ORLANDO, Florida — Cisco is taking its intent-based networking (IBN) concept to the next level by launching APIs that will allow third-party equipment to be part of its campus networks and the WAN. This change is part of the company’s latest step in its IBN strategy.
According to Sachin Gupta, SVP of enterprise networking at Cisco, having visibility end to end in the network is critical for network managers. “With these APIs, network managers can talk to the controller and manage switches from HPE or Aruba or Huawei,” he said. “It’s a flexible and simple way to incorporate third party equipment.”
Gupta added that Cisco’s APIs open up the network to developers so they can write custom apps but don’t need to understand networking to do it. “All these domains have been opened up with an API driven approach. We can stitch together with outcomes that are end to end,” he added.
The company’s goal is to make the network more programmable and is the latest in its IBN strategy that it launched a year ago in San Francisco. The concept of IBN is that network managers can translate their business intent by automating policy instead of manually translating intent into a lot of lines of code.
Since it first debuted its intent-based networking strategy the company has expanded that concept to various parts of its business starting with assurance and policy-based automation and moving to the WAN and IoT. Now it is adding it to DevNet — Cisco’s developer community that has more than 500,000 registered developers.
“This allows developers to use the APIs and build solutions,” said Gupta. “In addition, we have a code exchange that allows developers to leverage the code from the community and Cisco. It’s a curated list that lets you know what software works with what platforms.”
During the keynote session today, Susie Wee, VP and CTO of Cisco DevNet, said that this latest development was necessary because when the network becomes programmable, it changes how applications run on the network.
“They [applications] used to run on top. But now that the network is programmable, applications can interact with the network in new ways,” she said.
And that also means that the APIs have to be available to different types of application developers. Wee said that infrastructure developers tend to care about network security and automation while app developers tend to write code for the cloud, multi-cloud and digitized infrastructure.
Susie Wee, VP and CTO of Cisco DevNet, takes the stage at Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando, Florida to talk about DevNet’s growth.