Cisco Refresh Puts Weight Behind onePK API

    Cisco is making the case that the convergence of mobile and cloud computing, coupled with video and a variety of new forms of Big Data being generated by the “Internet of Things,” means the time has come to invest in new networking infrastructure upgrades.

    At a Cisco Live! event this week, Cisco unveiled a raft of new routers and switches, including upgrades to the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) series and the higher-end elements of the Catalyst switch series that Cisco began refreshing earlier this month.

    According to Inbar Lasser-Raab, Cisco senior director of enterprise network marketing, what unifies all these upgrades is support for the onePK application programming interface that simplifies the management of networking infrastructure at scale. The onePK API not only makes it easier to manage networks using a software-defined networking (SDN) CiscoOne architecture, it actually extends control of the network to application developers.

    As more latency-sensitive mobile and cloud computing applications that depend on location services are created, developers are going to need to be able to invoke specific network resources without having to know arcane network interfaces. The onePK API exposes all the richness of the Cisco command line interface technology via an API that developers can simply call, says Lasser-Raab.

    Lasser-Raab says that new routers and switches are also designed to inherit functionality from each other so that, for example, all the switches inside a single building can now be managed as one logical entity. The goal, says Lasser-Raab, is to facilitate the management of network infrastructure at scale without requiring IT organizations to necessarily invest in more network managers, the cost of which would generally be prohibitive.

    Viewed in context with the carrier-grade routers that Cisco unveiled earlier this month, Cisco is in the middle of a massive overhaul of its core networking product line. Whether IT organizations are in a position to absorb all that change at once or over an extended period of time will vary widely by vertical industry. But what is for certain is that from both a bandwidth and manageability perspective, most of the networking infrastructure currently in place is already essentially obsolete.

    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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