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October 18, 2011
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) plans to support the OpenFlow protocol on its Nexus switches, starting with the low-latency Nexus 3000 line.
That's the statement made by David Meyer, a distinguished Cisco engineer, on a Cisco blog late Monday afternoon. He describes OpenFlow and software-defined networking as being simply "the next evolution of networking" and therefore something Cisco wants to be involved with, similar to the way Cisco eventually embraced server virtualization.
He avoids saying when this OpenFlow support will arrive.
Why this matters
It's looking less and less like OpenFlow will be a Cisco-killer. Lately, OpenFlow supporters have been quick to say that the Open Networking Foundation , which now controls the OpenFlow specification, is not all about dethroning Cisco. In fact, Cisco is an ONF member.
That's not to say there's no potential for mischief. OpenFlow is all about issuing commands from the outside to change switches' behavior. That sure sounds like it could replace some switches with generic boxes, erasing (or at least smearing) some of Cisco's market advantages. Maybe that's one reason why most of Cisco's big competitors are ONF members.
Some more thoughts on OpenFlow and its progress:
Show & Tell: Big Switch's Startup Life
OpenFlow Comes to Bat (video)
Interop Watch: Talking OpenFlow & 100G
Why OpenFlow Isn't Like Active Networking
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading
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