Intel & Cisco Make News at NFV World Congress 2015

By John Healy, General Manager SDN Division, Intel Corporation

I had a chance to chat onstage with Dave Ward, Cisco’s CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect, during my keynote at this year’s NFV World Congress event.

I wanted to have him there to help me announce that Cisco has joined the Intel Network Builders ecosystem – a new milestone in our companies’ long and fruitful relationship.

The goal of Network Builders is to foster alliances between companies helping to move the NFV/SDN and open standards technology forward.  Cisco joins more than 130 other vendors and service provider members of Network Builders, several of whom were demonstrating collaborative solutions at the show.

This announcement is an example of how Intel and Cisco are working together as we both embrace the new, more open networking environment that is driven by open standards, and the rapid adoption of SDN and NFV technology.

In our conversation, Dave said that the decision to join Network Builders was made because he believes in a new approach to SDN and that industry initiatives are critical in moving technology forward. The goals of the Network Builders program are aligned with the importance Cisco places on open and interoperable solutions that are standards based. Cisco is looking to expand its interaction and joint efforts with other software and hardware vendors in the new NFV, SDN, cloud and orchestration “value stack” to collaborate on opportunities and challenges.

One of the company’s first Network Builder activities was working with us in a technology demonstration of how its Network Service Header technology, combined with Intel 100GbE, can provide advanced, high-performance intra-data center service chaining. The demo was a reprise of a very successful presentation that was made at the Mobile World Congress 2015 event in Barcelona.

Dave also reminded me of some of the other ways that Cisco and Intel are working together on open source and standards-based initiatives including Open Platform NFV, OpenStack, Open Daylight, Open vSwitch, and other standards work with the IETF.  A great example of the impact of this collaboration is our joint work on enhancing Open vSwitch performance, which is really improving network traffic flows and policy-based capabilities, and helping customers realize more agile and instantaneous virtual network function deployment.

Another area of mutual cooperation is policy-driven networks. When I speak to service providers, they want NFV solutions that will drive down cost in the network, expand their service delivery agility and offer the service reliability in terms of service level agreements and QoS that that customers have come to trust.

Together, Cisco and Intel have jointly driven adoption of new policy technologies in OpenStack and Open Daylight. When completed, this will allow service providers to build out a lower-cost, datacenter-like infrastructure to better support SLAs and QoS.

There are lots of global communications opportunities and challenges today, especially across cloud, telecom and enterprise applications. Having leaders such as Cisco interact with start-ups, service providers and other industry leading firms through Network Builders is vital to unlocking the value in this industry transformation.

I appreciated Dave taking the time to join me at NFV World Congress and look forward to Cisco’s expanded contribution to Network Builders.