& cplSiteName &

Cisco Drops the S-Bomb

Mitch Wagner
5/19/2014
50%
50%

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cisco Live -- A top Cisco executive dropped the S-bomb at Cisco Live Sunday, touting the company's SDN message. David Ward, Cisco's SVP engineering, CTO and chief architect, also said "shit" a few times, which is not something I've heard before at an opening keynote of a customer conference for a $49 billion multinational corporation.

Ward even included the word in a slide. ("Shit," that is. Not SDN. Although "SDN" came up a lot too.)

A metric boatload is much less confusing than imperial measurements.
A metric boatload is much less confusing than imperial measurements.

Ward, resplendent in no shoes, brightly colored socks, and faded jeans, along with other Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) executives, talked up network automation, virtualization, SDN, and NFV.

"We know that what you are being asked to do is to deliver services and capabilities to these demanding clients, these enterprises, and these consumers. We've seen how quickly this industry changes. You know, the iPhone was announced in this building seven years ago," Kit Beall, VP, Cisco global service provider segment, said on stage at the Moscone Center. "The iPhone is only seven years old." Innovation is happening fast -- but not fast enough.

Beall added, "So when the boss comes back -- and this has happened to all of us -- and says, 'Tell me about SDN. Tell me abut virtualization. What's going on with NFV?' we stop and we say, 'Hold on a second, there are some challenges here.'" Networks today are difficult to configure. "Innovation costs are pretty high." Integrating with billing systems, provisioning systems, and other back-office systems takes time.

Virtualization can streamline innovation, Ward said. "The point of what we're trying to build is to orchestrate the entire network and make it go faster. We've virtualized as much of the catalog as we possibly can, and we're going to continue to virtualize it: Mobility, security, video, collab[oration], voice-over-IP." He added, "Network functions virtualization is directly in our target zone and it's a pillar of our architecture.”

Virtualization can help companies find unused capacity on the network and manage network resources, which include the data center and cloud. Automated tools can find resources available in the data center to determine where workloads should be placed. And making more efficient use of the network can cut capex by about half, Ward said.

These are problems Cisco has been working to solve and releasing code to solve the problems in open source, Ward said.

Ward had the socks, but Kelly Ahuja, SVP/GM mobility business group, had the catchphrases. "The world of virtualization is very green. It is a greenfield network. But unfortunately none of us live in that kind of environment." We have existing technology to manage as well as build the new generation of virtualized networks, he said.

SDN can help manage the mix of existing and new equipment. "SDN does not stand for 'Still Does Nothing' -- it actually does a lot now," Ahuja said. SDN makes the network programmable and automated.

Virtualization can help service providers save 65% on opex and increase revenue 15%, while service providers' enterprise customers save 70% on operations, Ahuja added.

Cisco got an early start on its Cisco Live, with announcements in the days leading up to the event. Cisco introduced its WAN Automation Engine Sunday and tools for integrating virtual and physical networks on Friday. (See: Cisco Intros Automated WAN Management and Cisco Integrates Virtual, Physical Networks.)

We'll have more coverage of Cisco Live -- including photos of Ward's socks -- later this week.

— 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 on 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.


(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
lcooney
50%
50%
lcooney,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/26/2014 | 12:12:53 PM
Cisco, Service Providers, SMBs & socks
Greg is spot on with his comment about Dave - he's been wearing socks since I met him when we both worked at Juniper. It's more common than not - even in team offsite meetings :).

Also, we started the "Cool Sh!t" mantra back at Cisco Live in Milan this past winter - I think people are just starting to pick up on that (good, because it's true and it's time to have some fun).

Regarding SDN, NfV & other comments the need to orchestrate cross infra (both existing & new infra and virtual and physical) is essential moving forward and will be across all markets, not just SP but also data center, enterprise and segments such as SME/SMB. There will be more coming here soon especially on the SME/SMB front. Also when you look at what we're doing with delivering data into applications at different layers one thing to consider is how much easier orchestration makes this for network engineers & developers alike as they can supply application developers the workloads needed/traffic paths required, etc faster than before (read: minutes vs weeks). It's a huge leap and we're really moving this ball forward quickly over here. With new solutions that implement open source, more interoperability and much more flexible and agile integrations via APIs and hooks into "SDN" protocols there's a lot moving forward and we're more than happy to chat with anyone about this.

