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Returning to a Cloudy Software World

Craig Matsumoto

Some reporter I am. I spent nearly a week at Mobile World Congress, and the hottest rumor I heard was the one about me.

Turns out it was true, too. (See Light Reading Appoints Craig Matsumoto as Editor-in-Chief.)

After nearly four years away, I've returned to Light Reading as of Monday. It's good to see some familiar faces. (Dan, Carol, Sarah, Paul, Alan, Ray -- and everybody at Heavy Reading -- hello! Good to be back!)

They've done a lot with the place since I left. The staff is bigger and the ecosystem is broader. As you know better than I do, we have Mitch Wagner and Scott Ferguson running the Enterprise Cloud News community, which soft-launched today. And we have Curtis Franklin working on security, a beat that never got its due when I tried my hand at it.

That's good to see, because our scope should widen as the industry changes. I left Light Reading to focus more on the world of software -- software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), particularly -- and those technologies are now part of the mainstream conversation.

In fact, it's clear that software is eating the industry. Vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) are now selling subscriptions just as software companies do. Networks will increasingly be designed not for operations people, but for applications designers, with Docker containers and OpenStack becoming key cogs in the infrastructure. (You've all seen the four-layer model on our About Us page, right?)

The public cloud, too, is beginning to wreak some changes to the Light Reading universe. If enterprises turn to public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), what happens to enterprise networking sales? Likewise, how much of the service provider market could be nibbled away by web-scale players such as Google?

To me, there's a clear message to anybody in the communications ecosystem: The cloud, and the software that it's built on, are coming for you.

Light Reading has always been on the cutting edge of the network's evolution, but the pace is faster now, and the stakes higher. The way networks have been built is being questioned (take a look at the Open Compute Project), and I wouldn't be surprised if the very definition of the network starts changing as well.

I'm lucky to be working with a knowledgeable and capable staff who can navigate these disruptions (and help me figure it out, as well). Light Reading itself has more changes up its sleeve for the coming year, so stick around, and strap in.

— Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
3/29/2017 | 6:00:18 PM
Software is the story
At OFC, the biggest non-story was optical hardware. After several years of impressive advances in optical networking hardware such as variable bandwidth transceivers, better and better WSS modules, the only topic worth discussing this year was network software that makes the optical network programmable. Notably, the hardware network is still difficult to control - room for improvement there. 
Sterling Perrin
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/14/2017 | 4:51:55 PM
Re: Welcome back Craig!
Even optics has gotten a bit cloudy. Great to have you back and see you at OFC!

User Rank: Light Beer
3/14/2017 | 4:04:30 PM
Welcome back Craig!
Welcome back Craig! 
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/14/2017 | 3:36:52 PM
Re: Meet the new boss!
Were you on Mythbusters?  Welcome back!
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/14/2017 | 2:56:21 PM
Re: Meet the new boss!
Welcome back, Craig! We're all very happy to have you return -- it was a cloudy world when you were gone too. 
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/14/2017 | 2:49:39 PM
Meet the new boss!
It is great to have you back, Craig. You left shortly after my return in 2013, and I've always taken that a little bit personally. 

I'm looking forward to what we can all do together. 
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