Back in May 2012 Mike Fratto predicted in his blog that SDN will be “Reborn in Network Management”. There is a lot of truth to his statement. The words “software defined” in “Software Defined Networking (SDN)” inspired people to rethink the overall control plane architecture of the network making the case for infrastructure software that complements software already embedded in virtual and physical devices, (e.g., the software and protocols running in and between network elements).
We are evolving our treatment of the network. What once was a discrete set of loosely coupled devices will now be interacted with as a system. To get there means the network must be represented by an overall system model. Classic network management functions become an integral part of the infrastructure software, and will spawn their own management requirements. SDN makes network management a first class citizen. Effectively we’re past the time when network management was an afterthought, or when network management was an operational silo. The coming integration of network management into the larger network software domain means infrastructure managers will not only manage and operate, but also actively contribute to the overall business proposition of the IT infrastructure. Read More »
I have just come back from the Gartner Data Center conferences in London and Las Vegas where I got to witness the increasing relevance of Cisco in the data center. The critical role of the network to enable the world of many clouds has becomes evident, and Cisco continues to establish itself as an innovator in the server market. Our vision and solutions really grabbed the attention of the analysts and customers at a level that I certainly didn’t see last year.
Data center consolidation, server virtualization, and converged infrastructure continue to be chief concerns among decision makers. Emerging topics such as fabric –based infrastructure, hybrid cloud, and network programmability were definitely the focus of numerous presentations and endless conversations.
Cisco continues to innovate on all these fronts, and we had a lot of progress to present to the audiences in London and Vegas.
Three Insightful Conversations
I’d like to share with you three conversations I had at the Gartner DC Conference in Las Vegas. Two are with the sales and engineering leaders for Cisco Data Center, Frank Palumbo (@fpalumbo) and David Yen, and the third is with one of our partners, Siki Giunta from CSC, who participated on a panel on Cloud that I moderated.
Frank Palumbo on convergence, virtualization, network programmability, and SDN
In the first conversation, Frank Palumbo, VP Global Sales, reports some of the major concerns of the IT organization. Our conversation covers:
The new role of the “cylinders of excellence” — servers, network, storage and security teams — when the goal is to implement a convergence infrastructure;
The benefits of deploying unified computing in environments where virtualization coexists with “bare-metal” workloads; and
Network programmability and SDN.
David Yen on the evolving data center
My second conversation was with David Yen, Cisco SVP & GM, Data Center Group, who gave a great presentation to more than 600 attendees called “The Evolving Data Center: Past, Present, and Future.”
David — who brings in-depth knowledge of IT technologies from his years working with Sun Microsystems, Juniper, and Cisco – provides new perspective on the evolution of the data center.
In his presentation David explains how the convergence infrastructure, on the one hand, and network programmability, on the other hand, reshapes the data center landscape to make the world of many clouds possible.
As expected a lot of talks, sessions and interest this year about the reality of the cloud deployment and hybrid cloud at Gartner DC Las Vegas.
Cisco is now perceived as a very credible player in cloud – In fact a quick electronic poll from the audience during one of the key notes speechs ranked Cisco as the number 2 amongst the vendors.
As a proof point of Cisco influence in the cloud computing evolution, both David Yen , Cisco SVP & GM Data Center Group, and John Manville Cisco SVP , Global Infrastructure for IT, presented Cisco vision and achievement in terms of infrastructure and foundation for cloud : Network programmability , and convergence infrastructure are at the core of the efforts driven by these Cisco executives and solution teams to deliver robust infrastructures for both our customers and Cisco IT organization.
If you are interested to know more about these sessions, stay tuned. I will post in the following days on this same blog the slide decks from David and John ,as well as two short and very interesting videos that I did these days:
-One one hand a short dialog between Giuliano Di Vitantonio, Cisco VP Marketing Data Center and Cloud, and David Yen.
Along the same lines , I also invited a panel of bloggers and tweeps , who attend Gartner DC to share with us their reaction to these presentations and their view on the current challenges faced by the IT organizations.
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 »