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Cisco takes deep breath, plunges into Puppet's DevOps pool

Service provider IOS version gets YANG module

Cisco's embrace of open networking tools continues, with the company opening up code to connect its IOS-XR operating system to Puppet via YANG.

The snappily-named Ciscoyang module bundles a Puppet type, provider, Beaker tests, and sample manifests for configuring and managing IOS-XR.

IOS-XR is the service provider-scale version of Routerzilla's ubiquitous network operating system, so it's probably a hint that Puppet is starting to appear in the kinds of networks Cisco regards as a must-keep.

The Ciscoyang modules need Puppet's open version 4.3.2 or higher, or Puppet Enterprise 2015.3.2 or higher. It's designed for IOS XR 9000 (it's a new initiative: exactly which version of the operating system is yet to be determined), and Cisco's Network Convergence System 55xx.

The Ciscoyang module gets installed on the Puppet Master server, and the environment includes agents for installation on individual networking devices.

The whole business of open networking is a fraught question for Cisco. The company is unarguably the infrastructure foundation of the Internet, which itself exemplifies open networking.

But what's created the behemoth whose market capitalisation is well to the north of US$100 billion isn't open: IOS is so fundamental to the company's hold on the market it's launched its lawsuit against Arista partly because the latter used the IOS command-line interface.

None of that has changed, but the Puppet code suggests enough service providers are asking for cross-platform automation tools to force a response.

The Ciscoyang project is at Github. ®

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