Open Network Environment

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Open network environment by Cisco Systems is a programmable framework.

What is Open Network Environment?

by Cisco

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:

  • Controllers and agents
  • Programmatic Interfaces
  • Virtual network overlays

It is designed to allow organizations to create applications that harvest network intelligence and extract greater business value from the underlying network.

Cisco’s Strategy for Network Programmability

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.

Cisco Open Network Environment
Open Network Environment

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:

  • First, network programmability and many of the use cases that require it, require APIs or interfaces at multiple layers of the network (not just at the control and forwarding plane). There are deeper internals in our operating systems, and hardware and ASICs, that can be accessed to extend and enhance the network. Similarly, further up this network stack are higher-level services, such as the management and orchestration APIs, such as our Network Services Manager (NSM) API that supports orchestration and cloud portal applications such as Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (CIAC). In the Cisco environment, we are enabling application environments to leverage APIs at all levels of the network.
  • Second, many of the use cases for which organizations are looking for not only require programming the network to the desired or optimal behavior but also are seeking to extract the enormous amount of information and intelligence contained in the network infrastructure. Deeper and more insightful network intelligence can be pulled into a new class of analytical applications that can promote more sophisticated network policies and support business logic that drives the network. This ultimately makes the network more valuable and can support more innovative and revenue-generating services.

What sets Cisco apart is the ability 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.

Open Network Environment Flow
Open Network Environment Flow

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.