Organizations are looking to harness trends such as cloud, mobility, social networking, and video to fuel the next wave of business innovation. Their primary business requirements include improving customer experiences, increasing employee productivity, gaining competitive advantage, and monetizing new services. The industry is moving toward stronger ties between software platforms and network infrastructure as a primary element in a holistic strategy to achieving these goals. A programmable network promises to simplify management tasks, while optimizing network behavior for applications running on shared infrastructures. The Cisco® open network environment is a programmable framework that consists of three alternative programmability models for both enterprises and service providers:
It is designed to allow organizations to create applications that harvest network intelligence and extract greater business value from the underlying network.
The Cisco Open Network Environment is a customizable framework to harness the entire value of the intelligent network, offering openness, programmability, and abstraction at multiple layers in an evolutionary manner. The Cisco Open Network Environment offers a choice of protocols, industry standards, use-case-based deployment models, and integration experiences, while laying the foundation for a dynamic feedback loop of user, session, or application analytics through policy programming.
Figure 1. Cisco provides a comprehensive and flexible approach to deploying software defined networks
The Cisco Open Network Environment is delivered through a variety of mechanisms, including APIs, agents, and controllers. Benefits include increased infrastructure agility, simplified operations, and greater application visibility and awareness. These offer flexible deployment options with consistency across both physical and virtual environments. The Cisco approach complements traditional approaches to software defined networking (approaches that primarily focus on decoupling the control and data planes), while also encompassing the entire solution stack from transport to automation and orchestration.
The Cisco Open Network Environment is differentiated from the SDN definition in a couple of ways:
What sets Cisco apart is the abilty to create multifunction, continuous feedback loops that deliver network intelligence and optimization across infrastructure and applications - for example, between analytics engines, policy engines, and network infrastructure.
By replacing a monolithic view of the network and opaque application requirements with a multidimensional model that spans from the application to the ASIC, we allow a deeper and more intelligent interaction between applications and the network.