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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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DHagar 10/8/2014 | 11:05:37 PM
Re: Cisco ESP Sterling, I share your view.  I think Cyan is making a smart strategic move.  I like Carol's note that they are competing on level 2- the services. 

Yes, it will utilize, therefore promote Cisco/Juniper, but Cyan clearly is in the driver's seat.
cnwedit 10/8/2014 | 10:43:11 PM
Re: Csco ESP Cisco and Juniper did participate in this process - sorry, I should have made this clear. 
cnwedit 10/8/2014 | 10:41:27 PM
Re: Misinformation I never meant to imply anything beyond what the first paragraph states - -that Cyan now supports Cisco and Juniper routers, not that those companies have joined the Blue Orbit ecosystem. 

But I agree with Sterling - Cyan is being driven by its customers and that list includes large operator. 
southernlight 10/8/2014 | 10:14:20 PM
Misinformation I think there is some misinformation here. The second paragraph strongly infers that Cisco and Juniper are part of the "Blue Orbit Ecosystem", which I believe is a group of partners that have collaborated on some level with Cyan, but they are not. This can even be seen on Cyan's web site. Also, I believe Mr Perrin's assumption that some large operator or operators has/have pushed Cisco/Juniper to cooperate is a stretch. To date, there have been zero announced Blue Planet customers using it for only 3rd party orchestration, without Cyan hardware. Please correct me with any customer(s) doing so if I'm wrong. And the odds of Cisco helping Cyan are so slim it's laughable.
mplape 10/8/2014 | 7:37:40 PM
Re: Csco ESP brooks7,

I believe that Cyan would have to have some cooperation from the legacy equipment vendor in order to write the EAs to enable BP to contol thier elements. Otherwise, BP would only be able to monitor those elements through SNMP. This is what I think, but it's possible they came up with a new way to do it without any input from the legacy vendor.
brooks7 10/8/2014 | 5:48:19 PM
Re: Csco ESP Sterling,

Nowhere in the article was it stated that the effort was supported by either Cisco or Juniper.  Given the popularity of the configuration interfaces of both, they are well known and virtually public.  Cyan could write a Cisco CLI tool without Cisco being involved.  May others have done so on a limited basis.  

seven
Sterling Perrin 10/8/2014 | 4:51:01 PM
Re: Csco ESP Atlantis-dude:

I will answer your question with a question: why would Cisco or Juniper want to jump into Cyan's ecosystem as it boosts Cyan's prospects significantly without bringing nearly so much in return. 

That is why i conclude they would have to be "pushed" into it.

Sterling
Atlantis-dude 10/8/2014 | 4:47:24 PM
Re: Csco ESP i fail to see how they were pushed into the ecosystem
Sterling Perrin 10/8/2014 | 4:39:27 PM
Re: Csco ESP I find it very impressive for Cyan that this has happend at all. Clearly, the big vendors don't have an interest in promoting interop with Cyan (or any small vendor) and would unlikely go into this type of arrangement eagerly. It is a testament to Cyan's outsized clout that an important operator (or multiple operators) have pushed Cisco and Juniper into the Cyan ecosystem. 

This is a big day for Cyan.

Sterling
cnwedit 10/8/2014 | 4:26:49 PM
Re: Csco ESP I'm not sure I'd call it a niche - what Cyan is trying to do and its ambitions are large, as I understand them - is provide the tools that let service providers deploy and manage Ethernet and optical networks that are multi-vendor on an end-to-end basis. The same platform will support virtual and physical resources. 

That's why it's important to Cyan to be able to include major equipment vendors such as Cisco and Juniper in the ecosystem of gear they can support.
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