Frank Brockners

Distinguished Engineer

Chief Technology and Architecture Office

Frank Brockners is Distinguished Engineer in Cisco's Chief Technology and Architecture Office, driving software and architecture development for software defined devices. Since his days as a researcher, his professional interests center on distributed systems, the evolution of Ethernet, network policy and identity control, multicast and IPv6. Frank, who is a 16-year Cisco veteran, holds a M.Sc./diploma degree in Electrical Engineering (Aachen, University of Technology, Germany; 1994) as well as a Ph.D./Dr. degree in Information Science (University of Cologne, Germany; 1999). When traveling, you can find Frank attending industry meetings such as the OPNFV hackfests or IETF, presenting at conferences and industry events, such as CiscoLive, where he is recognized as a distinguished speaker, or negotiating his way up a rock or ice face of a mountain.


OPNFV: Systems integration for NFV as a community effort

Can OPNFV (Open Platform for Network Function Virtualization) become the base infrastructure layer for running virtual network functions, much like Linux is the base operating system for a large number of network devices? The first step has been taken: “Arno” – the first release of the OPNFV project came out today. What does it provide […]

Verify my service chain!

How do you prove that all traffic that is supposed to go through the service chain you specified actually made it through the service chain? This blog was written by Frank Brockners, Sashank Dara, and Shwetha Bhandari. Service function chaining is used in many networks today. The evolution towards NFV, combined with new technologies such […]

What if you had a trip-recorder for all your traffic at line rate performance?

The case for “In-band OAM for IPv6”:  Operating and validating your network just got easier How many times have you wanted to gain a full insight into the precise paths packets take within your network whilst troubleshooting a problem or planning a change? Did you ever need to categorically prove that all packets that were […]

My App anywhere: On devices, on controller, on both!

Current differences in app development on devices and controllers disappear. Devices and controllers will share a common programming environment – offering a unified development and deployment experience. While SDN is moving from concept to reality, we notice that many deployments which focus on creating new network features interpret the role of the “controller” very pragmatically. […]

Programmability and SDN are not the same

Network programmability means democracy, means freedom, freedom to program across all layers and entities, software or hardware – depending on your needs. Is SDN required to have network programmability? Not at all. Does the SDN architecture leverage network programmability? Yes, of course.  So, why do many people equate network programmability and SDN?

What is a “Controller”? And how many do we need?

Thanks to SDN, the “Controller” word pops up in many network architecture discussions these days. In networking alone, we’re already surrounded by many “controllers” and we’re busy introducing more as we speak:  For example, Session Border Controllers or Wireless LAN Controllers have been around for quite some time, and have recently announced the OpenDaylight Controller, […]

Infrastructure Software: SDN makes network management a first class citizen

Back in May 2012 Mike Fratto predicted in his blog that SDN will be “Reborn in Network Management”. There is a lot of truth to his statement. The words “software defined” in “Software Defined Networking (SDN)” inspired people to rethink the overall control plane architecture of the network making the case for infrastructure software that […]