Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SDN Myth? My take ...

As usual, I enjoy reading my friend Matthew Palmer's thought provoking blog quite a bit!  Matt listed 5 myths and here is my take:

1) In theory everyone should have a controller, yet it is a bit like saying HP/IBM/Dell etc server companies in theory need an OS too.  In practice, customers look for a controller that is not the single point of failure, not a single point of performance bottleneck, and providing additional/clear value than the status quo physical switch embedded stack.

2) At the end of the day, what matters is how the Open Source project is governed not just how it is licensed.  People are always willing to pay for value but what they don't want is a vendor lock-in scenario where the dominant player can literally name the price.

3) I agree to an extent, at least for the ones Matt and I often talked about. :)  I think we should set the expectation appropriately at the first place: network virtualization use case in particular is an exciting journey for both customers and vendors but we are at the very beginning of it as an industry.

4) The goal for a start-up is to have a solid product with indisputable value prop, VC should take care of cash flow issue for them, so positive or not should not be a concern at all for those who have a good product.  I don't know whether big companies want cash flow positive for their SDN P&L? Probably not either, it is too early.

5) I think the most important thing is we need to look at the big picture of why people are moving. Talent shift from one generation of hi-tech companies to another for technology transition.
Just like people left SGI/DEC for Google/VMware at the turn of the century, we are seeing people leaving from previously top engineering organization to the "next Google/VMware".  Big Switch Networks benefited tremendously from this talent migration shift given the networking industry needs a transformation desperately and many top engineers are hungry to make a big impact in this SDN journey.