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Get Started on SDN and Cisco ONE: Learn from Our New Technical White Paper

February 14, 2014 at 11:26 am PST

If you were to believe the industry press, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that many companies across the world were rolling software defined networking (SDN) technologies into their networks today.  I’m part of Cisco’s Services team and my colleagues across the world are the experts in helping you all design and deploy networks.  If there is a large or complex leading (or bleeding!) edge network out there being designed, you can place a safe bet that someone from the Cisco Services team is involved helping our customers achieve their targets.  If you’re involved in deploying any type of high technology equipment, you’ll appreciate that there is a world of difference between selling, demoing, and actually making it all work in your environment when it comes to new technology. Our team are in the latter camp.

So what are our consultants telling me about SDN in the real world?  Excluding a few notable high profile cases (usually involving hyper-scale data centers) they are not seeing -- as yet, to be honest -- many early deployments.  However they are seeing a growing number of customers interest in learning about and evaluating SDN related technologies -- including Cisco ONE, NFV and in particular Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).  And they are providing some early feedback on the use cases of SDN that customers are most interested in.  They are all clear, however, on this point: this is the time to learn what SDN and Cisco ONE can do for your network in the future.

So how do you get started in SDN?  Let me outline 5 key steps to help you get started.  I’ll also point you to a technical white paper written by Mitch Mitchiner and Reema Prasad, two of our Customer Solutions Architects in Cisco Services, two of our experts responsible for making all of this work for you, your team and your business.  I also recommend you check out the video link I’ve provided, for an excellent live demo of Cisco ONE technology, first presented at Cisco Live last year.  This video gives a live demo of latency-based routing, one of the use cases described in Mitch and Reema’s paper.

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Get Inspired by Cisco Live Europe 2014

Cisco Live Europe 2014 (Milan) just ended and I think I will need a few days to reorganize my ideas. It was my first opportunity to attend #CLEUR, and moreover I did it as a CCIE.

CLEUR is not just a Cisco event (or should I say THE Cisco event) but also a unique opportunity to experience technology, expertise, vision, and inspiration.  And of course meet friends. Read More »

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK

Cisco Live Milan is around the corner and I’m getting my session, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK, ready for it’s European debut.  While it’s lovely to be in the CiscoLive Distinguished Speaker Hall of Fame, putting a good presentation together hasn’t gotten any easier.  The hard questions still need to be asked:  Do I have too many slides?  Have I crossed the line between technical and boring?  Will the demos work?  Will anyone laugh at my jokes?

And perhaps most importantly for this session: does anyone read Douglas Adams any more?

Here’s why.  I borrowed the title of Douglas Adam’s iconic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for good reason.  The original Hitchhiker’s Guide follows an ordinary guy, Arthur Dent, as he is unwillingly dragged into an intra-galactic adventure, with little more than the Guide, a pint of beer and a packet of peanuts to see him through.  Faced with the vast and confusing world of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and programmability, network engineers are in a position to know exactly how Arthur Dent felt.  New buzzwords, emerging standards, an abundance of marketing slides with vague but brightly colored blobs, and a lot of talk about programming languages can be disorienting to the best of us.

Enter the Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK.

Notice that I did not call my session the Hitchhiker’s Guide to SDN.  SDN calls for more of an Encyclopedia Galactica than a Hitchhiker’s Guide, if you know what I mean.  Instead, my aim is to take a deep dive into one aspect of network programmability that network engineers can really relate to: onePK. Read More »

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SDN Reflections on the London Gartner Data Center Conference – Part 2

December 11, 2013 at 11:06 am PST
The London Eye

The London Eye

Last week I started my SDN reflections on the London Gartner Data Center Conference, and I found I had quite a lot to discuss.

Last week I covered:

  • Do we need SDN?
  • SDN and the Gartner Hype Cycle
  • SDN Deployment Models

So here is the concluding part. This week I’ll cover:

  • Overlay-Based SDN — and the questionable assumptions being made by others in this area (good for Gartner for calling these out!)
  • The SDN Vendor Explosion Challenge,
  • The “Unspoken Costs” of SDN Deployment, and
  • The “How” of SDN is still missing.

I hope you find this useful and informative and as always, feel free to debate with me around my observations!

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SDN: Cisco Domain Ten tells us it’s not (just) about the Network

September 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm PST

In my first SDN blog, I asserted that “Services” -- that is technical support, professional and consultancy services -- are the missing “S” in the SDN debate.  I’d now like to apply our Cisco Domain TenSM framework “in anger” :-) to examine in more detail the impacts that SDN may have on your IT services and operations.  While come of our competitors will only talk about the network switches and new device protocols,  l’ll show how it’s not just the network switches that you should be concerned with: your SDN and Cisco ONE journey could involve impacts across multiple “domains”.

As I bogged about Cisco Domain Ten this past year, I’ve positioned it as a mechanism to help you on your data center journey.  Let me now extend that use -- SDN after all is more than just a data center technology play.  My experience with Cisco Domain Ten over the past year has helped me realize that it is, in fact, an excellent framework for considering impacts to more general IT services, and not just to  the data center .  I’ll also illustrate my case with both service provider and enterprise/business/public sector examples.

The following diagram summarizes the areas impacted -- let’s discuss each one.

SDN Impacts - via Cisco Domain Ten

SDN Impacts -- via Cisco Domain Ten

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