Light Reading

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).

Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
Cable Feuds With Senate Dems Over STBs
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/31/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Qualcomm Wants FCC to Stay Out of LTE-U Fray
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Comes With Free Phone Stand Click Here
Who says cats don't have any skills?