SDN architectures

Cisco's Secret Weapon

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.

Are We Sitting Comfortably?
Cisco executive vice president and chief development officer Pankaj Patel
Cisco executive vice president and chief development officer Pankaj Patel

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

On page 2: Patel on the impact of SDN.

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sam masud 8/22/2013 | 10:41:10 AM
Against the tide Cisco would like to bend the whole concept of SDN to it's concept, but I doubt very much if it will succeed in doing so because SDN is not one thing (e.g. MPLS). SDN is an entire eco-system for building the infrastructure in a different way. Either Cisco will have to play ball in this game changing environment or it will find itself paying a heavy price if tries to make SDN into Cisco Definend Networking. But I don't blame Cisco for trying to have things its way.
Phil_Britt 8/21/2013 | 11:02:32 AM
Cisco challenges ahead There might be more difficult challenges for Cisco ahead, as evidenced by its recent earnings report and the announcement that the company would lay off 4,000 workers.

It's a difficult business as consumer and business needs/likes change and other parts of communication infrastructure lag or move ahead of what Cisco is attempting to do. 

Some slowdowns in markets across the globe also lead to some caution, as company CEO John Chambers mentioned during the company's earnings conference call. His overall tone was optimistic, however.
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