BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2014 -- Cisco CEO John Chambers says that network virtualization is an essential part of the company's future but that it is still "early days" for the technology.
Chambers tackled SDN and NFV as part of a wide range of topics at a media roundtable here in Barcelona.
"I think you will see us embrace software-defined networking and network functions virtualization and emerge as the leader in both but as part of an architecture," Chambers said. "It's still very early days." (See Cisco Sees NFV as a Key to New Sales.)
SDN and NFV refer to the idea of being able to provide network functionality on standard servers without the need for custom hardware. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)
Helping Chambers field questions was Kelly Ahuja, SVP and GM of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s mobility business group, who stressed that orchestration automation and optimization were both part of the virtualization picture.
Cisco, of course, has been pulling together these pieces for a while. Cisco told us in October last year that more than 20 Asian operators have been testing its Quantum SON self-optimizing network technology. (See The SON Always Shines on LTE.)
Chambers said that the trend towards software platforms has been changing the company's spending and acquisition priorities. "I think it already has shifted quite dramatically," he commented, while noting that 85% of Cisco's engineers have always been involved with software.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading