Cisco Opens Up on Programmable Future

Cisco's big focus this week at its annual customer and partner conference, Cisco Live, was the enterprise network, with CEO Chuck Robbins (after making a rather dramatic entrance, as shown below) spending most of his opening keynote highlighting the company's message that the network will "power the future" and enable businesses to transform -- and making sure everyone knows that we're on the brink of the "network's next act."

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With today's programmable network gear, it turns out that the network's next act has a lot to do with developers (read related No Jitter post, "Cisco's DevNet Comes of Age). Cisco this week announced new developer capabilities and open APIs for Cisco DNA Center, the network automation and assurance dashboard for its intent-based networking platform, Cisco DNA -- both of which were all the buzz at last year's Cisco Live . With a programmable network, developers can do things like:

  • Create network-aware applications, delivering intelligence for business operations
  • Automate processes, enabling the reallocation of IT resources toward more innovative tasks
  • Support and simplify multivendor network management using an SDK

The new programming capabilities not only open the network to developers, but also to network engineers and roughly 60,000 Cisco partners. In fact, 15 partners have already built solutions on the DNA Center platform, Cisco said. Cisco channel partner Accenture, for example, has integrated ServiceNow, its IT service management software, with the network so the occurrence of a network problem automatically generates a trouble ticket.

DevNet Milestones

Cisco's developer community, DevNet, now has more than 500,000 members, reaching "critical mass," and spurring a new model for networking innovation, Susie Wee, DevNet VP and CTO, shared in a Cisco Blogs post. The DevNet ecosystem "will be the hub of the next generation of applications and the next generation of business," she wrote.

The DevNet community, evenly split between application and infrastructure developers, is working on everything from network automation to Internet of Things (IoT) applications, hybrid cloud applications, and business applications featuring embedded collaboration capabilities (more on that in a minute), Wee said.

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To help fuel the growth of its developer ecosystem, Cisco announced three new initiatives, all available today:

  • DevNet Ecosystem Exchange -- an online portal for finding and sharing applications and solutions built for Cisco platforms, currently hosting more than 1,300 solutions
  • DevNet Code Exchange -- a list of sample code, adapters, tools, and SDKs written by Cisco and DevNet members, organized by Cisco product areas and available on GitHub (which Microsoft is acquiring for $7.5 billion, as announced last week)
  • DevNet DNA Developer Center -- a resource center for developers building on DNA Center, providing learning materials, use cases, capabilities, and more

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