The Cisco SDN controller has been designed to eventually transition SDN to production networks (available today for pre-production/test environments). Connectivity to policy creation and security tools used to manage the conventional network is transparent. Additionally, Cisco has created Topology-Independent Forwarding (TIF), which enables flowspec-level policy management to be enforced for each of the slices issued by IT.
Cisco has integrated the flowvisor functionality. This eliminates the need for a flowvisor. It enables IT managers to take advantage of TIF for each slice, allowing the sandbox to conform to conventional policies yet also allowing slice owners to manage their networks as needed (for example, quality of service [QoS] and bandwidth management).
The Cisco SDN controller offers Java and REST language-based northbound interface support, assuring that a wide range of sources can integrate their applications into the Cisco infrastructure. This is an important piece to harmonize the use of SDN within the major aspects of network provisioning on campus, that being the service, the administration, user and faculty access needs, and the research requirements, all from the same architecture.
The ability for the Cisco SDN controller to access the vast amount of intelligence present in Cisco network devices allows a richer set of analytic data to be presented to applications to improve the results of fusing applications and network behavior. Cisco offers these as extensions that are presented as extended analytics to the applications using the controller.„