab network that at that time utilized HP, IBM and NEC switches, then ran it through thier test plan.
How did our switch fare?
Our Controller was found to be interoperable with all three switches based on our Openflow 1.0 implementation.
What exactly does that mean for a customer?
INCTRE provides customers with independent validation of interoperability claims that are made by vendors.
So, should we take OF interoperability as table stakes? If so, what other things should customers be evaluating when they look at controller technology?
Like any other new technology, independent testing should be one of a list of evaluation criteria for evaluating vendor products. In the case of controllers for SDN, Openflow testing provides assurances that network devices can interoperate, but usually the end goal is to implement a solution. Openflow is important in that it is a means towards achieving the solution goals but it is not necessarily the end. Other criteria such as extensibility of the controller to adopt to the solution, functionality of the controller for operation in a production network environment, and the efficiency at which business applications can be adopted or created that will interact with the controller and complete the solution are other very important factors in determining a fit. On a weighted bases these may count more to reach the solution goals than the mechanism used to communicate between the controller and the network devices.
BTW, for those of you who will be at the Open Networking Summit next week, we will have both the Controller and onePK demos in out Cisco booth.
Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.
Off The Top
As partner event season kicks into high gear, we’re focused on some of Cisco’s biggest gatherings, including Cisco Partner Summit in early June and Cisco Live in late June. Of more immediate interest, however, is Cisco Marketing Velocity, which kicks off early next week in gorgeous Cannes, France. Check out the roster if you haven’t had a chance; there are some impressively big-name speakers on the schedule, ready to share the latest in insights, technologies, social media best practices and marketing techniques with more than 200 Cisco partners from around the world.
John Stewart, Cisco Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer, explains how Cyber Security is at the forefront of today’s “hacktivism” campaign and becoming a popular topic not only to security professionals, but CEO’s as well. John highlights the importance of “in-memory” threats and how data is no longer on software or disk while being extremely difficult to track. The evolution of Cisco IT’s BYOD strategy is of major importance when placing security throughout a multiplicity of different devices. This new initiative is something to be optimistic about while being able to get on top of the threats in today’s “Internet of Everything.”