Not much time to blog about this today, so this will be short, but another nice move for Cisco by announcing the acquisition of Cariden. This is being seen by most as a great SP SDN play for Cisco, which indeed it is. But remember, Service Providers have complex requirements, usually much more complex than Enterprises. This means Enterprises may only need a portion of the Cariden solution to start dabbling in SDN that is available today, not in 6 months or not in 2 years. So yes, Cariden was acquired for $141M and they do in fact have shipping products today, which is rare in the new and upcoming SDN community. With that said, please note that Cariden had also announced integration with Big Switch’s Floodlight open source controller targeted at Enterprises. With Enterprises potentially only needing a subset of Cariden’s actual feature set, I’m sure we may now see portions of Cariden’s application suite integrated as northbound applications riding on top of Cisco’s ONE SDN controller that is coming sometime next year letting Cisco provide an end to end solution potentially equivalent to the one Google announced last year at ONS.
How quick can you close a $1.2B dollar deal? Supposedly it took Cisco and Meraki just four days. “…they moved at lightning speed to get the deal done. Within four days, we had a handshake agreement with Cisco. They drove a fair bargain.” – Doug Leone, Sequoia Capital
Just over a year ago, I had my first encounter with Meraki. Thanks to the Wireless Tech Field Day team, I was able to watch many of the sessions live from home. Luckily, Meraki was one of them I got to see. After learning a little bit about what Meraki was doing, it never seemed like rocket science, but it still seemed like magic. They solved arguably the biggest problem in networking today – network management with a focus on the Campus.
For those who visit here often know I'm a bit of an SDN purist , maybe even a Revolutionary. But this article, it stemmed from several recent conversations on how the network will EVOLVE over time. This pertains to data center only, so it's more relevant to the topic of *Empowering* the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). It was also meant to be a high level quick start guide regarding these trends. For more details, I've written other posts and there are definitely a lot of others out there too.
Here it goes.
Network Virtualization & Software Defined Networks
As an infrastructure and IT professional, you are probably overwhelmed with the amount of information and hype right now regarding topics such as OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN). Rest assured you are not alone. My goal is to simplify this messaging, review what can be done in the world of software and virtual networking today to meet the demands of Cloud, but will also lay the foundation for the next generation network.
There is no better time than now to be in the world of networking. While it is changing significantly without many taking notice, we have exciting times ahead of us. Many of us, including me, may even be out of a job in a few years once networking becomes truly automated, but for now, let’s embrace the change and see what happens! Just in the past few months we’ve seen Nicira, vCider, and now Vyatta get acquired, not to mention the other SDN startups getting more VC funding, the most recent of this bunch, Big Switch Networks. But, today’s announcement is clearly about Vyatta getting acquired by Brocade.
There was a recent blog on cisco.com by Eric Voit that discussed Software Defined Networking (SDN) with a focus on device proliferation in the data center and how this is impacting device configuration and management. While I actually do agree that network management and reducing OpEx could be a huge driver for SDN in the short term, my focus here is on the broader topic Voit discusses – software based network integration. This thing that we are calling “software based network integration” is going to be the foundation of next generation applications and next generation networks. So, how will we integrate networks into an already functioning IT ecosystem in the future? We’ll need some form of APIs and/or SDKs.
It was just announced Riverbed will be acquiring OPNET. With the growth of BYOD, Cloud, SDN, and Collaboration just to name a few of today’s hottest trends, it is now more important than ever before to have deeper visibility into both the network and the applications riding over the network. For the mid-size Enterprise in my experience, they usually rely just on SNMP, WMI, and sometimes NetFlow to gain visibility to the network. However, this data on its own is not enough to really know what’s going on throughout the network. From my perspective, network and application performance management (APM) solutions are those that the incumbent network vendors should have been selling for the past decade. These are what’s really needed. How can you make a better network or make applications run smoother if there isn’t direct integration between the network and the applications (via an APM tool)?