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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Stefan Bernbo, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

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Plexxi Pulse: Plexxi at TiECON East 2014

This week our Cambridge team is at TiECON East 2014, one of the largest entrepreneurship conferences on the East Coast. We take pride in being a part of the Boston tech scene, so it’s great to be here among so many other entrepreneurs and leaders from the area. If you happen to be attending yourself, swing by our booth to say hello and to pick up a pair of our Plexxi socks.

In this week’s PlexxiTube video of the week, Dan Backman briefly talking about whether Plexxi supports IPV6. IPv6 is increasingly important to both public sector and private sector deployments, so this is a timely topic to check out.

Cisco Prepares for Software-Defined Networks

Carl Weinschenk of IT Business Edge analyzes Cisco CEO John Chambers’ latest commentary on how his company is preparing for SDN. He also looks at their close competitor, VMWare. In my opinion, the issues VMware has and the issues Cisco has are actually quite a bit different. VMware has to monetize a platform that is predicated on the existence of a well-provisioning, well-functioning underlying network. This means that the thing they are making better must exist in some form before they can sell on top. Adoption then is based on work they cannot control. I would expect to see them partner more aggressively in the coming quarters to work on top of something that works with a bit more regularity than a random network. Cisco has to fight off new competitors that have seized on an architecture that reduces the power of two decades of feature dominance. By leveling the playing field, competitors are a real threat now. Obviously, the best thing for Cisco is that everyone is talking general SDN. While they wait to see what happens in the industry with SDN, they keep refreshing with Cisco gear from the past. This is a great dynamic for Cisco. Whatever happens, it is interesting times indeed.

Cisco aims to prepare tech workers for SDN-driven skills shift

Earlier this week in FierceWirelessTech, Tammy Parker commented on how Cisco is aiming to prepare its tech workers for an SDN-driven skills shift. This is an important point. Cisco used to great advantage the army of CCIEs in the workplace to keep a stranglehold on networks. If the skills must change, it creates an opening for other vendors to wedge their way in. Customers who look for broader skills to help dual-source their IT environments should be actively considering how to train people on workflow and process that is different in the post-SDN world. Going back to the CCIE well will guarantee more of the same, even if the product landscape is different.

Should VMware Buy Cumulus?

Craig Matsumoto of SDN Central comments on the rumor that VMware is planning to buy Cumulus. He analyzes each of the company’s different technologies, and how they would form a new business strategy if acquired. When you think about monetizing software on top of a functioning network, there are two pieces that have to be true:

First, the network has to be functioning. If VMware can help make sure that the network is stable enough to build on, they ease adoption, so adding some networking chops (either through acquisition or partnering) makes sense. Keep in mind that they will want to keep their options open, so if buying a networking company closes other roads to insertion (even if just from a perception point of view), this is a risky move.

Second, you have to buy the network before you buy the software. This means VMware is at the mercy of the hardware pricing. They will naturally lean towards the cheaper alternatives for the majority of the market because every dollar not spent on networking HW is a dollar that can be spent on NSX. As such, it is more important to VMware that white box switching take off.

Note that VMware doesn’t have to go after the cheapest alternatives solely. There will be people willing to pay a premium because they covet the dynamism that NSX offers. This might imply a different underlying network. These folks would likely be stronger candidates for early adoption, so it could be somewhat counterintuitive but VMware might be better suited partnering with more differentiated solutions as well.

 

 

The post Plexxi Pulse: Plexxi at TiECON East 2014 appeared first on Plexxi.

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More Stories By Mat Mathews

Visionary solutions are built by visionary leaders. Plexxi co-founder and Vice President of Product Management Mat Mathews has spent 20 years in the networking industry observing, experimenting and ultimately honing his technology vision. The resulting product — a combination of traditional networking, software-defined networking and photonic switching — represents the best of Mat's career experiences. Prior to Plexxi, Mat held VP of Product Management roles at Arbor Networks and Crossbeam Systems. Mat began his career as a software engineer for Wellfleet Communications, building high speed Frame Relay Switches for the carrier market. Mat holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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