When Cisco Systems President Rob Lloyd talked with the media this week about changes in Cisco's enterprise strategy, one of the things he mentioned was that enterprise customers had told Cisco that the vendor has too many controllers, making it too confusing to know which controller they need, and which controller controls what. (See Cisco Tweaks Enterprise Marketing Model.)
That sounds like a great argument for Cisco to adopt the OpenDaylight Project's Hydrogen open source controller, but Lloyd didn't give reporters much time to think about that shocking prospect before adding that Cisco would de-emphasize a plethora of its infrastructure controllers in favor of a single controller -- its Application Policy Infrastructure Controller. This is no real surprise, since Cisco has suggested that consolidation since the day it announced its Application Centric Infrastructure. (See Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN and OpenDaylight Unveils Open-Source SDN Controller.)
Cisco now supports only one controller? Not exactly. Lloyd said Cisco still plans to support OpenDaylight's controller in a multi-vendor setting if people ask for it, which they probably won't unless they somehow wade through the Cisco APIC sales pitch designed to obfuscate the idea that it actually does support an open source controller. It sounds to me like ODL (as some SDNsters call OpenDaylight) is still SOL with Cisco.
Let's face it: If you are really intent on having a multi-vendor network, you have probably already decided against Cisco, or wouldnt consider Cisco to begin with, or are struggling to wrestle free from your current reliance on Cisco. For those not so intent, the APIC is still on track to become available next quarter.
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading