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Moving Networks to IPv6 MPLS (Bye-Bye IPv4 MPLS)

Now that the Internet community is done officially launching IPv6 (World IPv6 Launch) on June 6th, it is about time to seriously think about the co-existence of IPv6 and MPLS (i.e. MPLSv6) without relying on IPv4 for any control plane functionality.

Is it possible now? Well, yes (though the mileage may vary). Read More »

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2010+ networking software: how to open up, how to speed new ideas to market

June 15, 2012 at 4:46 am PST

The onePK announcement Ric describes in the previous blog entry is game changing. It also intersects a trend which has gone fairly unnoticed in the networking standards areas. The importance of new standards is declining relative to advances in software and hardware. Read More »

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onePK – Building Applications and Agents on API’s Across Cisco’s Network OS’s

Cisco’s OnePK (one Platform Kit) – APIs and the accompanying SDK is finally launching this week at Cisco Live! For myself and a few friends in Cisco, it has been a long journey to this point! Our passion is opening the network operating systems in such a way that customers can collaborate directly in code with the developers of the OSes and the platforms. The greatest challenge was, and still is, crafting a set of consistent and functional APIs covering the breadth of features in our network OSes.

Anyone who knows Cisco networking knows that feature consistency and breadth are all too often not found together. The unique challenge we have had is to achieve consistency without settling for a lowest common denominator approach. Letting platforms show their strengths while still offering a consistent programming model is a great challenge, and one I hope we will live up to.

Software Defined Networking, public networking APIs and abstractions are still in their infancy. Compare where we are today to the rich history of GUI APIs that we can read about here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_graphical_user_interface

Networking APIs today are at a stage analogous to where applications under MS-DOS with proprietary GUIs were in the late 80s, coming up to the 1990s, when mainstream use of the desktop API’s propelled us into a decade of innovation in GUI elements and abstractions. Are we here with Network OSs?

Read More »

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An Operational Simplification Race is on to Displace CLI

June 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm PST

“Boiled frog syndrome” refers to a fable that when you put a frog in hot water, it jumps out.  However if you slowly heat up the water the frog is in, the frog will cook.

The number of features and associated CLI for networking equipment has increased gradually over the last 15+ years.  Each feature is valuable in its own right, but the weight of all CLIs, all OSs, and all variations of deployment cannot be internalized by any human.  The result: the concept of the über-CCIE is cooked.

The question is what displaces the CLI over time?  It is argued by “good enough” network vendors that this complexity isn’t necessary.  But considering most networking costs are operational costs, this argument can generally be discarded.

More articulate arguments are made by people who want to simplify overall network operations activities versus concentrating upon enhancements to CLI.   Businesses don’t want to manage individual boxes; they would love to shed this complexity.  Instead they would rather express their operational intents to their network, and let the network itself sort any box specific details.

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Unfiltered & Out Loud: Meet, Discuss & Debate with the “Big Brains” Inside Cisco

Welcome to our new blog, Architect & DE Discussions, where you can hear from (and yes, discuss and debate) the architects and distinguished engineers behind some of Cisco’s top technologies. As we move forward into Cisco Live San Diego next week and open up a new chapter of software innovation, one of the key areas we’d like you to hear about and provide feedback on is what we’re thinking about inside of Cisco.

We’re getting back to basics: the technology and what’s really behind it, but also future technologies and how we think they might impact the industry, or multiple industries. From what’s next inside IOS to how SDN goes to market first (wait, is SDN an architecture, or a solution, or.. ?) and yes, even OpenFlow, this is the place to hear it first.

This isn’t a blog where you’ll find marketing-speak or any lingo. This is a blog where you can actually hear directly from top engineers and architects driving not only the current but future technologies inside of Cisco. We’d love your feedback and strongly encourage participation and discussion. Do we always know what’s right? Absolutely not, but sometimes we understand the hard questions fairly early on.  By sharing these questions and possible outcomes we would love to have a dialog with you on where you think the industry is moving as well and also what you’d like to see from Cisco. Read More »

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