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Cisco has argued, however, that the shift toward programmable, virtualization-centric networks make its networking expertise and enormous global installed base more relevant than ever.
"If there's any company that's going to reinvent networking, it will be Cisco," Cisco Chief Strategy and Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior told CRN in April. "We have the talent and the breadth and the depth to do that. It goes beyond just SDN to certain elements of network visibility, such as analytics and big data. But, we want our partners to understand that Cisco is working on enabling all the capabilities needed for the network of the future."
In an Aug. 2 post to Cisco's Platform blog, Warrior re-emphasized that view, saying, "first, SDN, network virtualization and overlay networks (choose your favorite descriptor) are not going to commoditize the underlying networking infrastructure. These architectures actually place more demands on the core infrastructure to enable network virtualization securely, with high performance, at scale."
Along with Insiemi, Cisco's nascent SDN strategy includes the announcements it made at Cisco Live in June, including a software development platform, Cisco ONE, for engaging developers on a few different Cisco operating systems, and new support for OpenStack on Cisco's Nexus1000V virtual switch.
SDN questions will no doubt surface as Cisco reports its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday.