Light Reading

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. 

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
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.
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
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?