Light Reading

For Cisco, Is 'SDN' Code for 'Crush VMware?'

Mitch Wagner
5/15/2014
50%
50%

When Cisco's John Chambers cited SDN as one of the company's strengths in an earnings call with analysts Wednesday, at least one industry watcher heard "SDN" as code for "crush VMware."

"A cheerful John Chambers told Wall Street analysts on Wednesday that his plan to crush his biggest threat, a new technology led by VMware, is working well," Julie Bort wrote on BusinessInsider.com. (See Cisco Earnings Suffer From Carrier Weakness.)

Bort described SDN as "being led" by VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) following its acquisition of Nicira. She called Nicira's founder "more or less" the inventor of SDN. (See Defining SDN & NFV and Does Cisco Need Nicira?)

(Source: Brent Moore/CC 2.0)
(Source: Brent Moore/CC 2.0)

A year ago, Cisco had no SDN product and dismissed the technology. Now its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is the company's SDN offering, using technology from Insieme, which Cisco bought. Chambers said Wednesday that Cisco is taking almost all the customers it lost following VMware's Nicira acquisition. (See Cisco Asks the Killer SDN Question.)

More than 50 customers are testing Cisco's ACI SDN software, he said, and it has sold 175 Nexus 9000 routers running ACI. Bort said its goal is to get those customers, not necessarily to commit to ACI, but simply to wait and not jump to competitors. (See Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN.)

As SDNCentral's Craig Matsumoto noted in a blog post Wednesday, Chambers said the number of ACI customers has gone from more than 20 last quarter to 175 this quarter, and the pipeline is "approaching 1,000 customers.

However, that's only a small part of Cisco's customer base. And Matsumoto said the number appears to count all Nexus 9000 customers, the majority of which aren't actually using SDN.

Cisco shares were trading at $24.355 around 3:00 p.m. EDT today, up $1.5451 from this morning. The stock closed at $22.8099 Wednesday.

I'm not sure I agree with Bort's analysis. I see Cisco's ACI as a reaction to the SDN threat as a whole, not just VMware. And even though VMware is one of the leaders in SDN, I would not say it's driving the movement.

Nevertheless, big technology incumbents often fixate on a single competitor, and VMware is as good a target as any for Cisco's hostility. Certainly, when I talk with VMware people, they seem to be fixated on Cisco -- as are those at every other company that attempts to compete with it.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/17/2014 | 4:41:34 PM
Re: Industry watcher
When I talk to Cisco they spend a significant portion of the time singling out VMware for criticism -- though not by name of course, because vendors don't do that any more than politicians do. And vice-versa. So, yeah, the headline raises a valid question. 
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/16/2014 | 4:05:42 PM
That's funny
Funny thing is that in one of its slide presentations Cisco actually tried to show that the Nexus 9000 was actually the more economic option. Funny--or maybe not--when Cisco claims to be the low priced vendor.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/16/2014 | 4:19:48 AM
Industry watcher
That is such a click-bait headline. And riffing off the most simplistic Business Insider analysis?
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.