Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini

Edge-router startup Hammerhead Systems Inc. appears to be steering for Sonet territory with the addition of principal architect Ping Pan, an author of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) "Dry Martini" specification.

Pan partly fills the brain-trust void created earlier this year after chief architect Jan Medved left. The company still hasn't replaced John Yu, former chief technology officer and a company founder, who stepped down from day-to-day duties late last spring (see Hammerhead Founder Steps Aside).

Pan "fills a key architectural role for us, especially as we move into the services area," says Joe Sigrist, Hammerhead's CEO. Yu's spot might remain vacant a while longer, however: "We are not necessarily searching for a new CTO," Sigrest says.

Pan has been at Hammerhead for a couple of months; his arrival comes to light as Hammerhead prepares to announce its new global VP of sales, Jack Reeves, who started last week. Reeves, a veteran of Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY), hails from Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), having arrived there in the 2003 acquisition of Akara. His responsibilities will include managing Hammerhead's reseller agreement with Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (FNC) (see Hammerhead & Fujitsu Team up and Ciena Plunks Down $45M for Akara).

Pan's resume includes a stint with Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), but like Reeves, he most recently worked at Ciena. Hammerhead insists the hirings are unrelated, but could they indicate some kind of exodus? Well... yeah (see Ciena Cuts 1/4 of Staff).

Hammerhead is among the companies producing a multiservice edge router to move access traffic onto a core running Internet Protocol (IP) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). Competitors including Juniper and Nortel attack this question from an IP point of view, but Hammerhead focuses instead on older Layer 2 traffic types such as Frame Relay, aiming to connect legacy networks to a newfangled converged core (see Hammerhead Heads for the Edge and Hammerhead Strikes at the Edge).

The addition of Pan could presage an added Sonet focus for Hammerhead, because the Dry Martini specificiation -- described by Heavy Reading analyst Scott Clavenna as the "next gen of next-gen Sonet" -- brings the idea of pseudowires to the Sonet world (see How About a Dry Martini?).

Pseudowires were defined in the IETF "Draft Martini" spec as a means to emulate Layer 2 connections across an IP/MPLS network. Virtual private networks (VPNs) based on Martini -- named for one of the spec's authors, Luca Martini -- help move disparate traffic types onto an MPLS-based core. Carriers seem keen on that kind of convergence, and every incumbent equipment vendor has tilted its product slate accordingly (see Incumbents Converge on Convergence).

Hammerhead's competitors in the multiservice edge market include Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), Laurel Networks Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK), Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), Riverstone Networks Inc. (OTC: RSTN.PK), and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA).

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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opticalPassion 12/5/2012 | 1:10:37 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~p...

After IBM, no company he worked for more than 2 years ...
ATMRules 12/5/2012 | 1:10:37 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini Look at the competition they have......please put a fork in'em....

ATMRules...MPLS----pipe dreams
ChatEnChapeau 12/5/2012 | 1:10:35 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini Double yawn.

But other than csco, jnpr, ala, and lol, er, I mean Laurel, calling the rest competition is laughable.

-Le Chat Qui Souri
OpticOm 12/5/2012 | 1:10:18 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini I met with those guys two years ago, and truly believe that had no business in starting the company then.
The quality of the people I met was mediocre, at best.
gigeguy 12/5/2012 | 1:10:17 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini Anyone who follows the IETF would know that when Ping presented his dry Martini draft at the last meeting, it landed with an audible thud. It's not going anywhere, at least in the standards community.
pingpan 12/5/2012 | 1:10:15 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini During the meeting, Luca (the real) Martini said the concept was covered in other spec's. He was right! However, dry-martini covers PWE3 over TDM also. The original idea of dry-martini was to emphasis that PWE3 is a flexible application to be used on all "tunnles". We were simply pointing out that you need to use explict-null label to tunnel control messages through.

Also, dry-martini concept has just be proposed in ITU last week by two chip vendors for shipping PWE3 packets over GFP-F.

Outside standard bodies, maybe some carriers should stop getting interested in this. After all, if they run dry-martini on edge of their legacy networks, they can build up a hierarchy to enable them migrating customer traffic to other networks in the future, without changing the existing nodes in the middle. It can save some CapEx and OpEx... Maybe it is not that important.

So, not sure where you get "not going anywhere" from.

- Ping
Ringed? 12/5/2012 | 1:10:15 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini You would think by now, a start up company would be smart enough to realize that money and time (very short)are the only things that truely matter. A start up doesn't have much of either and both run counter to their chances of success.

"High power" execs are mostly over inflated and full of self importance and sometimes blinded by greed, aka fools gold..

A CTO provides little value in a startup unless he is also the VP of Engineering and if that were the case why would you spend $'s for both.

Go with the people who have been in the trenches on development, sustaining, customer service, sales and yes managment.

Manage the precious VC money like it was water and you are lost in the desert. Make timely and well thought out decisions and move like you trying to get back from the moon (Apollo 13 Style).

Hammerhead will have a tough time on many fronts. They will competed in the edge router market with CSCO and JNPR... I wonder who can take the most off a list price discount..?

To enter the Sonet tranport fray is just plan ill advised, seriously lacking judgement and understanding.

Are you also going to be a broadband DLC :) ?

ATMRules 12/5/2012 | 1:10:14 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini and neither will any carrier or service provider who has any sense...according to the HH website they hatched in Jan 2002, we are approximately 2 months from Jan 2005 >> this co will be 3 years old and all they have to show is OEM with Fujitsu???? please.......and who the hell knows what ping pong pang pin badi bin bada boon is going to a this place.....

ATMRules.................oh yeah.....
Bitman 12/5/2012 | 1:10:12 AM
re: Hammerhead Orders Dry Martini The press release also mentions in passing that they have a new vp of sales and that John Yu has left the company. So you have a change of executive management and some key people leaving, and a departure from original focus. Looks like marketing is blaming sales and decided to get rid of one of the founders while they are at it. So they bring in a new person to tell them what the old ones did and then they claim a new vision.....
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