Inside Cisco Systems Inc., they like to consider Pankaj Patel their secret weapon. He's trotted out to the press every now and again, but he tends to avoid the big stages of conferences such as Cisco Live.
But as executive vice president and chief development officer, Patel has a lot of say in Cisco's engineering direction. A few minutes with him can teach you a lot about where the company is heading.
We met with him recently to talk about the silo mentality to which large companies are prone and, of course, to discuss the topic of the moment, software-defined networking (SDN).
It's important to note that we spoke before the Cisco spin-in, Insieme Networks Inc., announced itself at Cisco Live! in June, so there's no mention of that. (See Cisco's Insieme Doesn't Like Your SDN Model and Cisco Drops Hints About Insieme & SDN.)
But Cisco had already spent nearly a year preaching the Cisco Open Network Environment -- Cisco ONE, although it would have been fun to name it CONE).
The ONE concept suggests that API-based, whole network programmability is more important than the type of SDN preached by startups and their acquirers. (See Cisco Takes ONE Step Beyond SDN.)
— Craig Matsumoto, former Managing Editor, Light Reading