It’s hard to believe but it’s ten months since I first blogged on Cisco Domain TenSM, which is Cisco Service’s framework to guide you on your path to data center and cloud transformation. I’ve now covered all ten domains of this concise and powerful model. I’ll now collect all articles -- including my most Cisco Domain Ten article around the breadth of SDN adoption challenges -- into this one article as a useful summary. So forgive the brevity and please do dive into the links/URLs for more information if indeed you missed these articles first time. And if you’ve read every article and watched our VoDs, please do let me know what you thought of the series -- oh, and thanks!
Going back, now, I started in December 2012, with our launch of Cisco Domain Ten, where I set the focus for my series of articles as cloud transformation. Let me summarize each article with (and for those that know me you’ll know this is a struggle ) just one sentence with the key message from each blog/domain.
This is the latest in a series of posts featuring partner success stories where partners share how they’re helping customers achieve their goals by using Cisco technology. This week we’re featuring Colin McNamara, Nexus IS Director of Cloud Practice and Chief Cloud Architect.
Software Defined Networking (SDN) is gaining serious steam in our industry. Early adopters have been in production for a couple years now, and the first wave of “enterprise” SDN applications are making their way into the market.
One of the key benefits of SDN applications is that they provide a consistent view of the complete, end-to-end network topology (versus a per hop view commonly found in legacy routing protocols). This enables enterprises to implement a consistent policy across multiple hardware platforms and pass control of the network to the applications themselves. SDN also facilitates slicing (network partitioning), enhanced Network Access Control and multi-tenant data center networking – capabilities that are driving adoption and motivating vendors like Cisco and others to evolve their product lines to support this new technology.
Managing Network Applications vs. Engineered Networks Read More »
Cisco always strives to innovate while meeting customer needs. Today we are proud to unveil the Cisco Nexus 3100line of switches as part of our Unified Fabric Data Center portfolio. These highly scalable, power efficient, and flexible switches feature significant improvements in port density, programmability and VXLAN capable gateway functionality that are ideal for data center top-of-rack (ToR) deployment scenarios. As the second generation Nexus 3000 series, they offer a balanced mix of performance, cost, simplicity, and an innovative feature set that complements the rest of Cisco’s overall top-of-rack solutions.
A First Glimpse…
As the below graphic indicates, both switches are 1RU in height with 32 line rate 40-Gbps Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP+) ports for the Nexus 3132Q and 48 line rate 10 Gbps SFP+ with 6 fixed QSFP+ ports for the Nexus 3172PQ. All of the QSFP+ ports on the device can operate as a native 40-Gbps port or a four independent 10-Gbps ports. The switches also have a serial console port, USB port, PPS connector and an out-of-band 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet management ports. From a software perspective, the rich NX-OS operating system fully supports the Cisco Open Network Environment framework with Openflow and the onePK toolkit in addition to standards based Layer 2 and Layer 3 features.
What does this mean for your data center? Some examples include: Improved workload flexibility, higher availability, and Read More »
In my first SDN blog, I asserted that “Services” -- that is technical support, professional and consultancy services -- are the missing “S” in the SDN debate. I’d now like to apply our Cisco Domain TenSM framework “in anger” to examine in more detail the impacts that SDN may have on your IT services and operations. While come of our competitors will only talk about the network switches and new device protocols, l’ll show how it’s not just the network switches that you should be concerned with: your SDN and Cisco ONE journey could involve impacts across multiple “domains”.
As I bogged about Cisco Domain Ten this past year, I’ve positioned it as a mechanism to help you on your data center journey. Let me now extend that use -- SDN after all is more than just a data center technology play. My experience with Cisco Domain Ten over the past year has helped me realize that it is, in fact, an excellent framework for considering impacts to more general IT services, and not just to the data center . I’ll also illustrate my case with both service provider and enterprise/business/public sector examples.
The following diagram summarizes the areas impacted -- let’s discuss each one.
Our first SecureDC twitter chat created some great industry dialog around security for Software Defined Networks (SDN) as well as using SDN to improve security. SDN is going through a similar hype cycle as seen with cloud and we feel that it’s important to focus more on education now and broader collaboration, so that users can benefit from the tremendous potential SDN holds.
More Education, Less Buzz
We kicked off our conversation by asking what are the most pressing issues around SDN were. @Joltsik, Principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, felt that users are confused with so much buzz, yet there’s little in the way of education.
@Raj_Samani, Chief Innovation Office at the Cloud Security Alliance and CTO at McAfee, went one step further indicating that greater transparency is also needed. However, @Jgreene3rd, Technical Lead for Data Center Security Technologies at Intel, noted that the upside of buzz is that it drives greater demand for availability, which in turn fuels education.
SDN and Improving Security
@KenSBeck, Principal Engineer at the Cisco Security Technology Group Office of the CTO, led an interesting discussion on how APIs for programming the network at network speed will allow security intelligence to be much more dynamic and eventually part of the network itself. @shl_eax_1, Technical Lead Engineer at Cisco Security Technology Group Office of the CTO, further noted how global visibility of the network hastens the speed with which security issues get resolved.
@fsmontenegro elaborated on how SDN security can enable more intelligent, granular and efficient response, and that SDN improves security by adding policy exceptions at the network layer with redirect flow. @vernonxt, SVP for ICT Research at IDC, honed in on SDN enabling better policy management. @AndiMann, Vice President at CA Technologies, speculated with automation enabling embedded policy and preventing random changes, shouldn’t SDN be able to do the same.
SDN Impact on Regulatory Compliance
@alokmittal65, Chief of Staff for the Cisco Security Technology Group Office of the CTO, stressed the need for auditing, logging and monitoring of policy change events.
@Raj_Samani also noted that with greater proliferation of devices, the ability to achieve greater attestation on the endpoint becomes more challenging. @KenSBeck drew attention to leveraging network awareness of user, geo location, and device as contextual elements that can make attestations much more meaningful.
@KenSBeck, our host from the Office of the CTO at Cisco, closed with words of advice and a hint of what is in store.