VMware's Chief Architect: Don't Be Scared Of SDN, Be Prepared

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You mentioned that SDN is causing a shift in the IT supply chain. What is that shift exactly?

In networking, traditionally, when we think about supply chain, we think about boxes. We think about does [the gear] come from a traditional vendor, does it come from an OEM, does it come Frye's? I think the most impactful point, vis-a-vis the panel, is that there are more players and more channels, and it's not just about the hardware supply chain. So, for example, I provide software and that software has networking functionality. So it's a totally different supply chain because it's coming from software.

If you look at somebody who does their own development, like Microsoft, who does a lot of their own internal development for their own data centers, the supply chain actually becomes internal. So the box supply chain is going to have to respond to this horizontalization. And I think that we are all a little bit foolish if we try to predict what's going to happen with that. But we should all acknowledge that there are more suppliers and a different channel now, with different functionality and, in particular, software.

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