With acolytes of open networking flocking to the Open Networking Summit this week, folks have been pinging me on what Cisco has been doing on this front recently. So, if we look at open networking in general, we were pleased to have made some significant contributions to the Diablo release of OpenStack–for more details on that, check out this post by my cohort, James Urquhart.
On the OpenFlow front, I went to the source–our lead smart guy on our OpenFlow efforts–David Meyer. David is a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco Systems, where he works on future directions for Internet technologies such as OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking.
Omar Sultan: So, David, what is new with Cisco and OpenFlow since we joined in the Open Networking Foundation earlier this year?
David Meyer: Well, probably the most notable news is that we have announced that we will be providing OpenFlow support on our Nexus switches.
OS: Wow–that will surprise a lot of people–folks are gong to wonder why we would want to do this–its counter-intuitive…
DM: Not really–Cisco had always embraced disruption–we don’t always get it right on the first shot, but we usually get it in the end. Take server virtualization as an example–while we may not have been first off the line, we now have the broadest and strongest portfolio of virtualization networking technologies in the market. Critics only saw the short-term impact to our switching revenue (less ports sold) but we saw the transformational value of virtualization. We see SDN in a similar light–as the next evolution of networking and we see OF as an excellent mechanism to drive maturation of both the technology and the underlying thinking.
OS: Do I sense a bit of hedging about OpenFlow in its current state in that last response?
DM: Well, we believe that the OpenFlow specification needs to be fleshed out a bit more before its truly production ready–that’s why I am here.