Cisco Unveils OpFlex as Alternative to OpenFlow
Cohen and Shashi Kiran, senior director of marketing for Cisco Data Center Solutions, said definitions regarding SDN are becoming less important. What matters is creating an environment that enables the applications to run at their best. Cohen and Kiran said Cisco is getting growing industry support for ACI and OpFlex. Such vendors as Canonical, Citrix, Microsoft and Red Hat are supporting OpFlex-enabled virtual switches and will include the ACI policy framework in their virtualization offerings while network technology vendors like Avi Networks, Citrix, Embrane and F5 Networks will put OpFlex agents into their appliances. Cisco also is making efforts to keep OpFlex open. Not only will it work through the IEFT to make it a standard, but also is working with the OpenDaylight Project—which is developing an open SDN platform—to create an open policy model that's compatible with ACI and an OpFlex reference architecture in the upcoming Helium release of its platform. Cisco with IBM spearheaded the development of OpenDaylight, and those vendors—along with Midokura and Plexxi—will help with the work around OpFlex. "The goal here is to have it 100 percent open-source," Cohen said.
Cisco will support OpFlex not only in its Nexus 9000 series switches, but devices in other families, including Nexus 7000 and 1000V systems, ensuring investment protection for organizations that already have these switches but want to start moving down the ACI pathway.