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SDN blogs: SDN controller consistency; Cisco NX-API 1.0

SDN bloggers reviewed Cisco's NX-API version 1.0, SDN controller consistency, Corsa's adoption of OpenFlow in hardware, and OpEx savings and SDN.

What to know about Cisco's NX-API 1.0 update

On his Keeping It Classless blog, author Matt Oswalt reviews Cisco's update of its NX-API, which is now shipping as version 1.0. The API came from Cisco's Nexus 9000 platform. However, the NX-API is a more programmatic way of interacting with a Cisco Nexus switch, writes Oswalt. Although he mentions that Cisco is really just playing "catch up" with the release of the interface, it is worth looking into.

Oswalt reviews specific updates, including the introduction of JSON-RPC -- a format for communicating information bi-directionally. Included in the post are screenshots of how JSON-RPC is used. Oswalt also looks at the NX-API Sandbox, which has a better format despite being not that useful for experienced developers.

Review Oswalt's post in its entirety to learn more about Cisco's NX-API 1.0.

Why SDN controller consistency isn't enough

Ivan Pepelnjak looks at hidden SDN controller complexity in a blog post on his ipSpace site. Pepelnjak referenced a Packet Pushers podcast in which a listener pointed out that an SDN controller wouldn't reduce complexity but would instead increase it. Controllers may lead users to believe that things are simplified, but in reality, they can also introduce unexpected complexities.

Pepelnjak suggests doing proper network design and standardizing configurations to know what's going on as soon as an SDN controller is implemented. This will help when installing a controller, especially one with a centralized control plane. Not to mention, doing so in the same manner across all devices will help maintain consistency.

Check out Pepelnjak's SDN controller post in its entirety.

OpenFlow becomes a reality in hardware

On his Ethereal Mind site, Author Greg Ferro covered Corsa Technology's integration of OpenFlow into their hardware platform. The startup company from Canada has a control plane that supports multiple flow tables, and now at the heart of that control plan is an OpenFlow data path. There is also an SDN BGP routing pipeline present in the platform.

Ferro adds that the company's hardware uses Field-programmable gate arrays to make a million OpenFlow entries possible at wire speed forwarding for various configurations. This proves that not only does OpenFlow scale, but challenges are lessened in the WAN since networks are simpler and circuit-oriented.

Check out more of Ferro's post on Corsa's use of OpenFlow in hardware.

OpEx savings and SDN

Mike Bushing looks at how SDN can increase OpEx savings on the Plexxi company blog site. Bushong touches on how SDN influences OpEx in a series of ways, including comparing architectures and exploring whether or not SDN will enable IT organizations to cut staff.

Even though less staff may not be a reality, Bushong writes, OpEx savings can come from SDN in the form of more efficient staff. At the end of the day, it's hard to put a savings number on the strategic things a network team does. Instead, it takes someone willing to look to the future of SDN to "cap investment" in existing architectures and, in turn, adopt something new, he writes.

Take a look at Bushong's post in its entirety to learn more about OpEx savings and SDN.

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