We make a range of network monitoring and remote access devices, and we're wondering if Cisco plans to provide any resources for 3rd party integration (such as an SDK or interface to implement) other than the generic SNMPv2/v3 managed switch device drivers.
OnPlus discovers 3rd-party devices as long as they support any of the standard protocols like CDP, Bonjour etc. OnPlus relies on the IP-MAC association, such as the one provided by an ARP table in a router or a layer-3 switch, to draw out the topology and also includes 3rd-party devices in it. Even without the generic SNMP driver, you should be able to view basic information like IP Address, MAC, Manufacturer etc. and more importantly, remotely connect to the device either by launching the device manager or VNC or RDP etc. Were there any device specific examples you had in mind?
We are interested to see if there is a way for us to push environmental information we gather (for use in alerts), to allow for config backup/restore and firmware upgrades, and also to provide connectivity to serial port / IP based hosts behind our devices.
Do you have a plan to allow vendors to submit drivers or customisations for the OnPlus platform allowing this sort of functionality?
Any programming language that allows you to open an IP socket connection should allow you to establish a telnet socket and issue any IOS commands. The Cisco device will respond just as it does when telnetting from a PC. All you have to do is parse the return in your code and do with it what ever you want.
I program AMX systems and do this when I need to integrate with Cisco switches for various reasons. Usually I just want to control port/VLAN associations so I can change them on the fly in order to join different video multicast streams, check port status and enable/disable a ports POE. Basically I make a Cisco switch function as a video matrix switcher for sending HDMI over IP using JAP coversion devices. What ever you can do with IOS in telnet you can do with in custom software if you code it to do so.
If the 3rd-party device supports standard SNMP MIBs, we can consider setting monitors based on that in the furture (in addition to the monitors supported today). As far as custom drivers for firmware upgrades and config backup/restore, this is a tricky area and so we are not actively looking into this as of now. Of course, you could definitely use OnPlus as a conduit to get remotely connected to the device and write scripts for the said actions.
It seems you have figured out a way to use OnPlus to control other devices. What you have described is really neat!