What better way to spend Valentine’s day than to watch a webcast on OpenFlow and SDN, perhaps with your significant other? The last couple of years have seen considerable buzz around aspects of software-defined networking. A significant portion of the early seed discussion was around OpenFlow. As part of the Cisco Open Network Environment webcast series, this time on February 14th, 2013 at 9 AM PST, we take look at an :Introduction to OpenFlow”: What is it? How does it work? What are some of the potential use-cases?
Joining me in this discussion with be David Ward, Cisco CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect. At the time of recording David also wears the hat of the being the Chair of the Technical Advisory Group at Open Network Foundation (ONF). So he brings perspectives both as someone who’s driving the evolution of the protocol, as well as somebody guiding its implementation across several products within the Cisco portfolio.
Also joining the webcast to lend end-user perspectives will be Matt Davy, who is formerly of Indiana University, having been the executive director of the INCenter facility there. Matt’s recently moved onto a new role, but he built a lighthouse test bed around OpenFlow and SDN the last few years during this employment at the university. Matt will talk about campus slicing and his experiences around OpenFlow. Providing service provider perspectives from NTT communications will be Yuichi Ikejiri, Director of the Network Technology Services division.
As mentioned before, this is part of an educational series. If you’ve not watched the first in the series, entitled “An Introduction to OpenStack” – please feel free to register and watch it here. The panel of Lew Tucker and Raj Patel below provide interesting perspectives on OpenStack.
Customers have often said to me, “Joann, we have virtualization all over the place. That’s cloud isn’t it?” My response is, “Well not really, that is not a cloud, but you can get to cloud!” Then there is a brief uncomfortable silence, which I resolve with an action provoking explanation that I will now share with you.
Here’s why that isn’t truly a cloud. What these customers often have is server provisioning that automates the process of standing up new virtual servers while the storage, network, and application layers continue to be provisioned manually. The result is higher management costs that strain IT budgets, which are decreasing or flat to begin with. With this approach, businesses aren’t seeing the agility and flexibility they expected from cloud. So, they become frustrated when they see their costs rising and continue struggling to align with new business innovation.
If your IT department adopted widespread virtualization and thought it was cloud, my guess is you are probably nodding your head in agreement. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
So then, what are the key elements an organization needs to achieve the speed, flexibility and agility promised by cloud?
1) Self-service portal and service catalog The self-service portal is the starting point that customers use to order cloud services. Think of a self-service portal as a menu at a restaurant. The end user is presented with a standardized menu of services that have been defined to IT’s policies and standards and customers simply order what they need. Self-service portals greatly streamline resource deployment which reduces the manual effort by IT to provision resources.
2) Service delivery automation
After the user selects services from the portal service menu, then what? Well, under the hood should be automated service delivery—which is a defining characteristic of a real cloud environment. Behind each of the standardized menu items in the self-service portal is a blueprint or instructions that prescribe how the service order is delivered across the data center resources. This has been proven to appreciably simplify IT operations, reduce costs and drive business flexibility.
Over the last several months, since Cisco announced its Open Network Environment strategy, there has been considerable progress on multiple fronts:
- Early field trials (EFTs) with several Enterprise and Service Provider customers
- Proof-of-concepts (PoCs) and customer feedback providing more insight into use-cases and product evolution
- Several acquisitions have been announced that complement the strategy we outlined
- Our engagement and leadership in all the standards bodies around various aspects of open networking continue to grow
During all of these activities and customer interactions, what stood out was the considerable appetite amongst customers and others to learn about these emerging concepts in a more structured way. They expressed a strong desire to break through some of the hype cycle that has pervaded the industry around some of these topics, causing some degree of confusion. They also asked Cisco to present information in an easily consumable manner.
Given the breadth of our portfolio and the diversity of our customer base, this was a bit of challenge for us. A lot of this information was disbursed across different landing pages, blog sites etc. So we had to take a fresh approach to accede to this request.
Based on efforts over the last several weeks, the team has built two foundational portals that serve the purpose of both information aggregation as well as hopefully a watering hole for knowledge seekers -
The Cisco ONE Knowledge portal: This is a centralized aggregated information repository of all the content that we are generating around the topic of open networking across the portfolio, whether it is more formal and structured, or more informal and social. The information here is organized in a more structured way, based on type of content and the chronology.
What you will see is some quality content manifest itself over time, as we bring the consolidated efforts from various Cisco thought leaders, customers, analysts etc. and assets including more demos, deployment use-cases, case-studies etc. We are also initiating a series of webcasts on this topic to do a deeper dive on technology topics with roughly a 4-6 week cadence, with Cisco CTOs across various technology groups mostly leading the sessions. The intent is to Educate in a more structured manner. For example, we’re kicking off the first of these Cisco ONE webinars with “An Introduction to OpenStack”. (If you have not registered for the webcast yet, please do so).
We sincerely welcome your feedback on how to continue to improve the content as well as experience with the Cisco ONE knowledge portal.
Over the past year, Cisco has been increasingly vocal and active around open source solutions .
One of my favorite blogger, Omar Sultan , spent a lot of time writing on the subject , starting with OpenStack (ie blog :OpenStack cisco ONE and you) - You may want to check all his blogs here
Cisco also has a blog dedicated to this topic “Open at Cisco”
Last June Cisco Shashi Kiran announced the Cisco ONE(Open Networking Environment) on Cisco blog, and last week at Gartner DC , both David Yen , SVP & GM Data Center Group , and John Manville SVP Cisco IT Global Infrastructure talk about what Cisco ONE means in terms of solutions and IT platform for us and our customers .
Lew Tucker ,Cisco VP , Chief Technology Officer for Cloud Computing and Vice Chairman OpenStack foundation is obviously one of the force behind the evolution of the data center . Actually Lew was recently recognized as one of the top ten pioneers in the cloud computing emergence by InformationWeek .
Watch Lew Tucker talking about innovation and open source in this short video
On December 11 webcast , Shashi Kiran will moderate a conversation between Lew Tucker and Raj Patel
Lew Tucker, Chief Technology Officer of Cloud Computing at Cisco, will provide an overview of OpenStack, its origins, benefits, and why Cisco is involved in this community effort.
Raj Patel, Vice President, Cloud Services at Cisco, will discuss the strategic decision—and results to date—of choosing OpenStack as the cloud platform for Cisco WebEx, the market-leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) collaboration solutions.
Topics to be covered include:
An introduction to OpenStack, and highlights of the latest release of OpenStack (Folsom), including self-service provisioning in multi-tenant networks
The role of open network programmability in achieving the full potential of the cloud
The benefits that customers can expect from OpenStack as part of their cloud initiatives
How WebEx architects significantly accelerated new product releases with OpenStack, and improved both operational efficiency and infrastructure resiliency
The status of OpenStack standardization and the growing OpenStack development community
How OpenStack relates to Cisco’s Open Network Environment (or Cisco ONE), the OpenStack Quantum project, Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and OpenFlow
How Cisco is enabling customers to take an evolutionary approach to OpenStack