SDN: Who will deploy it?
In a networking market that is dominated by expensive, dedicated, proprietary equipment, big telcos the likes of Telefonica and AT&T, are all too aware of the pricing lockdowns and the dependency upon one or two vendors to deliver the next new features.
Brocade’s Head of Products, Software Networking Business, Ashwin Krishnan opined, “That’s a USD3 billion market monopolised by about five players, while the rest are just smaller bottom feeders fighting it out over a smaller pie.”
Intel’s common-based hardware actually levels the playing field, needing only USD400-USD800 to deploy one box with virtual network functions, instead of hundreds of thousands.
Divvying up that USD3 billion pie
It has long been Brocade’s vision for service providers to disaggregate hardware from software, so that they will no longer be held hostage by one single vendor.
“Now we are seeing potential for multiple software vendors like Palo Alto Networks, F5, Riverbed, Brocade and so on, to jostle for space in that single box. Few years ago, this was unheard of.
“Now, software vendors need to be efficient to remain in that box.”
Early in October, AT&T announced its collaboration with Brocade to enable routing functions via the cloud.
AT&T’s Senior Vice President, AT&T Marketing and Global Strategy, Roman Pacewicz said, “We’re working with Brocade to enhance our Managed Internet Service on Demand, so customers don’t need a router at their location. With the support of their technology, customers will experience faster installations and more dynamic control of their network service.”
Brocade Malaysia Country Manager, Sean Ong said, “The cloud model taught the world that virtualising the IT infrastructure speeds service delivery and provides greater flexibility. With network on demand (service), AT&T has proven this also holds true for enterprise network services.”
Circling back to the common x86-based box that could contain virtual network solutions from more than just one vendor – who would be that one go-to person that could cut out the complexity for businesses, be they enterprises or service providers, and put it all together for them?
Ong observed it would take awareness and training for traditional system integrator partners to deploy services based on SDN and NFV, in this way.
Ashwin however observed there is potential for a channel player to emerge, with a different form of expertise. In the US for example, CSC is emerging and taking the lead as a cloud systems integrator.