If we use last year’s Interop as the OpenFlow/SDN coming out party
, it took just over a year for Cisco to fully develop and announce a comprehensive multi-segment strategy. Their SDN encompassing strategy is called Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE)
. Congratulations, Cisco! If they got David Ward back from Juniper sooner, maybe the strategy would have already been announced. Joke…I really don’t have any insight as to who was or is responsible for the strategy, but would imagine it to be a fairly extensive team.
I think it was a good move to announce during Cisco LIVE. Customers worship Cisco, not just for the products, solutions, architectures they develop, but also for this week long party where they receive gifts and gadgets, and soak up some of the most technical content in the industry, but most importantly can be around like-minded individuals. That is the most important thing for those that are technically inclined and is often not understood by those who aren’t “down in the weeds.”
Even though it did take Cisco this long to develop an overall strategy, I can’t say they lost too much ground because many of the start-ups aren’t fully out of stealth either, but here is where I want to make a point. Cisco is a $40+ Billion Dollar company with lots of existing customers. They need
to have a comprehensive multi-segment strategy. Think Campus, Data Center, Cloud, and Service Provider. This doesn’t make the Cisco ONE strategy an overarching architecture necessarily because the customer requirements and needs are different in each one of these “places in the network (PIN).” Cisco even stated this today in their announcements, so to some degree, I’m just stating the obvious. Side note: I first heard PIN in a presentation from Mike Rau in about 2007 and I still like that acronym, I must say.
So we need to remember, while there are many startups in the SDN space (BigSwitch, Nicira, Embrane, etc. just to name a few), each one is going after a niche, and who knows, will maybe expand from there. My hope for Cisco is to fully commit or let a market go as it pertains to SDN, so we don’t see another CIUS happen (as Balaji already pointed out
). I’d rather see the BEST in a given area. It sounds like they are going after SP first because they can monetize those solutions first, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
As I've been saying a lot these days, we have some interesting and fun times ahead. Looking forward to it.