Bottom line here is that Cisco is shifting and what Dave, Kelly & Kit talked about was an overview. We have multiple deep-dives if you didn't catch this in sessions or weren't able to attend the show & I can work with the marketing teams to get these posted to Slideshares or do post-event webcasts.

FYI - I do work for Cisco & for Dave running software strategy, business development and new initiatives in the CTO office for Development at Cisco - and feel free to ping me on Twitter or other with questions/comments/suggestions - always happy to help.

Cheers/LC

Lauren Cooney
Sr. Director, Chief Technology & Architecture Office, Cisco Systems
Twitter: @lcooney
EtherealMind
100%
0%
EtherealMind,
User Rank: Lightning
5/21/2014 | 8:53:26 AM
If You've Met Dave Ward
If you have meet and spoken with Dave Ward then none of this would surprise you. He hasn't work shoes on stage for years. He likes a direct and blunt conversation so the language is quite natural. 

More importantly, he is retaining service provider customers since his return from Juniper. 
dwx
100%
0%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 11:36:06 AM
Re: Wonder if this might catch on....
David Ward has been dressing and talking like this for many many years and doesn't really change based on the audience.  
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2014 | 8:14:35 PM
Re: Wonder if this might catch on....
You will have to have hardware, but it might be a lot simpler and far more generic.   Just a wire and a buffer into memory in theory I imagine.

DOShea
0%
100%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
5/19/2014 | 8:14:17 PM
Re: Wonder if this might catch on....
Yeah, I think no shoes = trying too hard, though I also don't think that Legere invented irreverence. He seemed to resort to it at a time when everyone had spent the last decade with furrowed brows and tight non-smiles.
DOShea
0%
100%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
5/19/2014 | 5:25:03 PM
Re: Wonder if this might catch on....
What exactly is a metric boatload anyway (besides a mixed metaphor...)?

Sounds like something God may have mentioned to Noah...
danielcawrey
100%
0%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2014 | 5:01:15 PM
Re: Wonder if this might catch on....
I think that this idea of networking and application services wrapped all in one is interesting. 

Still, I find that even if everything is able to be wrapped in software, won't that be problematic for remote sites? What aboue SMB? I believe that SDN is the future, but I'm pretty confident we'll still need hardware.

You can't have software without hardware. And Cisco is still going to want to sell hardware, too.  
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
5/19/2014 | 4:33:23 PM
Cisco and SDN
Cisco had its service provider packet-optical conference last week, and one of the things I noticed is that Cisco is becoming much more comfortable talking about SDN as well as becoming much more more specific about products and technologies. As some of the original hype around SDN is wearing off, it's becoming apparent that the sky isn't falling on the incumbent telecom suppliers (including Cisco).

The task, as mentioned in this article, is to integrate the new technologies with the old.

Sterling
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2014 | 3:29:27 PM
Re: Wonder if this might catch on....
If everyone goes SDN, then I wonder if the Cloud Conglomerates (Amazon, Google, ...) are in position to deliver both networking and application services, more than a company that came up delivering just the hardware components like Cisco.

Seems like Amazon at least will have been facing SDN type issues in its cloud management and it wouldn't be a far cry to go all the way and build it themsevles.

 
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
5/19/2014 | 11:48:23 AM
Wonder if this might catch on....
if this trend catches on, I can't wait to see what might await us at TM Forum Live in France in a few weeks' time.....

I suspect not, though. Probably a Cisco Live thing. Though is anyone describves their service or product as "sick" during the next few weeks, we'll know something's up...  
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
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
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
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
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 Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (0) comments


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   |     |   (12) 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?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


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.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


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.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
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
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Sprint CEO: We'll Lease Spectrum as Soon as Possible
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2016
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
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... 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.