Enterprise trends driving SDN and Network Programmability are becoming clearer. The skyrocketing number of virtual/cloud devices is making human configuration infeasible. A natural result will be that networks will move from being integrated based on physical box boundaries to being integrated based on software boundaries. Put another way, traditional box based network integration will be overwhelmed by device proliferation. Therefore businesses must adopt new approaches to device configuration and control. This will include a new layer of network software which will instantiate, orchestrate, and dismantle virtual networks.
This is the first in a series of posts about network based software development for “typical” enterprise developers, and how onePK can help.
Network based software development is special. The main interfaces are based on CLI interactions and SNMP, not to mention using RADIUS as a RPC mechanism, various forms of XML/HTTP found nowhere else, and additional innovations. For a typical enterprise or script developer these kinds of interfaces are unusual, to say the least. Read More »
Part of the interest in programmatic interfaces is fueled by the desire to logically centralize network control functions. A global view of network state can have many benefits but it does not preclude the use of distributed protocols within the network. Network Programming Interfaces (NPIs) provide a facility to construct global state, mutate that state and distribute that state to the network which in combination with distributed protocols can aid in achieving greater network efficiencies, improve visibility, robustness and add to the value of the network overall. When used the right way, these NPIs will help set a new balance between centralized and distributed control. Key to this balance will be domain or deployment specific constraints. Read More »
Having a lot of fun this year at Interop 2012. We are shooting and editing in a much tighter workflow so that we can publish these things same day and thank gosh! The stories are numerous and oh so timely. Follow along as I attempt to recap our first full day on the show floor.
As he describes it: Cisco has developed and introduced Prime Assurance Manager with one essential goal in mind – to provide end-to-end operational monitoring visibility, spanning data center to and through the branch, as a means for facilitating efficient operations and proactively protecting network-delivered applications and network availability, network performance, application performance, and end user experience data across both wired and wireless environments, coupled with troubleshooting and reporting features.
Cloud Expo was indeed a very interesting juxtaposition of people espousing the value of cloud and how their stuff is really cloudy. You have a group of presenters and expo floor booths talking about their open API and how that is the future of cloud. Then you have the other camp that tells us how their special mix of functions is so much better than that. All of this is a very interesting dialog. APIs are indeed very important. If your technology is indeed a cloud operating model then you must have an API. Solutions like Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud rely on those APIs to orchestrate cloud services. But APIs are not the end all. The reality is that while the cloud discussions tend to center on the API and the model behind that API, the real change enabling the move towards cloud is the operating model of the users who are leveraging the cloud for a completely fresh game plan for their businesses.
James Urquhart’s recent blog: http://gigaom.com/cloud/what-cloud-boils-down-to-for-the-enterprise-2/ highlights that the real change for users of the cloud is modifying how they do development, test, capacity management, production operations and disaster recovery. My last blog talked about the world before cloud management and automation and the move from the old world model to the new models of dev/test or dev/ops that force the application architects, developers, and QA folks to radically alter their model. Those that adopt the cloud without changing their “software factory” model from one that Henry Ford would recognize to the new models may not get the value they are looking for out of the cloud.
At Cloud Expo I saw a lot of very interesting software packages. Some of them went really deep into a specific use case area, while others accomplished a lot of functional use cases that were only about a inch deep. As product teams build out software packages for commercial use, they have a very interesting and critical decision point that will drive the value proposition of the software product. It seems to me that within 2 years, just about all entrants in the cloud management and automation marathon will begin to converge on a simple focused yet broad set of use cases. Each competitor will be either directly driving their product to that point, or they will be forced to that spot by the practical aspects of customers voting with the wallets. Interestingly enough, this whole process it drives competition and will yield great value for the VP of Operations and VP of Applications of companies moving their applications to the cloud.