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September 25, 2013
Cisco Systems (CSCO) on Nov. 6 will debut SDN (software-defined networking) technology based on Insieme Networks developments. The bigger questions: How soon will the new SDN offerings reach channel partners and, in turn, business customers? And even more importantly: Are customers really, truly ready to buy SDN offerings?
Cisco's SDN efforts with Insieme apparently have hit a few bumps over the past year. The networking giant invested about $100 million in Insieme about a year ago. But product developments have been slow to emerge. At Cisco Partner Summit and the Cisco Live conference (both in June 2013), partners and customers were expecting in-depth Insieme and SDN updates. Instead, Cisco basically danced around the topic, notes Business Insider.
Network World's Jim Duffy, one of the industry's most reliable sources, expects Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers to unveil Insieme-developed products on Nov. 6. Among the big questions The VAR Guy is trying to get answered:
Will the demo involve completed product(s) or beta solutions?
How soon will Cisco release the new SDN product(s) to channel partners and their customers?
What type of training and partner incentives will Cisco offer to partners?
The VAR Guy has checked in with three Cisco channel partners this week. Each said they are seeing little (if any) SDN demand from their enterprise customers. However, those same partners are hoping Cisco demonstrates true SDN innovations — especially amid potential competition from VMware's SDN and software defined data center initiatives.
In theory, SDN will allow partners and customers to more easily manage networks and infrastructure, moving software functions to lower-cost hardware.
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