Cisco Live: New Developer Tools, Details On SDN Strategy Emerge


Cisco on Wednesday announced a new software development platform called the Cisco Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE) -- another step in Cisco's evolving view of the software-defined networking (SDN) trend and how it expects to engage that trend.

Cisco ONE provides application programming interfaces for developers in a few different Cisco operating systems, specifically IOS, IOS-XR an NX-OS. Cisco is offering what it calls "phased support" for those operating systems and also for hardware platforms such as its ASR, ISR G2, CRS, Catalyst and Nexus routers and switches.

The API set, known as Cisco OnePK, will also be used in Cisco's Cloud Connector offering, which debuted earlier this week at Cisco Live in San Diego. OnePK support will be available initially for Cisco's ASR1000 and ISR G2 routers, Cisco said.

[Related: 25 Software-Defined Networking Players To Know]

In a Wednesday set of announcements, Cisco also said it will offer proof-of-concept controller software and a proof-of-concept OpenFlow agent as ways to further SDN research with academic and research partners. Specifically, Cisco will provide OpenFlow v1.0 agents for use with the Cisco Catalyst 3750-X and 3560-X switches.

In addition, Cisco's Nexus 1000V virtual switch now includes support for OpenStack and Virtual Extensible Local Area Network (VXLAN) gateway functionality. It can also support open-source hypervisors, Cisco said, in addition to the VMware and Microsoft hypervisors it already integrates.

General availability and beta trials for the new products and software are expected by the last quarter of 2012, according to Cisco.

Cisco's guarded embrace of SDN -- and its slowly-emerging "spin-in" SDN company, Insiemi -- has been closely watched thanks to the commonly-held belief that SDN technology will further commoditize Cisco switches and routers.

But according to Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior, the opposite is true, and Cisco will in fact be the vendor to lead the SDN charge.

"When we talk more about connectivity, programmability and network intelligence, that's a great thing for Cisco," Warrior told CRN in April. "It won't get commoditized; there will be a lot more value generated from it. The network will go through a reinvention and we will be the company that reinvents it."

Warrior also told CRN during an interview at Cisco Partner Summit that Cisco intends to do a lot more work with ISVs and the app developer community.