Cisco Systems Inc. will shortly unwrap the first concrete parts of its announced software defined networking
strategy, part of a five-year plan to build a new platform allowing enterprises and service providers to better deliver applications over networks.
Two Cisco executives made the promise Wednesday in a video conference call with North American IT reporters as they confidently talked about the company’s strategies and future, claiming it could become the industry leader in infrastructure.
“Among the top six or seven companies that could take this space [Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and Cisco] we have a good shot at becoming the number one IT company, with infrastructure simplified to a platform linked to applications and business processes,” said Rob Lloyd president of Cisco’s development and sales.
The upcoming announcement – which Lloyd said will be made within the next 30 days ---- will be a toolkit and roadmap for letting developers use an environment Cisco calls onePK, which is a set of application programmable interfaces (APIs) for all of its operating systems, switches and routers.
These APIs will link to software applications for visibility into the Cisco infrastructure to automate task such as optimizing resources.
“In the next few weeks we will launch a roadmap, with the features and the services that will be available through the onePK,” said Lloyd, “and how customers can begin to imagine using it in use cases so it begins to deliver the simplicity and programmability between the mass infrastructure and the investments they’ve made, the features of IOS, XR and Nexus OS, and how they can begin to simplify their IT stack.”
The promise to create onePK was made in June as part of Cisco’s software defined networking strategy. SDN is an emerging approach to virtualizing networks to automate tasks.
The idea, Lloyd said “is to streamline the ability of an application to call directly to a network service and begin to provision a capability” – for example, if a person is transmitting an electrocardiogram test of his heart from home to a doctor with a mobile device, the mobile application can set data encryption, quality of service and other network capabilities.
“We do see an opportunity of creating a platform with two layers,” Lloyd said: Infrastructure APIs and application APIs.