SDN architectures

Cisco, Juniper Land on Cyan's Blue Planet

Cyan today announced that its Blue Planet SDN orchestration system will now support the most widely used Cisco and Juniper routers, giving service providers a single third-party way to automate the process of delivering Ethernet services across networks built on those routers. (See Cyan Blue Planet Adds Cisco, Juniper Support.)

It's a strong move for Cyan Inc. in its efforts to build momentum around Blue Planet as a carrier-grade multi-vendor, multi-layer SDN and NFV orchestration system for the future needs of service providers. The company has been building an ecosystem of other vendors' gear around Blue Planet, known as Blue Orbit, which can automate the management of that gear, and orchestrate end-to-end services throughout their lifecycle. Adding the two most common router platforms to that mix is a major step forward.

The move is designed to abstract the complexity of operating Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)- or Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR)-based networks by replacing hop-by-hop provisioning and thousands of lines of software code, says Joe Cumello, VP, marketing, for Cyan. This is all basically abstracted to a MEF service template. Blue Planet then has a full suite of wide area network service applications to provide service level assurance, inventory and testing, as well as an SDN controller and virtual functions orchestration.

"Our service provider customers are driving us to do this because they need the ability to create new services and generate new revenues," Cumello notes in an interview with Light Reading. "One of the things they have stressed with us is that it isn't enough just to be able to provision [the Cisco and Juniper] routers. That just gets you to Day 1 of the service. Day 2 though Day 1,000 is where that service needs to be managed and supported, and we are delivering the full range of those capabilities."

Creating a single operating environment that bridges routers also frees network operators from being locked into a single router vendor, Cumello says.

Using detailed auto-discovery capabilities, Blue Planet can be deployed in an existing Cisco or Juniper network and will use Link-Layer Discovery Protocol to auto-discover the network in detail -- including nodes, connections and physical layer topology, as well as details of specific products within the nodes. All the information is used to enable a point-and-click provisioning of Ethernet services from one node to another, entering only the service requirements.

Wherever possible, Cyan has used open technology in the process, including Yang as a data modeling language for both routers and Netconf, the network configuration protocol developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) , to talk to the Juniper MX routers. Since Cisco doesn't yet support Netconf, Cyan uses CLI (command line interface) to communicate with Cisco routers. (See Netconf & Yang Go Mainstream.)

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At this point Blue Planet can automate Ethernet service delivery, but Cyan expects to add IP services as well, without significant difficulty, Cumello says.

"There's absolutely nothing stopping us, from a technology standpoint, from moving up the stack to IP," he says. "You could expect the same level of service abstraction we've shown here on Ethernet when that work is done."

Cyan introduced Blue Planet in 2012, becoming one of the first vendors to tackle multi-vendor orchestration for SDN -- and it has continued to build on that base, adding capabilities such as Planet Orchestrate, for managing both physical and virtual network resources, Planet Inventory and more. (See Cyan Spins 'Blue Planet' for SDN, Cyan Packs One-Two Product Upgrade Punch and Cyan Debuts Planet Orchestrate to Manage Physical & Virtual Network Resources.)

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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Sterling Perrin 10/9/2014 | 8:24:48 PM
Re: Csco ESP Seven, Thanks for the thoughtful explanation and agreed that marketing must be viewed with suspicion. My own bias is that it has been difficult to say anything positive on these boards since 2001. Genuine curiosity is great. Unbridled negativity can become stifling. Sterling
brooks7 10/9/2014 | 7:17:26 PM
Re: Csco ESP Sterling,

Other way around.  I don't have an agenda, since I am the one who stated it could be done without cooperation.  I asked the question, because I want to understand.  I thanked Carol for the clarification.

