Welcome to Milano!
Wow, what an activity on the first day at the Cisco Campus / World of Solutions. It’s great to see all these people thirsty for knowledge, and all these people looking for intelligent solutions for their business needs.
One of those business needs is removing complexity from networks by making networks self-managing, or in other words Autonomic Networking. 2014 will be the year that we are shipping the first sets of functionality in this space, so that makes us really exited. After all we have been working on this for more than 3 years internally, and its great to finally see the fruits of that hard work.
Michael has explained in his blog that Autonomics is all around us, but until now there wasn’t a solution that allowed other applications to leverage a common autonomic infrastructure. Finally it is here! The Autonomic Networking Infrastructure allows Service Providers to bootstrap new devices completely zero touch, in a secure fashion, without pre-staging the devices and/or a back-end DHCP Server, and this totally topology independent! Just plug in the device, and watch it getting authenticated, receiving a Domain Certificate, joining the Autonomic Domain, and joining the Autonomic Control Plane, which provides indestructible IPv6 end-to-end connectivity! If an mdns-enabled TFTP server is connected to the network, it will leverage the Autonomic Control Plane to announce its service, upon which the devices will pull in their configuration! Read More »
Tags: #ANI, #CLEUR, Autonomic, autonomic networking, cisco live, Cisco Live Milan, Complexity, self-management, Self-Organizing Networks, SON
Yep, that’s what we did, and yes we are shipping it today!
As Michael’s blog explained, autonomics are all around us, both in feature implementation (e.g. a routing protocol like OSPF) as well as in architectural frameworks like GANA. But while the former has created isolated, per feature domains of autonomicity, the latter has never really resulted into a useable implementation used by a network engineer to date!
Lets go back to what we said out the vision of Autonomic Networking was going to be, as in the below figure, which I essentially repeated from my DON’T PANIC blog. The observant reader will notice that I changed the term ‘simple management tools’ into ‘SDN/NMS Controller across a simplified northbound interface’. After all we can’t ignore markets trends like SDN.
The vision remains the same whether you use an iPAD versus a super-duper controller though: you ingest a network wide behavior into the network, as we can model the totality of the network in an abstract, location-independent, network-wide manner. Autonomic Processes turn this network wide behavior into local state, and might invoke control loops between nodes to do this effectively. This ultimately results into the good-ole legacy network protocols to become self-managing, without changing the protocols themselves. Genius! But how do we get there in practice? And can customers trust us to do the right thing from day 1? Read More »
Tags: #ANI, Autonomic, autonomic networking, Complexity, self-management, Self-Organizing Networks, SON
Autonomic Networking is well understood in theory, but real, consistent and extensible implementations don’t exist. In this post I suggest a reason for the lack in execution, and our vision to provide a working, implementable Autonomic Networking Architecture.
Wipe off the dust…
When asking a researcher about autonomic systems, (s)he might blow the dust off a stack of papers, or proudly pull a couple of old books off his shelf. Or point to IBM’s IEEE paper from 2003. From a research perspective, autonomics is well understood. It’s this self-management thing, with all those self-* properties. Self-configuration and self-optimisation for example. Distribution, control loops, and so on. Even the Wikipedia articles are written. So, we’re done, aren’t we?
No we’re not.
Ask your friendly neighbourhood network engineers about Autonomic Networking. The one that proudly hacks expect scripts at night to make his admin database talk to his routers. Or the front line engineer who applies a network service class to one of his customers. Likely, both of them would look at you with big eyes, and after explaining that the network manages itself, intelligently, you’d hear back: “That’s like Skynet, isn’t it?”
No it’s not. Read More »
Tags: #ANI, #CLEUR, Autonomic Computing, autonomic networking, Cisco Live Milan, SDN, self-management, Self-Organising Networks, SON
By looking at the sheer amount of Breakouts and technical sessions here at Cisco Live London, it isn’t hard to understand why networks are becoming more and more complex. Networks are converging onto single infrastructures, more and more business processes are becoming more network centric and this translates into more functionality and more dependencies between functions and network layers, and thus more complexity. It becomes very hard for a single human being to understand these dependencies and layer interactions in order to do per-box configuration. Typically this problem is attempted to be ‘solved’ by moving some of these dependencies and layer interactions into a central place, but that just moves the problem. Wouldn’t it be cool to allow networks to become self-aware, such that they can learn from their neighboring nodes ? Read More »
Tags: #ANI, Autonomic, autonomic networking, Complexity, self-management, Self-Organising Networks, SON