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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sam masud 10/8/2014 | 2:50:19 PM
Re: Csco ESP Carol,


This may be the dumb question of the day (or week), but what about overlay networks that are the rage now? Wondering if there is a play there for Blue Planet, and if Cyan doing something in that direction.
bosco_pcs 10/8/2014 | 2:47:50 PM
Re: Csco ESP So Carol, is Cyan trying to exploit the niche and become an integrator of sort?
cnwedit 10/8/2014 | 1:31:38 PM
Re: Csco ESP If you are asking why someone would use the Cyan Blue Planet product versus the Cisco ESP, the answer is the multi-vendor opportunity - managing gear that isn't just Cisco. 

Cisco has created ESP as its own layer of orchestration and promised to make it multi-vendor but I don't think you'll see folks like Juniper and Brocade on its list any time soon. 

There are also concerns about vendor lock-in where larger vendors are concerned and while there is security in turning to Cisco for solutions, versus a smaller player such as Cyan, there is also the risk that down the road you lose some of the flexibility to use competing technologies. 
Atlantis-dude 10/8/2014 | 1:08:05 PM
Csco ESP Why would anyone use this instead?
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