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
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?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
Net Neutrality Suits: Only The Beginning?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 3/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment