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Cisco’s onePK Part 2: Reaching out to a Network Element

Exordium

In the previous installment of the onePK series, you received a crash course on Cisco’s onePK. In this article, you’ll take the next step with a fun little exposé on onePK’s C API. You will learn how to write a simple program to reach out and connect to a network element. This is staple onePK functionality and is the foundation upon which most onePK applications are built.

Preambling Details

The following short program “ophw” (onePK Hello World), is a fully functional onePK application that will connect to a network element, query its system description, and then disconnect. It doesn’t do anything beyond that, but it does highlight some lynchpin onePK code: network element connection and session handle instantiation. This is the foundational stuff every onePK application needs before useful work can get done. Read More »

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Speaking proposal submissions for OpenStack Summit – Voting is Open!

Cisco celebrated OpenStack’s 3rd birthday recently by releasing the Cisco OpenStack Installer for Grizzly. This blog post has more details.

The OpenStack foundation organizes a four-day OpenStack Summit every six months for contributors, enterprise users, service providers, application developers and ecosystem members. It facilitates the community to gather, discuss and present on several different streams ranging from keynote presentations and general sessions to workshops and developer sessions for planning the next OpenStack release. The next OpenStack Summit will be held in Hong Kong from November 5th to the 8th 2013 at the Asia World-Expo. The number of attendees for the Summit is expected to be around 5000 people.  More information on the Summit and how you can register to attend is available here.

Speaking proposals are submitted by the community from anyone with an idea or topic they would like to present. The proposals are voted on by the community to secure a slot in session track. Submissions for the OpenStack summit general sessions closed on July 31st 2013 and are now available for vote.

As compared to the Portland summit that had 250 proposal submissions [you can view session videos from OpenStack Portland Summit here, the Hong Kong summit has more than 600 submissions. There are a lot of great proposals but only the best and most popular will make it to the Summit. The approved sessions typically get recorded and are available for viewing online as well.

Cisco’s OpenStack team submitted several proposals that highlight our involvement and contributions to OpenStack. The table below lists the proposals along with a link to the abstract and speaker details.

Products & Services
Technical Deep Dive
Apps on OpenStack
Getting Started
Operations
Community Building
Workshops
Related OSS Projects

Community voting is open now and if you are interested in any (or all) of the above proposals, please vote for them here. The voting is open until Sunday, August 25th 2013. Please note that you do need to be an OpenStack Community member in order to vote; If you are not currently a member, you can easily register for membership via the OpenStack website.

Stay tuned for more updates, as we get closer to the OpenStack summit.

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Why is SR-IOV relevant in the HPC world ?

One feature of the usNIC ultra-low latency Ethernet solution for the UCS Cisco VIC that we think is interesting is the fact that it is based on SR-IOV.

What is SR-IOV, and why is it relevant in the HPC world?

SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization) is commonly used in the server virtualization world. The most commonly described purpose of SR-IOV in the hypervisor world is to allow a device partition, called VF (Virtual Function), to be mapped in the guest operating system address space. This allows the guest operating system to enjoy higher I/O performance and lower CPU utilization as compared to the alternative: software-emulated devices that are traditionally implemented in hypervisors.

Compared to the old world before hypervisors came along, that use of SR-IOV seems to allow to regain back some performance lost due to the hypervisor software intervention in the I/O data path. But why should I care about SR-IOV in the world of my network-latency-bound HPC applications running on common operating systems on bare metal servers?

Read More »

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Why I Chose the Open Source Model I did for OpenDaylight

Now that OpenDaylight has arrived, it’s time to explain why I made the Open Source choices eventually embraced by its Founders and the community at large.  One doesn’t often see such leaders as Cisco, IBM, Intel, HP, Juniper, RedHat, VMWare, NEC, Microsoft and others agree, share and collaborate on such key technologies, let alone the latter engaging in a Linux Foundation based community (some thought hell will freeze over before that would ever happen, though it got pretty cold at times last Spring).

For those of you not familiar with OpenDaylight (see “Meet Me On The Equinox”, not a homage to Death Cab for Cutie or my Transylvanian homeland), IBM and Cisco have actually started this with an amazing set of partners, nearly that ephemeral Equinox this year (~11am, March 20th) though we couldn’t quite brag about it until all our partners saw the daylight, which by now, we’re hoping everyone does.  It was hard not to talk about all this as we saw those half baked, speculative stories before the Equinox – amazing how information flew, distorted as it were, but it did; I wish source code would be that “rapid”, we’d all be so much better for it…

The Open Source model for OpenDaylight is simple, it has only two parts: the community is hosted in the Linux Foundation and the license is Eclipse.  The details are neatly captured in a white paper we wrote and published in the Linux Foundation.  Dan Frye, my friend and fellow counterpart at IBM and I came up with the main points after two short meetings.  It would have been one, but when you work for such giants as our parent companies and soon to be OpenDaylight partners, one has to spend a little more time getting everyone to see the daylight.  It boils down to two things, which I am convinced are the quintessential elements of any successful open source project.

1) Community.  Why?  Because it trumps everything: code, money and everything else.  A poor community with great code equals failure (plenty of examples of that).  A great community with poor (or any) code equals success (plenty of examples of that too).  Why? Because open source equals collaboration, of the highest kind: I share with you, and you with me, whatever I have, I contribute my time, my energy, my intellectual property, my reputation, etc.. And ultimately it becomes “ours”.  And the next generation’s.  Open Source is not a technology; it’s a development model.  With more than 10 million open source developers world wide, it happens to be based on collaboration on a scale and diversity that humanity has never experienced before.  Just think about what made this possible and the role some of the OpenDaylight partners have already played in it since the dawn of the Internet.  Dan Frye and I agreed that the Linux Kernel community is the best in the world and so we picked the closest thing to it to model and support ours, the Linux Foundation.