On the other hand press releases are Sales and Marketing materials.  I eye them with suspcicion and don't make assumptions that things are there that are not explicictly stated.  An anecdote about this follows:

There once was a VDSL company (with a name sounding like Ikanos) that announced it had a chipset that could do 100Mb/s and support 12 Kft loops.  At least one incumbent carrier in western Canada (with a name that rhymes with Telus) bought that and mentally added the words "AT THE SAME TIME".  That last bit was NOT in the marketing collateral but neither was a real rate/reach chart.  A large US incumbent carrier (with a name that now spells like AT&T) thought that this Telus plan was a good one and dropped their FTTH initiative.  Thus, U-verse was born.

All I was asking was the simple question was that the article implied but never outright stated that Juniper and Cisco participated in Blue Planet actively.  Since it was not stated, I wanted to know for sure. Especially since it is not mentioned on neither the Cisco nor Juniper websites nor is it in any financial news for those 2 companies that I could find.  So, I asked.  If that is having an agenda, then so be it.


Sterling Perrin 10/9/2014 | 5:08:38 PM
Re: Csco ESP <The determination to make this into something less than Cyan announced makes me wonder what agendas are at work here.>

Carol, you are right - there does seem to be a contingent on the boards that wants the announcement to be less than it is! It is either an agenda or just a bias that is making the announcement very hard to accept.

At our packet-optical event in India last month, I met up with a team from Colt (in India) who described a network that would require this type of integration. And I saw in Craig's article on SDN Central that he has referenced Colt as one of the driving forces. 

I don't know if Colt qualifies as big enough to be the only driving force, but they were certainly a factor. Also, agree that this is not just sticking a Cisco box in a 3D model. 

cnwedit 10/9/2014 | 2:18:43 PM
Re: Csco ESP DWX-

Actually, they do say they are using Netconf to control Juniper routers and CLI to control Cisco routers.  It's in the story, paragraph 7.

And, as I said below, regardless of what might or might not be possible, both Juniper and Cisco worked with Cyan to make sure Blue Planet could do all the functions listed in the story for networks built on their routers. 

It is my understanding this work goes well beyond using 3D models of their gear and logos in the marketing materials. 
cnwedit 10/9/2014 | 2:14:24 PM
Re: Csco ESP Atlantis-dude,

Do I know the specific tasks, no. But it took folks from both companies -- Cyan and Cisco, Cyan and Juniper -- working together to make sure that Cyan's Blue Planet could properly do all the things I listed below, and I'm not going to list again, for networks built on the Cisco and Juniper routers.

The determination to make this into something less than Cyan announced makes me wonder what agendas are at work here. 


Atlantis-dude 10/9/2014 | 2:06:42 PM
Re: Csco ESP Carol, can you elaborate on the 'participated' part ? What exactly is it that C and J did specially for cyan that they typically wouldn't do for others?
dwx 10/9/2014 | 1:55:14 PM
Re: Csco ESP Everything Cyan is using is open on both platforms.  They don't necessarily say what they are using to control the routers, whether it's Netconf, CLI, SNMP, or a combination of the two.  Anyone could do the same thing really and many have in the past like brookseven pointed out.  My guess is the ME series is all using SNMP and CLI since they don't necessarily support Netconf, but the ASR/MX do.  

The only part where I figure they needed something from Juniper and Cisco is permission to build 3D models which look like their gear and use their names/logos in their software... 
cnwedit 10/9/2014 | 1:36:48 PM
Re: Csco ESP Cisco and Juniper each participated (separately, natch) in the process of enabling Cyan's Blue Planet to control their routers, as part of an end-to-end service provisioning and management process.

As the story spells out, Blue Planet is able to do provisioning of services, service level assurance, inventory and testing on an end-to-end basis for service providers who are using those routers.

Cooperation of the router vendors including testing is something any service provider customer is likely to want to see. 
Atlantis-dude 10/9/2014 | 1:30:47 PM
Re: Csco ESP What is 'this process' that Csco and j participated in and how did they participate in it?
brooks7 10/8/2014 | 11:06:43 PM
Re: Csco ESP  


In the past, I have done integration by buying a product and getting the manual.  It is very possible to do this with both Cisco and Juniper.   CLI is not magic its just a format for commands which Cisco and Juniper publish.


Thank you for the clarification.

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