Programmability, application aware environments, and software defined networks are popular topics in the industry right now. Network operators see the revenue opportunities to deliver services which can dynamically utilize network infrastructure while meeting application specific requirements. This thought process dominated at this year’s Carrier Ethernet World Congress in Barcelona, and Cisco was helping lead the way.
It was a pleasure to watch some of our thought leaders share their unique and innovative ideas and direction with the larger service provider, vendor and analyst community – starting with Software Defined Networking (SDN). SDN wasn’t the only topic, we shared ideas around mobile trends such as 4G/LTE and small cells and the resulting network impact, the increasing need to marry the IP layer with the underlying transport layers, and strategies around moving legacy TDM services onto a packet infrastructure. I love watching the cross-industry creativity flow as we collectively solve today’s challenges posed by the growth of new user trends.
All that said, Read More »
Tags: Carrier Ethernet World Congress, Cisco, NPS, ONE, onePK, Open Network Environment, SDN, Service Provider, software defined network
For me, even though I am mostly a hardware geek, one of the coolest parts of the Cisco ONE launch at CiscoLive was the introduction of onePK. We see onePK as an core enabling technology that will have some cool stuff down the road.
So, one of the more common questions I get is about the relationship between onePK and other technologies related to network programmability such as OpenFlow (OF). Many folks mistakenly view this as an either/or choice. To be honest, when I first heard about onePK, I thought it was OpenFlow on steroids too; however, I had some fine folks from NOSTG educate me on the difference between the two. They are, in fact, complementary and for many customer scenarios, we expect them to be used in concert. Take a look at the pic below, which shows how these technologies map against the multi-layer model we introduced with Cisco ONE:
As you can see, onePK gives developers comprehensive, granular programmatic access to Cisco infrastructure through a broad set of APIs. One the other hand, protocols such as OpenFlow concern themselves with communications and control amongst the different layers—in OpenFlow’s case, between the control plane and the forwarding plane. Some folks have referred to onePK as a “northbound” interface and protocols such as OpenFlow as “southbound” interfaces. While that might be helpful to understand the difference between the two technologies, I don’t think that this is a strictly accurate description. For one thing, developers can use onePK to directly interact with the hardware. Second, our support for other protocols such as OpenFlow is delivered through agents that are built using onePK.
That last part, about the agent support is actually pretty cool. We can create agents to provide support for whatever new protocols come down the pike by building them upon onePK. This allows flexibility and future-proofing while still maintaining a common underlying infrastructure for consistency and coherency.
For instance, we are delivering our experimental OF support by building it atop the onePK infrastructure. For customers this is a key point, they are not locked into a single approach—they can concurrently use native onePK access, protocol-based access, or traditional access (aka run in hybrid mode) as their needs dictate. Because we are building agents atop onePK, you don’t have to forgo any of the sophistication of the underlying infrastructure. For example, with the forthcoming agent for the ASR9K, we expect to have industry leading performance because of the level of integration between the OF agents and the underlying hardware made possible by onePK.
In closing, you can see how extensible our programmatic support is with the ability to use onePK natively or to support technologies and protocols as they are developed and released. This gives customers a remarkable level of flexibility, extensibility and risk mitigation.
Tags: ASIC, asr9k, ciscolive, netconf, onePK, OpenFlow, SDN
Reduction in the complexity of deploying and managing services, accelerating new service introduction, and reducing capital/operational expenditure overhead are key priorities for network operators today. These priorities are in part driven by the need to generate more revenue per user. But competitive pressures and increasing demand from consumers are also pushing them to experiment with new and innovative services. These services may require unique capabilities that are specific to a given network operator and in addition may require the ability to tailor service characteristics on a per-consumer basis. This evolved service delivery paradigm mandates that the network operator have the ability to integrate policy enforcement alongside the deployment of services, applications, and content, while maintaining optimal use of available network capacity and resources. Read More »
Tags: architect, capacity planning, Cisco, decoupling, delivery of services, deployment, engineers, extensibility, infrastructure, innovative services, Linux Containers, network topology, onePK, resource pooling, Servers, service appliances, service delivery, services, technology
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 »
Tags: API, Network programmability, onePK, OpenFlow, SDN
So, if you are a networking geek of any sort, you should be listening to PacketPushers--for both the education and the sheer entertainment value. This year, we tried something a little different with the PacketPushers team and had them join us onsite at CiscoLive. Below are six of the podcasts they produced for us:
Tags: Catalyst 4500, Cisco ONE, cloud services router, N1KV, nexus, onePK, Packet Pushers, podcast, SDN, social media