Watch as I provide Rich Gore, Cisco IT member of Technical Staff, an update on how Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is enabling Cisco IT to operate efficiently and effectively from the Data Center in Allen, Texas. We review the physical infrastructure along with the virtual environment that runs on top. We explore implementation costs, smaller environment deployment options, load balancing and Quality of Service (QoS) delivery systems.
This is the first in a multi-part series where we cover ‘programmability’ for networking. The idea is to fully review the programming options now available inside the Nexus switches, (3000, 9000). This first episode covers new access with Linux tools, NX-API and more. Further shows will be diving into the details around Object Models and orchestration partners.
The primary point for any of these is to understand how Cisco Open NX-OS extensibility exposes greater programmability and automation capabilities. It is fascinating and full of new learning opportunities. It does not come without a few career questions of course…usually, something along the lines of: do network engineers need to become programmers now too?
Two answers: Yes. It depends.
Networking knowledge and skill should not be undersold here. Programming capabilities should be additive. They are useful in just about any tech career and obviously affecting the networking space. I think it’s foolish to ever quit learning but it does depend on your aspirations, your current level of satisfaction and perhaps how narrowly defined your skill set might be.
Full disclosure: I am not a programmer. I have been learning the fundamentals of python and a few others as I work on this series but I am not hire-able for this skill by any means. But the distinct feeling I get, and the feedback I hear from you guys: its not that hard. You are probably well versed in scripting for various CLI operations…take it up a few notches and work on some of these ‘readable’ languages that will have similar syntax. This will give you the ability to judge the appeal of what we are offering with ACI and other solutions much more credibly…and I guarantee you will find ways to get rid of redundant crap and stupid errors you may be fighting with yourself or your team.
JOIN US AT THE WORKSHOP
Live, interactive, never dull.
September 21, 2015
Programmable networks will forever change the way you manage infrastructure enabling you to dramatically accelerate configuration and deployment of your network, automate time consuming manual tasks, and allocate IT resources far more efficiently. Are you ready for the revolution?
Discover how to create a programmable network as we discuss and demonstrate the NX-API and NX-API REST (Object Model) in detail. Understand how Cisco Open NX-OS extensibility exposes greater programmability and automation capabilities that eliminate costly manual errors.
– You can sign up at the workshop tab when the date gets a bit closer, http://www.techwisetv.com
Two great experts on this episode.
Shane Corban shares Six Key Points: What OPEN means for NX-OS
Changes made across the software stack to address Extensibility, Openness, Programmability.
- Auto Deployment (Bootstrap and Provisioning)
- Added support for PXE server, operationalize NX-OS software to match an existing server environment
- Extensibility – how we package software
- We did not use to expose much beyond a bash shell
- Now you can install native RPM’s, and third party applications running processes as they would on a Linux server
- Open Interfaces
- We are now adding support to leverage Linux like tools for debugging, configuration and troubleshooting…manipulate those front panel ports as native Linux interfaces within our switch software stack.
- Application Integration (Adaptable SDK)
- Published an SDK, a build environment that you can install on any Linux server, download the build agent, and put your source into that directory structure and build into an RPM for installation and run it natively.
- Build your own custom automation apps, monitoring agents, and have them run natively on our platform
- Programmability Tool Choice
- We have a native Python shell today that has a Native Cisco Library that you can utilize for automation
- NX-API – the ability to embed CLI commands and structured data (JSON, XML) for execution on the switch via HTTP/HTTPS Interface to get back structured data back on show commands.
- Management Tools
- Support for Chef and Puppet
- Agents will be publicly available on the enterprise sites
- Support for Open Stack, Neutron
NX-OS is now more modular, more open, more capable of third party integration providing a wide variety of programmability choices ideal for Dev-Ops environments.
Nicolas provides five case study examples.
- Checking Software Version
- Using Python script with NXAPI and JSON to pull version numbers
- Python script to query multiple switches to check compliance against a specific version
- VLAN Provisioning
- Checking for proper VLAN provisioning
Matt Oswalt is a great writer. You should follow his blog: Keeping it Classless. I enjoy his angles on things. Read up on his blog entry: Evolution of Network Programmability, Nexus 9000 NX-API,NX-API Update.
