Continuing on its tradition of contributing and committing to open source and open standards over the last 25 years, today Cisco announced “OpFlex” – a new open standards-based protocol for Application Centric Infrastructure that has been submitted into the IETF standardization process. We believe this will accelerate multi-vendor innovation in data center and cloud networks to drive operational simplicity, lower costs and increased agility.
Why is this required?
Traditional SDN models today function on the basis of an imperative control model with a centralized controller and distributed network entities that support the lowest common denominator feature set across vendors such as bridges, ports and tunnels. As the network scales, the controller becomes a bottleneck due to the need to maintain increased state, and starts to impact performance and resiliency. Likewise, because the applications, ops and infrastructure requirements need to be translated into network configuration, it impacts agility and introduces a manual learning process, requiring app developers to describe their requirements in low-level constructs.
If we contrast that with the vision of the ACI model with the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), ACI adopts a declarative management approach. This model abstracts applications, operations and infrastructure providing simplification and agility. By distributing complexity to the edges, it also increases better scalability, and allows for resiliency – i.e. the data forwarding can still continue to happen even if there is no controller. It further provides ease of use with self-documenting policies automatically deployed or cleaned up from devices as necessary. All of these help circumvent the issues seen in traditional SDN models.
For this declarative model to work across a multi-vendor environment, to translate and map policy definition into the infrastructure, there has hitherto been no standard protocol to do that across physical/virtual switches, routers and L4-L7 network services. This vacuum has led to the development of “OpFlex” – a new open standard recently submitted to the IETF.
Who is contributing to OpFlex?
Several industry leaders and practitioners are actively involved in the standardization process. These include Microsoft, IBM, Citrix and SunGard Availability Services, in addition to Cisco.
I want to extend my congratulations to the entire team at Insieme Network Systems Business Unit and recognize their hard work in developing this award winning switch.
Cisco appreciates the recognition from the Interop judges and it’s a great complement to the recognition the Nexus 9000 is getting from its customers. Six Nexus 9000 customers deploying Nexus 9000 in their cloud and datacenter environments will be speaking at our live webcast
New Applications Are Knocking: Is your Data Center OPEN for Business?
On April 2 at 1:00PM PDT/ 4:00PM EDT to hear Cisco’s Soni Jiandani, SVP Marketing and Rebecca Jacoby, CIO along with leading technology executives from partner companies. We will also discuss today’s major technology announcement on OpFlex so join us! Register Here
On April 2nd, at 8.30 AM, Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby gives her keynote on the Internet of Everything. Do not miss the opportunity to learn from a CIO’s point of view how to unlock business value through intelligent connections among people, processes, data and things.
At 12.45 PM Cisco hosts a grand Customer Luncheon. The luncheon features a live panel session comprising leading technology executives from cisco, its partner companies, and customers. If you are not going to be present at Interop, we have a live webcastyou can register to attend.
At 4 PM, we have a lively vendor tech session at Mandalay Bay L, where top-notch Cisco ACI subject matter experts Allen Kluender and Brenden Buresh present the evolution of Data Center networking with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). The session features an interactive customer experience sharing and gives all attendees a chance to ask questions and share their perspectives on ACI.
The Expo floor houses Cisco Booth #1327, where we showcase many state-of-art Demos and Theater presentations, and specifically from a Cisco ACI standpoint, we have three key demo stations featuring customers’ current care-abouts and priorities such as how ACI integrates with OpenStack, dynamic L4-7 Services chaining with ACI and Nexus 9000 Programmability.
There is lot more on the menu from Cisco Data Center standpoint, including Multi-Hypervisor capable Nexus 1000V solutions, Dynamic Fabric Automation with Nexus 7k and the UCS advantage for your enterprise applications. Also, check out the Nexus 7000 demo, that showcases a new feature RISE (Remote integrated services engine), that in the initial phase, integrates Citrix Netscaler and Cisco NAM (Network Analysis Module) as dedicated service modules to the switch backplane. Our product experts are eager to meet you and walk you through the details. We also have white-boards to engage you at a more detailed architectural level, if you like, so do not miss out on this exciting opportunity.
With Interop less than three weeks away, we were doubly excited to learn that Cisco APIC, the controller for our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric, and the Cisco Nexus 9516 switch have been selected as Best of Interop 2014 Finalists in the categories of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Data Center Networks respectively. As you may recall, when we announced ACI and our series of Nexus 9000 switches back in October, we announced that APIC would be the software controller for the application-centric policy model, and would be available in Q2, CY 2014.
As we get closer to that general availability date, Interop is a great venue to unveil more aspects of the ACI fabric, the policy model, and key APIC features. If you aren’t going to be in Las Vegas the first week of April, now may be the time to start making plans as we gear up for some exciting ACI news and events, and hopefully bringing home these Best of Interop awards.
This first video discusses Cisco APIC:
And this second one highlights our newest Nexus 9000 switch, the Nexus 9516:
A few weeks ago when we announced the Cisco APIC Enterprise Module, in response to a post by Cisco VP Jeff Reed, David had quite a lengthy comment to which I’d like to respond. His specific question (within the full comment) was:
Do you see an upside for more value-added offerings — beyond the current anticipated cost-savings debate about the promise of SDN/NFV technologies?
First, thank you David for your questions. In short, Yes. At Cisco we see a lot of value in offering services to our Enterprise customers and also to our partners who offer managed services to their customers. Let me expand on this.
Cisco is fully aware of the emerging market segments with the still nascent SDN technology adoption. As you say, larger telcos and cloud service providers are looking at SDN/NFV with open hardware assessments and are more interested in scaling their deployments of multi-tenancy architectures. Whereas small and medium sized enterprises are evaluating SDN with a more application-centric approach. The main concern, given their modest investment infrastructure, (compared to the telcos and cloud service providers) is about having agile IT that can respond quickly to their business needs. Read More »