Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Elizabeth White, Maria C. Horton, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel

Blog Feed Post

Cisco and Arista: Two launches, two wildly different points of view

blowfishThis has been a huge week in networking. Cisco finally launched the long-awaited Insieme effort to much fanfare. And in an attempt to preempt the Insieme launch, Arista scheduled their own announcements for a couple of days before. There are tons of articles about the technical details of what each launched. I have included just a couple here:

  • SDNCentral: http://www.sdncentral.com/news/aristas-single-tier-spline-targets-enterprise/2013/11/
  • Jim Duffy at Network World: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/110413-arista-275557.html
  • Jim Duffy at Network World: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/110613-cisco-insieme-275666.html
  • Enterprise Networking Planet: http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/datacenter/cisco-insieme-launches-new-application-centric-sdn-vision.html

The merits of the technical approaches will be debated by people far better versed in product nuances than I am. But the launches represent fairly divergent strategic views of the world. Wherever we see space between approaches, it means customers will have to make choices. And those choices create opportunity.

Admittedly confused by Arista

I would normally soft-peddle this one a bit, but frankly I am confused. Had this been a normally-planned launch, it would probably make more sense to me, but I don't understand the rush to get it out two days before the Insieme announcement. And I suspect that the decision will render what could be something pretty powerful architecturally-speaking into little more than a footnote in an otherwise news-heavy week.

The landscape this week is application-centric infrastructure. Knowing that, Arista basically announced a larger switch with still more price reductions. The mood in the industry (I would argue generally, but certainly at least this week) is innovation and, more specifically, on the software side. The Arista announcement, while always paying tribute to their remarkable flagship software EOS (and it IS remarkable), seems anachronistic to me.

Ahead of an impending IPO, Arista should be fighting to show that they have growth upside and healthy margins. Typically, innovation is a path to growth at higher margin. If you can create something that is fundamentally better than someone else's something, you can charge more. It is rare that you see an innovative company rotate so strongly to overall cost reductions. Their two major launches this year have both amounted to: bigger hardware, cheaper price per port. That seems completely counter to an innovation strategy. And as a long-term strategy, cost will asymptotically approach some margin threshold. Put differently, there is a short runway on this.

For customers who are particularly moved by price, Arista needs to be aware of the white box movement led ostensibly by Cumulus. The Credit Suisse report from a couple of weeks ago estimated that the TCO for a Cumulus ToR was 70% lower than a Cisco ToR. It would seem that Arista's price war ought to be aimed there. The worst possible outcome would be for Arista to be successful in convincing customers that networking is too expensive, only to watch them flock to the white box movement in response. 

And all of this CapEx flies in the face of what is really driving movements like SDN, Network Virtualization, NFV, and DevOps: OpEx. This puts Arista in a bit of a strategic straddle. They are publicly talking price-per-port while also claiming TCO advantages tied to a right-sized, purpose built operating system in EOS. Striking this balance is going to be hard. The risk is that neither point lands, and customers go either to price (Cumulus) or OpEx (insert favorite SDN vendor here).

Where I get confused though is framing this around Cisco's launch. By pulling their activities in, they launched a bunch of hardware, which only serves to highlight that Arista is continuing to press hardware while Cisco is moving more into software. In doing so, the HW-SW divide gets accentuated, which reduces the impact of an architectural shift (the Spline architecture). 

Insieme breaks the seal on Application-Centric Infrastructure

Aside from somewhat muddled messaging around a VERY complex topic, the Insieme launch had a couple of notable points beyond the stuff everyone will talk about. First, they subtly suggested that they will drop prices per 1GE/10GE ports. It was a subtle move, but it will essentially mute the Arista price advantage. This is going to force a redesign of the 7500 to improve COGS. I doubt this gets much play in the mainline press, but this means that Cisco is finally responding to the pricing pressure that Arista has exerted through rapid adoption of merchant silicon. 

The reason Cisco can drop prices is that they are using merchant silicon as well. In an equally subtle comment, Soni referred to a "Merchant+" strategy (not sure how they spell it). Basically, Cisco is bringing merchant silicon alongside their own ASICs. This is interesting as it will impact merchant silicon pricing for everyone as volumes go up. It also means that the path for Intel will get even harder as more companies converge on a narrow set of merchant silicon. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the Broadcom/Intel landscape.

But aside from these subtle points, the Insieme launch was interesting because of the obvious pivot to applications. The storyline of the day was that the applications come first in an application-centric environment. That said, there was still a lot of discussion about edge policy and network provisioning, and a surprisingly little amount of focus on the DevOps frameworks required to orchestrate an application-centric infrastructure

It could be that DevOps frameworks are unnecessary because the system is so tightly integrated that everything is taken care of. If that is the case, users will be pleased that much of their pain has gone away. Of course, it will have been replaced with a deeper reliance on homogeneity, which might create tension in some environments.

Ultimately, workload orchestration appears to be a much more full-frontal assault on VMWare than any other networking player. While the temptation is to describe this as a Cisco/Nicira battle, I suspect we will find in time that this goes well beyond overlays and NSX. The real question is not whether Cisco and VMWare square off though; that outcome is predetermined. The real question is who else enters the fray. Once you start talking about applications first, application companies come into view. The networking world might want to pay more attention to Oracle than Arista in that regard. It could be where the real fireworks end up happening.

 

The post Cisco and Arista: Two launches, two wildly different points of view appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

@ThingsExpo Stories
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...