Software defined networking, Cisco is also game for it

August 7th, 2012 by Amrinder Leave a reply »

Software Defined Networking is already a buzz word in the data centre networking space and is said to bring in major set-back to traditional hardware players such as Cisco and Juniper.

However, Cisco, the largest networking hardware equipment vendor, refutes such news.

Cisco feels ‘there will be new business models and new architectures for infrastructure, but SDN no more minimizes the underlying infrastructure than a new steering wheel undermines the importance of a car engine’, writes Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior in the company’s official blog.

And, that it expects new competitors. “As we often say at Cisco, if you don’t have good competitors, then you’re probably in the wrong markets.”

With regards to the oft asked question, ‘whether the current transition in the market – a transition defined by terms such as Software Defined Networking and network virtualization — represents a threat or an opportunity for Cisco’, she answers in this fashion.

“Cisco has a strong point of view on this. First, SDN, network virtualization and overlay networks (choose your favorite descriptor) are not going to commoditize the underlying networking infrastructure. These architectures actually place more demands on the core infrastructure to enable network virtualization securely, with high performance, at scale.”

Cisco believes thus because ‘customers expect their core infrastructure to be seamlessly integrated with servers and fabric interconnects. They want a common management framework across all switches (physical and virtual), and they want the ability to support heterogeneous server and hypervisor environments.’

She goes on to add how Cisco, with its Nexus 1000V switches, pioneered network virtualization concept in 2009.

She notes that network virtualization differs from what universities are looking for from what a hyperscale data center operator or cloud providers or service providers or enterprises are looking for.

And, according to her ‘Cisco is addressing all of these use cases through the Cisco ONE architecture which we announced in June’ and goes in length explaining how it caters to the various business needs.

“Our SDN offering in Cisco ONE includes a host of Virtual Overlay Networks which extend support for OpenStack, multiple hypervisors, and VXLAN gateway functionality for consistency across physical and virtual networks,” she adds.

She also notes that the company is actively participating in and driving industry standards in mainstream standards bodies such as the IEEE and IETF, as well as industry consortia including the Open Networking Foundation and OpenStack.



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