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Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
5/10/2011
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The executive in charge of the Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) QFabric project, David Yen, is taking over the corresponding job at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Cisco Hires Juniper's Yen.)

Cisco announced the move Monday evening. Yen will jump from Juniper's next-generation data fabric to the corresponding products at Cisco, taking over Cisco's Server Access Virtualization Technology Group. That unit includes the Nexus product line and the Unified Computing System (UCS) architecture.

There's more. Yen is replacing a trio of Cisco celebrities: Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain and Luca Cafiero. They'll be shifting to advisory roles at Cisco.

Yen will report to Padmasree Warrior and Pankaj Patel -- who, as of this month, are jointly running Cisco's engineering organization. (See Cisco Cuts Down on Councils.)

Why this matters
This looks like quite a coup for Cisco, assuming Yen wasn't dismissed for setting fire to a Juniper building or something. QFabric is part of a series of ambitious technologies rolled out by Juniper this year, representing a bold leap for the company, and Yen has been the face of the technology since back when Juniper wouldn't tell us what it was. One has to assume Juniper wouldn't let him go easily.

Mazzola, Jain and Cafiero should all be familiar names. They've made a habit of leaving the company and getting acquired back via spin-in startups, as they did with Nuova in 2008 and Andiamo in 2002.

For more
Here's the tale of Juniper's QFabric, formerly called Stratus.

And, from 2008 and earlier, here's the Nuova/Andiamo saga.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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gotman
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gotman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:05:44 PM
re: Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco


Phil, is that a shareholder swipe or disgruntal Editor? While what you said is sound, it appears as you often seem to be willing to raise your hand and stick your neck out to do the Cisco bashing...

DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:05:44 PM
re: Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco


Interesting move. It could be that Cisco is smart to be jealous of Juniper's drive and direction. Also, Cisco used to have a keen eye for talent but lately it hasn't produced any superstars. Have they run out of executives from Cascade Communications to promote?

quicktime
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quicktime,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:05:43 PM
re: Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco


 :)

Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:05:41 PM
re: Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco


Eh, Phil bashes everybody. It's kind of his job. (kind of mine, too, I'm just not as good at it.)


My first reaction to the press release was, "What  must they have offered Yen to get him to switch sides?"  Interesting target, too -- Juniper has a lot of big and new things happening, but QFabric is a pretty direct stab at Cisco.


It's an interesting move. QFabric won't get hobbled by this, but Cisco might add some direction and fire to their own fabric efforts, and they get to mess with Juniper besides.

Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:05:40 PM
re: Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco


I actually asked someone at Cisco about this (albeit in a jokey, wise-cracking way) and got kind of a wise-cracking response along the lines of "no one would have the energy for *four* startups, would they?"


Would they.....?

BigBro
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BigBro,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 5:05:40 PM
re: Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco


Would be interesting to see if Mario, Luca, and co. will actually stay retired this time around, or if they'll build another inane something-over-Ethernet box. How about USB 3.0 and LightPeak (aka "Thunderbolt") over Ethernet, for yet more storage convergence? Oh, and how about blowing $100m to build custom ASICs to do that?  ;)

crazy4geek
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crazy4geek,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:05:10 PM
re: Juniper's QFabric Man Defects to Cisco


Cisco has continued to produce superstars but has lost them at a high rate to competitors and even as a back-fired early retirement program last time.  Interestingly after the last early retirement offering John Chambers said he wouldn't do it again because Cisco lost too many talented people and it hurt the business--- hmmmmm?


With regards to this talent acquisition, I think it is a great move to aid the Nexus line.

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