& cplSiteName &

Cisco CEO: It's Early Days for Virtualization

Dan Jones
2/26/2014
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2014 -- Cisco CEO John Chambers says that network virtualization is an essential part of the company's future but that it is still "early days" for the technology.

Chambers tackled SDN and NFV as part of a wide range of topics at a media roundtable here in Barcelona.

"I think you will see us embrace software-defined networking and network functions virtualization and emerge as the leader in both but as part of an architecture," Chambers said. "It's still very early days." (See Cisco Sees NFV as a Key to New Sales.)

SDN and NFV refer to the idea of being able to provide network functionality on standard servers without the need for custom hardware. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

Helping Chambers field questions was Kelly Ahuja, SVP and GM of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s mobility business group, who stressed that orchestration automation and optimization were both part of the virtualization picture.

Cisco, of course, has been pulling together these pieces for a while. Cisco told us in October last year that more than 20 Asian operators have been testing its Quantum SON self-optimizing network technology. (See The SON Always Shines on LTE.)

Chambers said that the trend towards software platforms has been changing the company's spending and acquisition priorities. "I think it already has shifted quite dramatically," he commented, while noting that 85% of Cisco's engineers have always been involved with software.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(17)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
dapperdave
50%
50%
dapperdave,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/20/2014 | 4:00:19 PM
Re: Cisco's HW-based strategy is actually SW-centric
While 85% of Cisco's engineers are software engineers, they're developing on platforms that are ASIC-based. Cisco's value prop over the past three decades has been based upon hardware-acceleration of its control and forwarding/filtering engines... with that HW accel offerred through custom Cisco ASICs (APIC is a perfect example). I dont think this customized hardware value prop is going to change much in core networks or ToR, MoR, EoR switches. Whether in the enterprise or SP. Cisco is safe there for a good while.

Where Cisco will get initially drilled is networking at the edge, where competitive service agility will override the previous performance mantra. Nicira at the DC edge IMHO has a pretty impressive value prop related to service agility and netwowrk mgmt opex reduction.

Likewise, service agility and opex savings requirements are driving WAN edge vendors to embrace the substantial benefits of orchestration in general and NFV/SDN in particular. But at the WAN edge (again, IMHO), big SPs and enterprises will glacially embrace ... only after the other "pioneers" embrace it. Smaller MSPs will be the early adopters - offering managed services that deliver the opex and service agility benefits now - to SMBs. SMBs dont care how this gets done. They just want their MSPs to give them higher service velocity at a lower price. NFV is part of the puzzle that allows that capability in the MSP-->SMB market today.

Dave Corley

 

 
DanJones
100%
0%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/28/2014 | 11:57:43 AM
Re: Cisco's HW-based strategy is actually SW-centric
Yeah, he made the point that it would be really hard for another company to compete with Cisco in the breadth of areas that they cover in the networking space in general.
mendyk
100%
0%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/28/2014 | 8:19:24 AM
Re: Cisco's HW-based strategy is actually SW-centric
I agree with you regarding Cisco's macro strategy and the buying tendencies of operators. For Cisco to continue to grow in a meaningful way, it does need to continue to expand its customer base, and the key to that growth is in selling its hardware given the strategy of tying its SDN/NFV initiative to Cisco boxes. If COTS boxes do prove capable of handling NFV for telcos, then Cisco's strategy may backfire. But of course it could always change. 
t.bogataj
100%
0%
t.bogataj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/28/2014 | 3:47:19 AM
Cisco's HW-based strategy is actually SW-centric
Cisco bets with confidence on two things.

First, locking their customers by providing features that depend on their HW. Just peek at their 9000 series, and what's contained in their APIC.

Second, they know that most operators love to be locked (whatever they say otherwise). Given the current restructuring of CAPEX (shift from HW to SW) for SDN/NFV gear, Cisco expects relatively more revenue for SW (which runs on their HW). As Infonetics' reports and surveys show, 95% of operators expect to obtain SW from their existing big telecom equipment manufacturers.

That's good enough for Cisco.

T.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 5:35:29 AM
CEO knows best
Virtualization for communication is still a shaky subject and needs further research. Although working models are emerging, they are simply too unsecure to be put to the market.  Unless we find a stable ground of implementing the virtual space into communication and mobile systems, every CEO will feel unsure of the companies direction into virtualization.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 3:27:44 PM
Re: Natural Evolution
I agree with FakeMitch here. Chambers has to tread carefully, and so far he is doing that job well. 

Cisco cannot alienate its old school roots, and the 85% figure on software lends itself to that. In order to move forward the company also has to remain true to its legacy. 

For now. 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 2:20:10 PM
Re: Natural Evolution
There's no proof Cisco or traditional hardware vendors have lost anything yet. That is another thing that makes the "early days" comment more accurate than dubious. Maybe, just maybe, we will see things change with AT&T Supplier Domain program, which already has offered up one surprise, but we need to see more evidence. Carriers have to prove they won;t let themselves be locked into Cisco.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 11:38:40 AM
Re: Natural Evolution
This is not likely to be a binary process. Cisco's customers will expect NFV, and Cisco will deliver it, apparently on its own terms. If operators decide to keep CSCO, then anything they do with new installations (i.e., without Cisco gear) will simply add to network complexity, which is what they want to avoid. Unless Cisco (and some other vendors) change strategy, operators may still end up being locked into their suppliers. Either that or make things more complicated for themselves. I think this will require more than one "article" to explore.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 11:31:37 AM
Re: Natural Evolution
You make a good point - Cisco actually contributed much of the code that underlies OpenDaylilght's "open" SDN controller platform, Hydrogen. But it's interesting that the folks making the most noise about using that platform are IBM and Ericsson. 

I'm not engaged in covering Cisco on the enterprise side, but on the telecom network operator side, teh story is muddy indeed. As Chambers says, this is early days and there is time for things to sort out. 
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/26/2014 | 11:28:39 AM
Re: Natural Evolution

I can't imagine that service providers will want to tear out their Cisco boxes. Rip and replace is always a hard sell.

Actually, it's an impossible sell.

What I do see happening is that service providers will want to install SDN and NFV on new equipment as they expand their networks and replace old equipment.

The networks will go to SDN and NFV, but only as old equipment becomes obsolete and networks expand.

I see established companies like Cisco, HP, IBM, Juniper, etc. having an advantage in that area over virtualization-specific startups. The established companies have a breadth of existing technology and partnerships that startups can't match.

I may or may not be working on the article on this.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Netflix Set to Enter China
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.