10 Software-Defined Networking Architectures, September 27, 2013 Software-defined networking is a hot topic for debate in the industry. Experts argue about the best way to implement it, the ways it might affect network engineers and administrators, and how it might disrupt the traditional power structure in the networking industry. While there are a lot of opinions about this emerging technology, there's one inescapable fact: SDN has brought new attention and innovation to the network. To get a view into the various approaches to SDN, we asked 10 vendors to supply images and short descriptions of their SDN technology. While there's some marketing fluff in some of the write-ups, the images provide a window into the wide range of technical approaches to SDN.
Cisco eXtensible Network Controller (XNC)
Cisco XNC is a Java OSGI-based application built to support the scalability, extensibility and modularity required for rapidly evolving enterprise IT architectures. It is the industry's first controller that supports multiple protocols, both OpenFlow and Cisco onePK for device communication. The Service Abstraction Layer (SAL) in the XNC architecture enables modular device support through either OpenFlow or Cisco onePK by abstracting the protocols from applications that run on the controller. As an extensible platform, other southbound protocol plugins could be added as the technology evolves. On the northbound, XNC provides Java OSGI and REST API support for business applications to interact. Using Java, OSGI application developers could easily extend or develop applications that will run on the controller itself. REST API can be used by business applications that are outside the controller, and for those XNC supports both secure and non-secure communication mechanism.
Cisco's SDN strategy should become clearer Nov. 6, when the company reportedly plans to unveil the products from its Insieme Networks venture.