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Impact of Cisco Open Network Environment on SDN

For those of you familiar with the movie “This is Spinal Tap” the volume on SDN has been turned up to 11 for some time. However, too much of the sound is around the technology and not on the benefits to network operators. In fact, Cisco views SDN technology and our Open Network Environment (ONE) as an opportunity for service providers to monetize and optimize their existing assets. In other words – leverage existing investments as much as possible and build SDN and programmatic Cisco ONE capabilities on top of them. Read More »

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Move Over SDN – NFV Taking the Spotlight

Energetic debates of what SDN is and the expanding scope of what it can do for our customers continue to race along in a chaotic frenzy. In addition, the overall SDN market is somewhat fragmented in terms of both vendor positioning and marketing.  Collectively, the conversation really comes down to improving business agility and the efficiencies gained in bringing new services to market. Essentially, the goal is to enable operators to make their networks and services go much faster.

While software defined networking (SDN) technologies continue to drive significant entropy in our industry, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) recently rose up and became a key focus of many discussions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. Read More »

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MWC 2013: IoE and the Evolving Mobile Architecture

I had the great privilege of participating on a panel at Mobile World Congress 2013 along with our customers, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, and my peers from Ericsson and Huawei. We discussed the evolution of the Network Architecture for mobile service providers.

From the infrastructure to the user, everyone agrees that the future will both bring and be driven by significant changes to the Network.  In particular, by bringing together access, network and cloud we will create new business opportunities and enhanced user experiences.

Let’s start with some technology trends and market transitions: Read More »

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Mobility = Motion = $$$$

Human beings are nomadic, social creatures by nature. Throughout the course of human history, we have innovated new communication technologies to help us stay in touch with our social networks while we roamed the globe. In today’s digital connected world, we have become “addicted” to mobility because of all the ways it enriches our life experiences. As proof of this fact, just watch how quickly passengers turn on their smartphones upon landing when you take your next flight.

Cisco is at the very center of the mobility technology revolution that is connecting the previously unconnected to benefit how we work, play, live, and learn. Our technologies and solutions have helped service providers build out their network infrastructure to give reliable mobile access to people and things in the places that matter most. Not far off on the horizon, mobile connections will be seamless and ubiquitous and the network infrastructure will be heterogeneous and transparent to the user.

Today, Cisco is Read More »

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OpenStack Quantum at the oVirt Kickoff Workshop

In my previous post, I talked about how networking was a large part of the discussion at the oVirt Kickoff Workshop. Increasingly, the network is elevating itself to be a first-class citizen in large open source infrastructure and cloud projects, including open source projects like OpenStack and now oVirt. In OpenStack, the Quantum project is the result of these discussions. Newborn community projects such as oVirt are starting to look at elevating the network to provide advanced functionality as well. It was no surprise a large portion of the last day of the workshop was spent on networking, with an early focus on Quantum.

The last day of the workshop started out the morning with an overview of SDNs and Quantum by Lew Tucker, CTO of Cloud at Cisco. Lew drew a nice overview of cloud networking on the white board, presenting an app-centric view of cloud and virtual networking. In the cloud network model, apps care only about  connectivity to the network, not how that connectivity happens, thus the focus on apps as the center of this world.

Lew Tucker Diagraming Quantum Networking

Lew Tucker Diagraming Quantum Networking

After Lew was done, Dan Wendlandt, project lead for Quantum, presented his Quantum slides. This was helpful to level-set everyone at oVirt with regards to Quantum and OpenStack. One of the main pain points with looking at  how Quantum can be shared from OpenStack into oVirt has been the difference in the networking models. OpenStack presents a very cloud-centric view of networking, whereas oVirt wants a more datacenter-centric model. Quantum was designed to generally be agnostic to the deployment model, so using it in oVirt should be a matter of fitting it into the architecture.

Ram Durairaj from Cisco, Chris Wright from Red Hat, and Dan Wendlandt from Nicira

Ram Durairaj from Cisco, Chris Wright from Red Hat, and Dan Wendlandt from Nicira

After Dan was done giving a broad Quantum overview, Ram Durairaj from the Cisco OpenStack team presented on Quantum L3 Services. Currently, Quantum is designed to address the L2 abstraction of the network. Quantum L3 Services are meant to expose L3 concepts such as subnets and gateways into Quantum and the plugins. It would also allow for routing between tenant domains.

Ram Durairaj

Ram Durairaj talking L3 Services

Now that the oVirt Kickoff Workshop is over, watching how the networking story with oVirt evolves will be interesting. The success of oVirt will be the result of the community around it, and the ecosystem for third party vendors it creates. With regards to networking in oVirt, the interactions between the Quantum community and the oVirt community have only just begun, and the future looks like a very collaborative affair between the two projects.

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