Cisco Blogs

What Comes Next with Cisco and the ONF?

June 28, 2012 - 5 Comments

So, goings on with OpenFlow and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) are always lively topics for discussion.  Since our announcement of Cisco ONE at CiscoLive, a number of folks have asked me if the announcement of our strategy changes our view of the ONF or the role of OpenFlow—the short answer is, simply, no.

We continue to strongly support ONF and its efforts related to SDN and our support has and will continue to been demonstrated in tangible ways.  One of the elements of the Cisco ONE announcement is onePK, which is an enabling technology and one of the things it has enabled is the development of our OpenFlow agents.  Similarly, we have introducing controllers and working with our customers to develop the technology.

What seems to surprise a lot of folks is that our contributions to ONF go beyond our own internal development efforts:

Technology Advisory Group – Chartered to provide high-level guidance on any technical issues faced by the ONF Board in which feedback is requested.

Hybrid Working Group – Document the requirements for a hybrid programmable forwarding plane (HPFP).

  • Chaired by Jan Medved
  • Hybrid Use-cases document: Co-author: Bhushan Kanekar
  • Hybrid Switch Architecture – Integrated: Co-author Bhushan Kanekar
  • Hybrid Switch Architecture – Ships in the night: Co-author Dave Meyer
  • Terminology document: Co-authors: Dave Meyer, Bhushan Kanekar

Beyond these two working groups, the Cisco folks, including Jan Medved, David Meyer, Josh Littlefield, Andrew Thurber, Alex Clemm, Mark Szczesniak and Bhushan Kanekar have been active in other workgroups including the Configuration & Management Working Group and the Extensibility Working Group.

Beyond these efforts, David Meyer has been a rock star across the board including contributions to the “OF futures” discussions and recently received an award from the ONF for his contributions.

To net things out, Cisco expects to be a pacesetter with regards to network programmability and SDN and our efforts with ONF will continue to be part of that strategy.

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  1. Brent, Greg:

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    As far a Greg’s concern, I think it will really depend on how the enterprise use cases emerge and solidify. We have a lot of SP folks engaged right now because that’s where we see much of the uptake. But that being said, one of the elements of Cisco ONE is support for overlay networks, where we do see interest in the enterprise space, and I would argue that we are leading the charge in terms of delivering functionality there.

    If the concern is that our product strategy will somehow hamstring the enterprise market, then rest assured that is not the case. As we discussed in San Diego, the eventual rollout for onePK will be broad-based across IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS. For example, we have two Catalyst switches (3750X and 3650X) as part of our initial OF support.



  2. Note that the two Catalyst platforms referenced in Cisco’s OpenFlow announcement, the 3750-X and 3560-X are enterprise switches.

    Kevin Woods
    Director of Product Management, NOSTG

    [Note from Omar: Kevin is the product manager for onePK]

  3. Greg nailed it as usual. Enterprise does not = R&E. I am just an ankle biter compared to the large enterprise customers.

  4. I agree with Brent that Cisco has demonstrated a solid commitment to OpenFlow and opened up the SDN discussion on a wide front. A small concern is that these individuals are all focussed on the Service Provider market, and not on the Enterprise market and I’m concerned that the Enterprise market isn’t going to get new services anytime soon.

  5. Hi Omar,
    Good to hear Cisco is staying committed to the ONF path. Speaking for myself and a few friends in R&E, we could not ask for much more out of Cisco with regard to SDN. The guiding path of ONF standards support within onePK is what we expect and you guys appear to be embracing that.
    Keep it up!