Cisco ONE is on track

Company starts early field trials for onePK API set

Cisco is about the enter field trials with its onePK programmability framework on the ASR 1000 and ISR G2 enterprise routers, kicking off the company's Cisco ONE programmable networks strategy. As you may recall, ISR G2 and ASR 1000 were the initial platforms targeted for onePK rollout when Cisco announced the Cisco ONE initiative earlier this year.

The Cloud Connector software that Cisco unveiled for those routers at that time support onePK APIs for third-party development.  The startup of the field trial signals that the Cisco ONE initiative is right on track, officials say.

Since the Cisco ONE rollout, Cisco acquired two companies that fit into the programmability strategy: Virtuata, which develops VM security technology for multi-tenant data centers; and vCider which makes a network virtualization controller.

The vCider technology will be included in a controller Cisco's currently building for Cisco ONE deployments. That controller, which was demonstrated at the Cisco Live conference in June, now supports OpenFlow. But it will support vCider and other onePK controller-to-switch interfaces as well, says Prashant Gandhi, senior director of Cisco's Service Access Virtualization Technology Group.

"We will provide customers both options from the same controller," Gandhi says. "They don't have to use multiple controllers."

Cisco spin-in Insieme Networks is also believed to be working on a controller for Cisco ONE. Gandhi would not comment on Insieme's work, however.

On the virtual switching side, Cisco recently unveiled two new editions of the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, another key component of the Cisco ONE arsenal. The Nexus 1000V Essential Edition is available at no cost and is intended to enable "rapid, low-risk adoption" of Cisco's virtual network technology, the company said.

The Nexus 1000V Advanced Edition includes the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway and support for other security capabilities, such as DHCP snooping, IP Source Guard, Dynamic ARP inspection and Cisco TrustSec Security Group Access.

Gandhi says these extensions represent a new go-to-market model for the Nexus 1000V, which has in excess of 6,000 customers. Now that the Nexus 1000V is supporting multiple hypervisors - not just VMware vSphere, which is now shipping - it helps cloud operators implement the Cisco virtual switch in their non-VMware environments.

It also extends the addressable market for Nexus 1000V beyond VMware, which appears to be moving into a more competitive position with Cisco in network virtualization via its Nicira acquisition. And it might entice timid enterprises who had trouble warming up to the Cisco virtual switch.

"Today we are only in the enterprise-plus version of vSphere," Gandhi said. "As (Microsoft's) Hyper-V penetrates there is an opportunity to broaden. Even in vSphere enterprise-plus, with the free verison, customers don't have to justify for N1K. They can now get the benefits...without that justification. So we expect a higher propensity for them to deploy this and get a broader footprint."

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