& cplSiteName &

Cisco Outlines an SDN Plan

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
4/19/2012
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has confirmed that Insieme -- with an "e" at the end -- is working on software-defined networking (SDN) and that the project is, indeed, another spin-in from former Cisco executives.

CEO John Chambers confirmed Insieme's existence and purpose during a press roundtable at a Cisco partner event Tuesday, Network World reported. The investment in Insieme is US$100 million so far and will max out at $750 million.

Insieme is founded by Mario Mazzola, Luca Cafiero and Prem Jain -- the same executives who did previous spin-ins Andiamo and Nuova. A spin-in is a startup that's being nurtured for Cisco to acquire; outsiders think of it as an internal project with a much bigger payout promised.

Chambers has been saying that Cisco has a plan for SDN, a set of technologies that lets operators program routers and switches more flexibly. He emphasized Tuesday that Insieme's approach will include Cisco-designed ASICs as opposed to off-the-shelf chips, keeping consistent with Cisco's belief that chip design can be a key advantage for a high-end systems vendor.

The whole thing has come together very quickly. Sources have been telling Light Reading that Insieme (originally thought to end in an "i") wasn't even created until March. Word about the company leaked immediately after that.

Why this matters
It's almost a formality, but Cisco's attention makes it official that SDN is a big deal. Whether the technology radically changes the switch and router business, or just becomes an add-on feature, won't be determined for a few years. Exactly what Cisco is working on isn't known yet, though.

The spin-in thing has been a source of some controversy, because it means some Cisco employees will be working for normal salary while others are practically guaranteed the rewards of a startup buyout.

In any event, a spokesman told Light Reading Wednesday that Insieme's work will be blended with an overall architectural plan at Cisco. In other words, Insieme is going to be working with other parts of the company and isn't purely a maverick group.

For more
It's been a big week for SDN, thanks to the Open Networking Summit:



— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
markberly
50%
50%
markberly,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:35:52 PM
re: Cisco Outlines an SDN Plan


Will this be OpenFlow or a ClosedFlow (Cisco specific) implementation? Remember SDN does not mean OpenFlow and OpenFlow has 'vendor extensions'...

digits
50%
50%
digits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:35:51 PM
re: Cisco Outlines an SDN Plan


A few observations/questions:


1) Will OpenFlow have a life outside the data center?


2) How damaging could an open SDN technology be for Cisco's router revenues?


3) How damaging could a closed SDN technology be for Cisco's router revenues?


4) How damaging could an open Cisco SDN system be for Juniper?


 


Personally, I thionk Cisco knows it needs to embrace open SDN and just has to figure out the strategy that will do the least amount of damage. 

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:35:51 PM
re: Cisco Outlines an SDN Plan


Correct, SDN doesn't imply OpenFlow. We don't know yet what path Cisco will take (it's possible they themselves haven't settled on one yet) but I would bet against OpenFlow here. Cisco could try something else that's not so heavily trodden by open-source-minded types.


Whatever Insieme's doing, they've reportedly hired like mad, staffing up very quickly.

Duh!
50%
50%
Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:35:42 PM
re: Cisco Outlines an SDN Plan


Those of us in the industry with long memories will recall that Cisco is a grand master of the "embrace-extend-destroy" response to strategic threats.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out from that perspective.


I've come to see SDN as substitution competition for monolithic edge routers, and middle boxes like load balancers and firewalls in data center environments.  Perhaps also service provider BRAS, service routers and MSAPs.  In my view, it is more difficult to envision it scaling to the metro and core, from either a performance or value perspective. 


But then again, one could envision a squeeze play between SDN at the edge, and Packet Optical Transport at the metro and core that could seriously erode the role of routing in the network. 

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 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.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
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.