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Shelly’s onePK “Wiring” App

This blog is a follow on to my introductions to onePK and the onePK software architecture. This post is special, as I have the pleasure of introducing, by way of conversation, my colleague Shelly Cadora, an experienced speaker on SDN, and developer with onePK, and to highlight some of the work she has done with onePK.

Nathan:

“So, Shelly, in my blog on onePK a few months ago I said that I thought that we would start to see new models for network management and deployment enabled by onePK. Lo and behold! You created just such an example for demonstration at Cisco Live, so what’s that mean for us all?”

Shelly:

“Well, Nathan, one of the key drivers of programmable networks is the need for simplified operations. Take the simplest of operations: installing a new switch or router in a rack. Turns out that this is harder than it looks!”

“Too often, new devices are cabled incorrectly. So, when the device is provisioned, via auto-install technologies such as Power on Auto-Provisioning (POAP) or via network management tools, the physical topology does not match the device configuration, which leads to a series of cascading network problems.  So we asked ourselves, how can onePK make this better?”

“Routers and switches are smart -- they know who they are cabled to (via CDP, LLDP, MAC addresses, etc.). So what we need is a tool that gives us access to that information, allows us to compare the actual, physical, wiring to a reference wiring diagram, and then sends an alert if a discrepancy is detected. That tool is an application that we have developed using onePK. The concept we have implemented looks like this:”

Wiring_app

Nathan:

“When you first demonstrated this concept, what really grabbed me was the way in which you used the process hosting model for onePK, i.e. ran the onePK application on the network device itself, and tied the application install to the auto-install for the device. It is the deployment model that makes this kind of application possible, because you can do all of this, and more, without requiring connectivity to an NMS, as the application runs in the network.”

“It’s great, plug in the device, run whatever kind of deployment verification logic you want via a onePK application, and get notified, by XMPP say, if anything is wrong, straight away. This has the potential to really simplify deployments!”

Shelly:

“Absolutely!  And the onePK application itself is quite simple.  It’s the combination of software technologies -- onePK, process hosting, and auto-install -- that makes this so powerful.”

Nathan:

“Thanks Shelly, I really look forward to seeing this, and more, at Cisco Live in London.”

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