2) Fragmentation, or anti-fragmentation, actually.  Why?  The biggest challenge of any open source project is how to avoid fragmentation (the opposite of collaboration).  Just ask Andy Rubin and the Android guys what they fear the most.  Just ask any open source project’s contributors, copyright holders, or high priests, how much they appreciate an open source parasite that won’t give back.  Though we would have liked to go deeper, we settled on Eclipse, largely because of the actual language and technology we dealt with in the OpenDaylight Controller: most, if not all the initial code is Java, and though some are worried about that, I’m sure Jim Gosling is proud (btw, I’m not sure the Controller has to stay that way, I actually agree with Amin Vahdat), but we had to start somewhere.  Plus having a more friendly language NB (northbound, as in the applications run on top of the Controller) is such a cool thing, we think that the #1 open source (Eclipse) and the #1 commercial (Microsoft) IDE’s are going to be very good to it, so why not?  There are more reasons that pointed in the Eclipse direction, and other reasons for such wonderful alternatives (as APL or MPL, perhaps the subject of another post, some day).  But when it comes to understanding the virtues of them all, no one understands them better than the amazing founders of these license models, most of them from IBM, of course (I wish they did that when I was there).

What happened between the Equinox and Solstice is a fascinating saga within the OpenDaylight community which I think played its course in the spirit of total and complete openness, inclusion, diversity, respect of the individual and the community, and most of all, that code rules – we do believe in running code and community consensus.  I tip my hat to all my fellow colleagues that learned these two things along the way, the enormous talent at the Eclipse and Linux Foundation that helped us launch, and even the analysts who tried (and did incredibly well at times) to speculate the secret reasons why these partners came up with the model we did: there is no secret at all, my friends, we’re simply creating a community that is truly open, diverse, inclusive, and never fragmented.  Just like a big, happy family.  Welcome to OpenDaylight, we hope you’ll stay!

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OpenStack at Cisco Live in Orlando

As part of the Cisco Open Network Environment approach, there’s a lot of news coming out of Orlando from this year’s Cisco Live US event, and a lot of it involves OpenStack. OpenStack has never been more prominent at Cisco Live – and there’s much more to come. This is significant not only because it demonstrates our continued commitment to OpenStack but also the progress of our ongoing product integration efforts.

Slide07

We had multiple technical breakout sessions and technical seminars on OpenStack, delivered by Cisco OpenStack experts, throughout the event.  Here are a few of them:

We’re also featuring six product demonstrations with OpenStack integration. If you are in Orlando this week, please visit the World of Solutions Expo and see them all:

  • OpenStack with Cisco Nexus 1000v

We’re showing an OpenStack deployment on UCS hardware that uses Nexus 1000v as the underlying host virtual switch. Nexus1000v solution on KVM hypervisor is going to be available soon. We’ve developed an OpenStack Networking (i.e. Neutron) plugin that communicates with the Nexus 1000v VSM module and also configures VEMs on the host. We have introduced network profile and port profile constructs in OpenStack Networking as well as provided enhancement to the OpenStack Horizon (GUI) for Nexus 1000v.

  • OpenStack Networking and Cisco Nexus plugin

Our OpenStack Networking Cisco Nexus plugin can provide isolated tenant network segments on Nexus physical hardware by provisioning and de-provisioning VLAN’s. The plugin works with Nexus 3K/5K/6K/7K line of switches. This data sheet captures more information.

  • OpenStack and Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (Cisco IAC) turns OpenStack into a production-ready cloud platform – using our service catalog, orchestration, and cloud management software to complement and extend OpenStack functionality. At Cisco Live, we’re demonstrating how end users can order a virtual machine from the Cisco IAC portal, with OpenStack integration to Nova to fulfill this request.

  • Cisco UCS Manager and OpenStack

Cisco UCS Manager has extensive hardware provisioning and diagnostic capabilities that will soon be brought into OpenStack. What we’re showing this week is the ability of UCS Manager to detect chassis and blade hardware configurations and initiate an automated OpenStack node deployment. The UCS Manager OpenStack developer community information can be accessed here. Additionally, we also had a breakout session that walked through deploying OpenStack using our Cisco OpenStack Installer (COI): starting from bare-metal provisioning all the way through the deployment of the controller and compute nodes as well as storage, and networking. Visit here for COI setup instructions.

  • Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation with OpenStack

The newly announced Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation is our next generation network fabric solution that provides high performance converged networking across the data center. This week, we’re showing OpenStack Networking with Dynamic Fabric Automation to provision network overlay within the Fabric.

  • OpenStack integration with Cisco onePK

Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) architecture expands the capabilities of OpenStack Networking by providing a onePK plugin. We’ll be showing how various Cisco ONE elements can be programmed through OpenStack Neutron and offer Layer 2 and Layer 3 services in an OpenStack deployment. See here for more information.

At the recent Red Hat Summit , OpenStack was also very prominent; the launch of their commercially supported distribution of OpenStack (Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform) filled one of the few remaining gaps for mainstream customer deployment. We’re continuing to work with the OpenStack community and partners like Red Hat to advance the adoption and success of this open source cloud platform.  If you want to learn more about OpenStack and Red Hat on Cisco UCS, you can watch these videos from the Red Hat Summit.

This new level of project maturity as well integration with the Cisco Nexus and UCS platforms is accelerating customer adoption of OpenStack. Cisco Live is the obvious place to showcase our success and ongoing commitment to OpenStack.

Stay tuned for more from the OpenStack team at Cisco!

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