Cisco ONE Defines SDN Strategy
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While many in the industry have been quick to embrace SDN, Cisco wasn't among them. Today, that changed as Cisco formally announced a strategy that spans the range of Cisco's vast switching and routing portfolio and is underpinned by the new Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) platform kit.
Sashi Kiran senior director, Data Center/Virtualization and Switching at Cisco explained to Enterprise Networking Planet.comthat ONE is a new development environment that straddles all of Cisco's network operating systems from the smallest branch router to the biggest CRS core routing platform.
"It's one homogenous development environment that exposes and enables customers to harness the intelligence of the network," Kiran said.
Kiran noted that the Cisco ONE approach is an effort to provide multi-layered programmability throughout the network. Typically, SDN implementations are about the separation of the control and forwarding planes, while the Cisco approach also looks at transport, network services, and management.
A key part of the SDN story is the OpenFlow protocol, which helps to enable the control and forwarding plane separation. OpenFlow has been broadly supported by other industry vendors including HP, Brocade and Juniper. Cisco is now rolling out its own OpenFlow agent for Catalyst switches and a proof of concept OpenFlow controller.
The Cisco OpenFlow controller is intended to give administrators the ability to slice up campus networks for data management. While other vendors have OpenFlow enabled switches, at this point, it's not entirely clear if the Cisco controller will be able to work with them. Kiran said that while OpenFlow is an open standard, different vendors implement it differently making interoperability challenging.