The Evolution of IOS XR with Cloud Scale Application Hosting

November 3, 2016 - 1 Comment

Before Apple came out with the iPhone’s iOS, there was Cisco IOS—the original Internetworking Operating System.  The two operating systems serve different purposes; however, the concept of applications is becoming more of a similarity.  Developments in Cisco IOS XR, a carrier grade train of IOS, began with its evolution into a 64-bit Linux-based environCloud-Scale-App-Hosting-Blog-Imagement—with the aim of simplifying the integration of applications, configuration management tools, and industry-standard zero touch provisioning mechanisms.  This is a drastic departure from the past, enabling operators running IOS XR with a platform for open development, application hosting, and third-party off-the-shelf applications.

To assist with developing for IOS XR, we have set up shop on Github @XRdocs for sharing open source documentation, demos, and usability guides.  A major contributor to XRdocs, Akshat Sharma, recently co-hosted a Cisco Knowledge Network webinar on Cloud Scale Application Hosting, providing a good primer on what Cloud Scale Application Hosting may mean to you.  The emergence of open source IOS XR for cloud scale networking highlights the potential for providers to create new efficiencies and define new service offerings.  As one of my go to Cisco Technical Marketing Engineers for all things IOS XR Cloud Application Hosting related, Akshat highlights some of the benefits providers can enjoy with the new IOS XR and cloud scale application hosting. The recording and presentation are now available here.



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  1. Twelve years ago, Charlie Giancarlo took the company in the wrong direction. A number of individuals even then understood that far from being a mere enabler of hardware sales, its intellectual property in the Cisco IOS Operating systems was a basis for unprecedented customer monetiation. They foresaw the benefits of opening up the IOS family of products to 3rd party developers, and ultimately to customers. They openly discussed a plan to created SDKs, Web sites, the entire panoply of tools and services needed to created a development community. Time has proven them wise. If Cisco is now discharging 7% of its work force every year, it is because it lacked, was hostile to, inimical, to this vision. And where there is no vision, companies perish. Cisco has an opportunity again to become a leader in Open Network Computing. Given its large installed base, one can only hope Ciscso shall succeed, for the benefit of their customers who have put up with them, and its own future.