& cplSiteName &

Cisco Extends Its SDN & Cloud Plans

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
2/4/2013
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc. is getting closer to making its software-defined networking (SDN) plans a reality, with a set of announcements Monday that also extend the company's cloud-computing capabilities.

A couple of forces are at work here. Cisco is determined to take control of the SDN transition, saying the future is going to be about network programmability through application programming interfaces (APIs).

And both there and on the cloud side, new capabilities are fueling the indirect war between Cisco and VMware Inc. While they're trying to stay partners and are continuing to support their VCE joint venture, they're also both aiming for a starring role in future networks that blend physical and virtual elements.

Cisco's announcements Monday include a new fixed-configuration switch, the Nexus 6000, that houses up to 96 40Gbit/s ports. But that's not the most interesting part.

SDN gets closer
Cisco says it's ready to make good on the Open Network Environment (ONE), the SDN master plan it announced last June. (See Cisco Takes ONE Step Beyond SDN.)

The products still aren't shipping, and Cisco is being vague about when they'll be available -- "first half of 2013" is the availability timeline for most items including:

  • An SDN controller;
  • Support for onePK, Cisco's web of APIs for programming the network, on the ISR G2, ASR 1000 and Nexus 3000 routers/switches; and,
  • OpenFlow support on at least the Nexus 3000.

The SDN controller, more properly called the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) Software Controller, would talk to routers and switches through a protocol such as OpenFlow. It's going to be central to Cisco's SDN plans, with many product lines eventually adding applications to take advantage of it, says Omar Sultan, Cisco's senior manager of emerging technologies.

Part of what's new is that Cisco is adding applications to the controller.

The first one announced had been the ability to partition the network, creating slices that have different switching rules, for example. Now, Cisco is also saying it will add network monitoring, a commonly discussed SDN feature that gives operators a deeper look at what's happening in the network.

Another controller application will be customized forwarding, where switches would make forwarding decisions based on factors such as low-latency requirements. But again: None of this is available just yet; it's coming in the next few months, Cisco says.

Cisco is also going to add OpenFlow support to more of its systems, starting with the Nexus 3000 line for sure, and possibly the Catalyst 3000 line. (Cisco describes the latter as being in the proof-of-concept phase.)

Other product lines with OpenFlow in the proof-of-concept stage include the Catalyst 3000, the Nexus 7000, the ASR 9000 (the main boxes for the data-center core and the service-provider edge) and the old-as-the-hills Catalyst 6500.

But like most vendors right now, Cisco is emphasizing that protocols besides OpenFlow will need to be supported as well.

Connecting clouds
The part of the announcement that's a little more radical is the Nexus 1000V InterCloud, a platform for connecting clouds and allowing them to tap each other's resources.

It's a way for a service provider to extend its cloud (and associated items including policy and security) down into the enterprise, creating a new type of hosted service, Sultan says.

The idea works in the other direction too -- an enterprise's network can be extended into a service provider's cloud, making the cloud behave like an extension of the enterprise.

In either case, both networks would run under one network management system and one set of policy rules.

Both cases work towards the hybrid cloud that most equipment vendors believe will become the norm. The idea is that most enterprises will employ some combination of a cloud that's their own (whether internally housed or run by a hosting company) and publicly available clouds. It seems useful to have those clouds running under the same network management and apply the same policies across both clouds.

The 1000V InterCloud can run on Nexus 1000V virtual switches, but it's not dependent on any particular type of hardware; as with virtual switches, what matters is the hypervisor. The 1000V available to work with VMware and Microsoft Corp. hypervisor environments at first. Support for the KVM open-source hypervisor is still in development, Sultan says.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
philatcisco
50%
50%
philatcisco,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/5/2013 | 9:58:39 PM
re: Cisco Extends Its SDN & Cloud Plans
Current Northbound API support is-ábased on the use case requriements-áthat early adopter customers have expressed as thier current priorities. The ONE Controller is also extensible so that as use case requirements expand, corresponding Northbound API support requirements can also-áexpand-áwhile-ámaintaining-áan update methodology to the software rather than a rip and replace oriented approach.
Craig Matsumoto
50%
50%
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/4/2013 | 5:15:24 PM
re: Cisco Extends Its SDN & Cloud Plans
For the northbound interface... Cisco's Software Controller will ship with Java and RESTful APIs, but Cisco is also saying it'll support whatever other standards or cenventions develop -- basically, like everyone else, Cisco is saying "whatever" to the northbound interface.

"Whatever" might actually be a good enough answer in the long run -- by which I mean, there might be 6 or 7 major alternatives that all have to be supported.-á Or is there a better way, some way to standardize the northbound interface?-á My understanding is that the requirements are too widespread for that, but I'd be curious whether that's changing.-á
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.