Some Learning Basics:
- Thank you to Cisco Learning Network for helping me with their class: Network Programmability Fundamentals (You should check this out yourself).
- I love my Lynda.com membership. There are a number of very well done programming courses here. I have been working through ‘Up and Running with Python’ a well done, hands on course from Joe Marini.
What do you think still needs to be covered? I would love any thoughts on how the rest of this series should be shaped. Leave your comments below and just to make sure…tag me on twitter. We are diving into Object Models (taping next week) and then some angle with the Orchestration Partners. Case in point: Puppet Labs is making available today a native Puppet NX-OS agent and Cisco Puppet Module.
Let me know!
ITD (Intelligent Traffic Director) is being deployed by a large number of customers, and it is saving them massive CAPEX and OPEX, while providing unprecedented scale and high availability.
Here is a 10 minute video that shows step by step ITD deployment.
ITD is shipping on Nexus 9k/7700/7k/6k/5k Series of switches. ITD won the Best of Interop 2015 in Data Center category.
Here is more information about ITD: www.cisco.com/go/itd
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Tags: #BestofInterop, #CiscoITD, #CiscoLive2015, #CLUS, ACI, best of interop, Best of Interop 2015, Best of Interop Finalist, Big Data, Cisco, Cisco Nexus, Cisco Nexus 5600, Cisco Nexus 7000, Cisco Nexus 9000, Cisco Nexus Switches, ciscolive, cloud, Cloud Computing, data center, innovation, interop, ITD, load balancer, nexus, Nexus 7000, NFV, SDN, server load balancer, Service Provider, video
My team is moving hundreds of applications to our new Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) platform, and network dependency mapping is the first step in this migration. Most of Cisco IT’s applications are three tiered with web and middle tier residing on the same Java Virtual Machine (JVM) connecting to a database.
A typical application may have one or more JVMs that connect to one or more databases. Sometimes the databases internally connect to other databases. Over the last five years, we have heavily invested in Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) and thus have JVMs running web services. These web services are consumed by one or more user interfaces (UI). Some of these applications have jobs that run on our Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler (TES). Read More »
Discover how Cisco ACI – AVI Networks joint solution enables faster application rollouts and continuous performance monitoring
The Cisco ACI partner eco-system is growing rapidly. I was privileged to see prima-facie, at Cisco Live San Diego last month, the excitement surrounding AVI’s solution announcement with Cisco ACI and the growing customer interest. Though a late-comer to the ADC (Application delivery controller) market, AVI packs a punch to make customers and partners sit up and listen. What’s impressive is that, more than 20 customer deployments are already under way, both in private clouds and on premise Data Centers. In this blog, I want so share some of the key value-props and architectural benefits Cisco ACI-AVI joint solution brings to Application deployment in Data Centers.
The highly complementary nature of the AVI CADP (Cloud Application delivery platform) and Cisco ACI solution is achieved through a common architecture featuring unified management and control planes, as well as the ability to scale data plane resources elastically, on-demand as application requirements dictate.
The AVI solution integrates into Cisco ACI environments through RESTful APIs, providing end-users with holistic application delivery, security and load balancing, in addition to real-time visibility, monitoring, and integrated (inline) analytics of their on premise and cloud-based applications.
A simple architectural depiction will help understand how Cisco ACI and AVI Networks solution works.
The collaboration between Cisco and AVI Networks has delivered a highly integrated, L2–L7 solution that automates and simplifies the insertion, provisioning and scaling of key network services into a Cisco ACI fabric. The solution also delivers end-to-end visibility and analytics that provide actionable insights into application performance and the end-user experience, which are critical in modern data centers.
The Cisco ACI – AVI Networks CADP joint solution provides customers key benefits such as:
- Quick deployment with a high degree of automation
- Quick app provisioning with zero-touch L4-L7 service lifecycle management
- Full-stack L2-L7 visibility and closed-loop analytics
Stay tuned for more exciting news on the ACI-AVI solution front.
For more information visit,