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Programmable Networks Will Power the Internet of Everything

We’re 13 years into the new millennium and we still don’t have flying cars, house cleaning robot maids or refrigerators that talk back to us.  Not everything predicted for our Jetson-like future came true — or maybe not as quickly as expected.  Yet, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.   Our industry talked about triple play voice, video and data services for more than a decade.  Today we watch videos or TV on smart phones, tablets, PCs and television sets while texting friends, playing games or surfing simultaneously on any number of devices from anywhere.   Technology has a way of catching up to our vision of the future.  So don’t bet against innovation.

The next big thing is the Internet of Everything (IoE).  It’s one part evolution and one part revolution.   Network traffic is migrating from people-to-people communication to people-to-things.  The network shift to machine-to-machine (M2M) or Read More »

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[Webcast]: An introduction to Cisco onePK with Ayman Sayed, SVP, NOSTG

For those who are on the learning curve on various aspects of network programmability, open networking and SDN (like we are), I’d like to invite you to the third in a series of educational webicasts on these topics. Brought under the umbrella of the Cisco Open Network Environment, this particular webcast focuses on “An introduction to onePK”, and will be broadcast on April 9th, 2013 at 9 AM PST. You can register here.

The Cisco Open Network Environment is all about bringing the network closer to applications.  One way of doing that is by exposing network devices to applications through a rich set of APIs, that can help tap into the intelligence inherent in the hardware and ASICs as well as in the network operating systems. This is what onePK is all about – it’s a single platform kit that will span all of Cisco’s network infrastructure portfolio across Enterprise and Service Provider, exposing them to applications in a homogenous way, allowing app developers to tap into the power of the open network.

Cisco announced its Open Network Environment or Cisco ONE strategy on June 2012 and has been in execution mode since then. onePK happens to be a key proofpoint of this cross-architectural strategy.  

Join me on this webcast, as I host Ayman Sayed, SVP of Cisco’s Network Operating Systems Group as the lead Cisco expert on this topic.  We will also be joined by two of the development partners that are working on onePK trials including Brendon Whateley, Principal Solution Architect at Starview Inc., and Kamil Knotek, Chielf of R&D at Pramacomm Prague spol s.r.o, as well as some new demos.

onePKpanel

If you missed the last webcast on “An Introduction to OpenFlow” with David Ward, CTO, Cisco Engineering and Chief Architect,  we had a turnout from 84 countries and over 120+ questions answered by our question managers in a one-hour period. You can watch a reply of the webcast here.

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Experts Tell All – Cisco ONE Webinars: An Introduction to the Cisco One Platform Kit (onePK)

Topics such as Software Defined Networking and programmable networks are of great interest to many network operators these days. With that in mind we’re pleased to kick off a new series of Webcasts to help our customer learn more about Cisco’s Open Network Environment strategy.

Please join us on April 9, 2013 at 9:00 am Pacific Time / 12:00 pm Eastern Time for an educational webcast featuring Ayman Sayed, Cisco Senior Vice President of the Network Operating Systems Technology Group. As part of the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) educational series, this session will focus on the Cisco One Platform Kit (onePK). Speakers will talk through how this easy-to-use toolkit provides users access to the valuable data and services inside the network for development, automation and rapid service creation with Cisco’s onePK SDK.

During the hour, Cisco technology experts will join with industry leaders to discuss their experience with Cisco’s onePK. Industry experts include:

  • Kamil Knotek, Chief of Research and Development, Pramacom Prague spol. s r.o.
  • Brendon Whateley, Principal Solutions Architect, Starview Inc.

Subject matter experts will also be on hand to answer your questions live. Read More »

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Move Over SDN – NFV Taking the Spotlight

Energetic debates of what SDN is and the expanding scope of what it can do for our customers continue to race along in a chaotic frenzy. In addition, the overall SDN market is somewhat fragmented in terms of both vendor positioning and marketing.  Collectively, the conversation really comes down to improving business agility and the efficiencies gained in bringing new services to market. Essentially, the goal is to enable operators to make their networks and services go much faster.

While software defined networking (SDN) technologies continue to drive significant entropy in our industry, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) recently rose up and became a key focus of many discussions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. Read More »

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Networking Field Day 5: SDN and Unicorn Blood

March 10, 2013 at 11:51 pm PST

So, we wrapped up our day with the Networking Field Day crew last week with a free form discussion on where we go next with SDN.  To be honest, the session did not go quite as I envisioned, but, in retrospect, I would not changed anything.  As Ethan Banks (of PacketPushers fame) noted in Twitter, this session was more about shooting the unicorns than letting them run free.  It seems that if we are going to convert our SDN unicorns into SDN plough horses, we are going to shed a little blood.  At the end of the day, the market will be served by frank conversations—we need to move beyond painting SDN acolytes as starry-eyed and SDN detractors as being heretical and reactionary.

In the interest of keeping the conversation going, here are some of the things I walked away with after the conversation on Wednesday (in no particular order):

Is Hardware Innovation is Over?

This industry has always been one big pendulum and, currently, the pendulum is firmly in the software camp.  Today, many of the truly interesting things in networking are going on with software.  While most would agree we are at an inflection point with programmability, there are no clear directions for the evolution of SDN.  Certainly there are pieces in place like OpenFlow and OpenStack, but OF 1.3 in unlikely to be the zenith of OF evolution let alone SDN evolution—current technologies will continue to mature and new ones will inevitably emerge.  More importantly, the “how we do things” and “what do want to accomplish” of SDN will most certainly continue to evolve and as long as that is the case, software will rule because it’s simply easier and faster to experiment with software.  But, once some clear directions begin to emerge, I guarantee you the action will swing back towards the hardware because doing things in hardware tends to be faster and more efficient.  I could point to Cisco examples of this, but instead look at what Intel, the poster child for general purpose processors, has done with VT extensions to support virtualization or QuickSync for video transcoding.

Is OpenFlow Ready for PrimeTime?

wile-e-coyote

One of the more contentious points yesterday is if OpenFlow is production ready.  I think it’s a flawed “do these jeans make me e look fat” kind of question.  There are certainly folks out there using OF to handle production traffic—for example, some of the cool things Brent Salisbury is doing.  So, it’s not a binary question, but more a matter of assessing scope and scale. The better question to ask is what is the operational and performance envelope of OpenFlow and how does that match my needs, priorities, and capabilities. The risk with any emerging technology is that, often, the only way you find the edge of the envelope is once you’re on the other side, usually with colorful and memorable results. Regardless, I don’t see this question existing in another year or so.

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