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SDN blogs: Creating Cisco onePK apps; what is a programmable network?

This week, SDN bloggers discuss creating apps using Cisco onePK, the basics of the OVSDB protocol, and what constitutes a programmable network.

Cisco, VMware will battle for network control

Plexxi's Mike Bushong explains the concept of the Point of Control -- the place in the network where the provisioning, monitoring and troubleshooting happens -- and breaks down Cisco's and VMware's approach to it on the Plexxi company blog. This newfound focus on the Point of Control is due to the rise of SDN.

According to Bushong, Cisco has dominated control for years. However, with VMware's acquisition of Nicira, that could change. Nicira is pushing the management of the network to the server side, and in addition, the Point of Control could become monetized. The results are some strategic moves on Cisco's part by choosing to back the OpenDaylight Project. Who will win the Point of Control battle is still up in the air.

Check out Bushong's full analysis of the evolution of this point of action within the network and how vendors have tailored their approach to it since the rise of SDN.

Creating a Cisco onePK application

Jason Edelman has been developing a new Cisco One Platform Kit (onePK) application, dubbed Network Control Manager. He writes on his blog that the app can be used to gather real-time data and make changes to the network in a more centralized way. Network Control Manager can be seen as an SDN controller, he writes. The app uses Cisco onePK as the southbound application programming interface, and an API designed by Edelman on the northbound.

Edelman explains some of his goals for creating the application, such as reducing box-by-box management and improving operational efficiencies. Even though it's still the "early days" for apps like this, Edelman says there is much more that can be done in the future. He includes a demo video and an overview of Network Control Manager in the post, as well as a basic slideshow outlining the principles of the app.

Check out Edelman's full post highlighting his thinking behind creating a Cisco onePK application.

How to get started with the OVSDB protocol

More vendors are starting to incorporate the Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol into their Ethernet switch's firmware, and OpenDaylight continues to work on an OVSDB implementation in its controller. With this in mind, network architect Brent Salisbury outlines what there is to know about this key protocol on his blog. The protocol is particularly important when it comes to enabling programmatic networks in the future, he writes, and adoption of OVSDB can be seen almost across the board in nearly all hardware and software vendors. Salisbury provides an in-depth look at the protocol and how it can be used in his post.

Take a look at Salisbury's detailed outline detailed outline of the OVSDB protocol.

Creating a programmable network: What does that mean?

That's a tricky question, according to Ethereal Mind's Greg Ferro. Ferro takes to his blog to break down the components of a network and what each would look like if programmed correctly. Ferro focuses on areas such as programming a cloud network, programming a network for applications and programming a device, writing that OpenFlow is currently the best bet to help program a network.

Take a look at Ferro's breakdown of what it means to have a programmable network and how to do so.

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