Cisco XNC FAQ
Q: What does the base controller provides without the applications?
A: The base controller is a fully functional OpenFlow controller. It provides the common infrastructure and services that applications use:
- Network topology services
- Cluster-based high availability
- Forwarding rules manager, which allows an application to program rules (flows) on OpenFlow capable network devices within the domain of the controller
- Basic GUI
- Representational state transfer (REST) API and Java API for applications to use
Q: What are the differences between the OpenDaylight controller and Cisco XNC?
A: Cisco XNC is based on the OpenDaylight controller, but there are important differences between the two. Cisco XNC includes the base controller plus:
- Applications such as Monitor Manager, Topology-Independent Forwarding (TIF), and Network Slicing
- An advanced GUI and superior troubleshooting and debugging capabilities compared to the OpenDaylight controller
- Support for the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) Platform Kit (onePK) as well as OpenFlow 1.0 for communication with network devices
- Integration with an external authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) server for authentication as well as for authorization for both GUI and REST API calls
- Full Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support for Cisco XNC and its applications, whereas the OpenDaylight controller is community supported
OpenDaylight Architecture and Components
Cisco XNC Architecture and Components
Q: How many flows can the controller set up for the Monitor Manager?
A: In the small setup the Monitor Manager can program 10,000 flows; 50,000 in medium setup and 100,000 flows in large setups. Please note that the number of flows programmed on a switch depends on the ACL TCAM capacity of the switch.
Q: What are the system requirements to run the XNC controller?
A: Cisco XNC can run on a virtual machine or bare-metal server. The minimum recommendation is a 6-core CPU with 8 GB of RAM running a 64-bit distribution of Linux with Java 1.7 or later.
Q: What Cisco platforms does Cisco XNC Release 1.0 officially support?
A: Cisco XNC 1.0 supports the Cisco Nexus® 3000 Series Switches with Cisco NX-OS Software Release 6.0(2)U1(1) or 6.0(2)U1(2).
Q: How many devices can the Cisco XNC control?
A: In a small setup the XNC Controller supports 100 switches. It supports 300 switches in a medium setup and 500 switches in a large setup.
Q: Can Cisco XNC manage other network devices from other vendors?
A: Cisco XNC can manage any third-party switches that support OpenFlow 1.0; however, Cisco TAC does not support these switches.
Q: Does the Cisco XNC support only OpenFlow and onePK?
A: Cisco XNC supports OpenFlow 1.0, and a Cisco onePK plug-in will be available soon.
Q: What version of Openflow does the Cisco XNC support?
A: The Cisco XNC supports OpenFlow 1.0 with a few vendor extensions like the IPv6, Set Next Hop
Q: What is the security mechanism for the REST API?
A: All REST API calls are authenticated and authorized either using local AAA or external AAA server, depending on Cisco XNC configuration and setup. In addition, Cisco XNC supports secure communications for the REST API.
Q: Is there anything that needs to be setup on the platforms before the Cisco XNC communication to it?
A: Refer to the Cisco XNC Deployment Guide.
Q: How does Cisco XNC connect to the platforms? Does it use the management port or front-panel ports?
A: A switch can connect to Cisco XNC through the management port or front-panel port. As long as IP connectivity exists between the device and Cisco XNC, the two should be able to communicate. The most common way of connecting a switch to Cisco XNC is through the management VLAN to which the management port of the switch belongs.
Q: How do I achieve Cisco XNC high availability?
A: Cisco XNC supports cluster-based high availability. Multiple instances of Cisco XNC can deployed for high availability and scalability. Multiple instances logically act as one single instance of the controller.
Q: Can I build an application on top of Cisco XNC?
A: Yes. The REST API can be used by an application if the application is written in any programming language (for example, C, C++, or Java) or script (Python), and the application can run in a different address space than the controller. An application also can be written using the Java API, but an application the uses the Java API must be written in Java and will run in the same address space as the controller.
Q: Where can I find more information about the north bound API?
A: See the Java and REST API documentation on the APIs and Docs page.