Cisco CEO John Chambers is set to launch Insieme data center and software defined networking (SDN) products on Nov. 6. But channel programs from Arista Networks, Big Switch & Cumulus Networks shouldn't be dismissed.

The VAR Guy

November 5, 2013

2 Min Read
Cisco CEO John Chambers invades New York to launch Insieme softwaredefined networking and applicationcentric data center solutions
Cisco CEO John Chambers invades New York to launch Insieme software-defined networking and application-centric data center solutions.

Memo to Cisco Systems (CSCO) CEO John Chambers: Welcome to New York. The VAR Guy looks forward to your Insieme Networks launch on Nov. 6. Our resident blogger knows your established and emerging rivals — Arista Networks, Big Switch, Cumulus, Juniper, HP, VMware NSX and more — are ready for the showdown. But here’s the big question: Are Cisco’s channel partners ready to push software-defined networking (SDN)? Hmmm…

Before we tackle that question let’s rewind a bit. Just about every networking company on the planet is chasing the SDN prize. The idea: De-couple software from networking hardware, and make IT networks easier to manage. In some case, the solutions will involve commodity x86 hardware. Cisco’s approach, naturally, will leverage enterprise-class, higher-margin hardware.

Cisco’s SDN products have involved a waiting game. Partners and customers expected Insieme product announcements at Cisco Live and Cisco Partner Summit earlier this year. But in both cases, Cisco was mum while product R&D continued.

Fast forward to Nov. 6, and John Chambers is finally ready to talk shop — and products. The VAR Guy doesn’t know how soon channel partners will be able to sell Insieme solutions. But it’s clear Chambers wants to talk about a larger data center strategy and application-centric infrastructure.

SDN Channel Partner Programs

In some cases, rival SDN channel partner programs are already under way. A few examples:

Now along comes John Chambers and the Insieme launch. Wall Street analysts, investors and rivals will be watching closely. But will customers and channel partners? The VAR Guy will go searching for answers on Nov. 6.

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