& cplSiteName &

Q&A: David Meyer, Brocade's New SDN Expert

Craig Matsumoto
12/21/2012
50%
50%

One fun aspect of software-defined networking (SDN) is on the personnel side. It's created a rush to grab experts in switching and routing protocols.

Cisco Systems Inc. plucked David Ward from Juniper Networks Inc., and in November, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. got David Meyer out of Cisco. (See Cisco SDN Expert Leaves for Brocade.)

Light Reading got a chance to talk with Meyer by phone this week, to get his perspective on the amorphous identities of SDN and find out where he expects to help steer Brocade.


Light Reading: So, how's the job? You've been there a couple of months now.

Meyer: That's right, I've been here about nine weeks. I've been traveling every week. I live in Oregon, so just to be here [at Brocade, physically] I'm traveling. In Europe, I've been at industry events I was already committed to, and I've been out to see customers. Asia, too. I've been seeing customers, getting a feeling for what's going on on the ground.

Light Reading: Why'd you move from Cisco?

Meyer: I thought there was a really great opportunity here at Brocade. I think we have a great opportunity to build our business, especially in the area of SDN. This is going to be about software, but we also have a good substrate for this both in hardware and software.

And great people. Not that Cisco wasn't great; Cisco's a great company. The biggest thing is difference of scale. If you look at market cap, it's about two orders of magnitude. It's kind of a rule of thumb; everything's two orders of magnitude smaller -- headcount, etc. -- and that level of scale is really noticeable, in ways that are positive and other ways that are not.

Light Reading: So, what's your definition of SDN?

Meyer: My view of it is quite a bit wider and deeper than the sort of SDN I've been calling OpenFlow SDN, just to get a name for it. OpenFlow SDN is one piece of the bigger programmability picture, and that picture is all the stuff that's going on in the IETF, the IEEE, the new ATIS exploration [see ATIS Weighs In on SDN Standards] -- and in the ITU, for that matter.

I'll give you an example: You might decide one way to do this version of SDN is to peel off traditional pieces of the control plane and do them in a centralized way off of the new architecture -- something like PCE [the IETF's Path Computation Element model]. That's a piece of SDN that isn't necessarily OpenFlow. The network is getting programmed by the PCE server, and the PCE server can be hooked up to anything it wants, including an optical system. Above that, there's an entire universe of provisioning, orchestration layers, CloudStack -- all that stuff.

So, my vision of programmability is an ecosystem. Brocade's playing at the bottom layer of this ecosystem, where you have forwarding layers and control planes.

Light Reading: Most of the SDN talk focuses on openness and the need for industry standards, but -- how "open" is this really going to be?

Meyer: It's created an ecosystem where everyting is, I would say, a little bit de-siloed, where everybody has to play with everybody else. If you go to a place like VMworld, you'll see VMware Inc. would announce something that's made up of five or six different players.

What I've seen recently is that some people -- they're like audiophiles. They want to get the best, and they want it to work together. So, there's a lot to choose from at the higher layers of this ecosystem. It seems like this ecosystem is growing at a high rate. Except for probably the non-commodity switch level.

Light Reading: Well, even there -- it depends what you mean by "commodity," but the Broadcom Corp.-based switches, the companies like Arista Networks Inc. -- they'd been built up quite a bit.

Meyer: Sure. No matter what you do in software, eventually somebody's going to have to switch packets. That part's not going to go away.

To Page 2

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
patentchoi
50%
50%
patentchoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/5/2013 | 2:03:13 AM
re: Q&A: David Meyer, Brocade's New SDN Expert


Brocade's markets are mostly enterprise. Is this their play to get into carrier market ? Time will tell.

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/5/2013 | 2:03:13 AM
re: Q&A: David Meyer, Brocade's New SDN Expert


So according to Meyer, many companies are accepting the SDN analytics cycle where you mine the network for data, find out what's going on, and use that info to (if necessary) reconfigure the network.


It fits with the general premise that analytics are becoming a very important part of networking. I'm reminded of Ray's video bit from May: 


http://www.lightreading.com/blog.asp?doc_id=221210

joferrei
50%
50%
joferrei,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/5/2013 | 2:03:13 AM
re: Q&A: David Meyer, Brocade's New SDN Expert


Regarding the "SDN analytics cycle where you mine the network for data, find out what's going on, and use that info to (if necessary) reconfigure the network" -- is this cycle fast enough? Packet data bursts come and go much faster (at microsecond time scale) that server software can react. To be useful, the reconfiguration functionality needs to operate in sync with the data plane events: one needs a realtime control plane that is integrated with the date plane. Of course NMS software can provide (non-realtime-dynamic) configuration parameters for the realtime control plane (just like it does for the data plane).

Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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
Flexible Deployment Approaches for the Gigabit Services Evolution

9|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


For many operators, the gigabit evolution begins with the shift from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. But that move represents a change not only in the protocol itself, but in the approach to architecting their entire DOCSIS delivery chain -- from the headend to the outside plant and home gateway components.

Jonathan Ruff, senior director of global technical ...

LRTV Interviews
Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Reusable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into reusable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (19) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Powell Kills the Cable Show
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/29/2016
Telstra Sees Quadrupled Data Capacity by 2020
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/28/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.