12 thoughts on “Cisco memo: We can't build anything”

  1. “Our strategy is to continue to offer choices to our customers so that they are not forced to go down a single path,” Warrior says. “We have a multipronged approach that goes beyond current perceptions of SDN, leveraging business-based use cases as building blocks so that we achieve architectural consistency and bring to bear the richness of all our capabilities.”

    Reads to me like:
    We will hold a lot of focus groups and create a bloated mess.

  2. Sounds like the Cisco vision is ClosedFlow, note the comment:

    “Because SDN is still in its embryonic stage, a consensus has yet to be reached on its exact definition. Some equate SDN with OpenFlow or decoupling of control and data planes. Cisco’s view transcends this definition.”

  3. Is that big quote the memo? It’s written like a press release. Do they think leaking it gives more cred than releasing it officially?

  4. Wow. Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, and Luca Cafiero trifecta strikes again. Why does it feel like a racket to me?

  5. Hi Om,

    We should have you spend some more time with Cisco if you’re open to it. You’ve leapt to a pretty odd conclusion about our strategy. Cisco’s strategy has always been to build, buy and partner our way to profitable growth. Investments in start-ups and acquisitions have complemented organic innovation at Cisco for decades.

    To be clear, organic Cisco innovation in hardware, software, physical, virtual, compute and networking will be crucial to how we address networking programmability at a holistic level.

    By making an investment in Insieme we’re merely augmenting our in-house engineering efforts with a bet that we believe could be complementary, not duplicative, or instead of, our home-grown engineering.

    For the record, some of the largest ’emerging web scale’ companies in the world today are actually Cisco’s BIGGEST Nexus and NX-OS switching customers. It’s just plain wrong to suggest this category of company doesn’t use Cisco.

    Lastly, and in a similar vein, you overlooked the fact that the New York Times article stated that “a top engineer at Google said Cisco would likely be among the leading players in S.D.N.”


    David McCulloch
    Director, Corporate Communications

    1. David

      Happy to talk. You know where to reach me and as always I am open to conversation.

      Also, refer to Stacey’s piece that was posted today.

    2. cisco is pooping their pants about SDN (particularly Openflow) and is desperately trying to save a sinking ship. We can read between the lines and spin. Google knows what’s up.

    3. Hi David,

      Why is Cisco’s Board of Directors allowing scandalously exorbitant corporate compensation shenanigans on such an epic scale?

      It’s my personal opinion that Cisco CEO John Chambers is doing an “end-run” around federal securities laws by using his “spin-in” strategy to evade his Board of Directors corporate compensation guidelines and its up to Cisco employees to report this to the SEC.

      Note: You are not required to be a Cisco employee to receive a monetary award from the SEC.


      Brad Reese

  6. While Cisco might want everyone to think SDN is years away, reality says otherwise. Openflow certainly has some maturing to do, but there are SDN powered products shipping today.

    Juniper’s QFabric is a great example of a fully integrated software defined network. Juniper split the data and control planes in it’s routers eons ago. Distributing that control plane and running it on x86 gear, however is the really hard part of solving both the opex and capex challenges of a datacenter network.

    Everything else in the datacenter has changed, except for the network. Solving the datacenter network problem for the next decade requires new physical and software architectures. It’s fantastic to see Stacy and you covering this transition with such gusto. Customers have more choices than ever. The explosion of networking start-ups, merchant silicon, and the rise of the network programer means the network industry will likely look very different 10 years from now. Game on.

  7. Cisco stock has been sitting at $20 for 10 years not even accounting for inflation. During the same period the Insieme trio have pocketed hundreds of millions. Whatever the spin about spin-ins, it does not pass the smell test. Product innovations or not, top Cisco executives and the Insieme folks seem to have figured out the secret sauce to defraud shareholders successfully and repeatedly.

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