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FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, DOUBT – Nexus ‘Compatibility’ in the HyPe World.

I sent a Tweet out this weekend that is turning out to be quickly prophetic: -- “Those most vocal against a new technology are those most afraid of its impact on their existence”. Thus was funny to note a recent blog post where one of our alliance partners made a comment that is unfortunately inaccurate. That the Nexus Family of LAN switches is not compatible with our other switches. I have reached out to them to correct it, but wanted to also clear the air a bit and of course set the record straight.The Nexus family of Data Center Switches is compatible with the Catalyst line, it also happens to be compatible with the IETF and IEEE standards as well as the pending ANSI T11 standards for FCoE. I know this has to be a hard thing for some to accept when they are pushing proprietary vendor lock-in technologies that waste power, cost more to implement, use too much fiber and copper, don’t support virtual machine mobility, can’t keep policies coherent during workload migration, expose security and compliance risks, and cause massive outages during upgrade. Sorry friend, I’ll prefer the interoperable, standards based, consistent user interface, model AND bring customer-focused innovations to market at the same time. dg

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10 Comments.


  1. just one other thought on this- I am irked. Yes, a bit upset. /BeginRantWhy? Because NETWORKING companies are better than this. But I guess that lets me know what type of company I am dealing with. Why are NETWORKING companies better? Because we all used to go to Interop together, or UNH. And we would spend days getting all of our equipment working together to show our customers that we were open, interoperable, and working together. Even if we would compete for a sale, we would WORK to show interoperability. I remember late nights at Interop with Chris McGugan (now at Belkin) in the 90′s setting up the first multi-vendor MPLS (it wasn’t called that back then – it was Tag Switching with LDP) between our Lightstream 1010 ATM switches and Nortel’s gear. We went for beers with each other, had engineers firing code-rev after code-rev over to us to get it working, but in the end we delivered. We have done this for 20+ years with 3Com, Bay, Wellfleet, Synoptics, Proteon, Foundry, Extreme, Vitalink, Madge, Olivetti, Fore, Juniper, Ungermann-Bass, and other NETWORKING companies that partnered well when it came to showing interoperable systems to solve customer problems.This interoperability is why Ethernet and IP are where they are today. It’s why the IETF and IEEE work. It’s why you can build a network and run your business on it.I shouldn’t let some corp-speak PR guy who has never spent the time with a sniffer to debug packet-headers while pounding your 3rd Venti Triple Latte because its been 48 hours since you saw your hotel room because you want Tuesday’s demo with a COMPETITOR to go well get to me. /EndRantdg

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  2. Doug, honestly, don’t get upset. You can’t really blame them. Servers (legacy, commodity)don’t have a control plane that delivers any value to the customers. They didn’t innovate that into the platform. Instead they were sleeping in a nice hotel bed while you were coding with the other NETWORKING companies during those events. Of course printers do have some soft of control plane… O no, they forgot to add interop to that control plane. Printers don’t have any interop woth other companies printers. Perhaps they were sleeping again?The future of servers will change. From legacy, dumb commoditized to intelligent servers that _will_ have a control plane to offer customer value. Perhaps they need to wake up now?TJ

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  3. Doug,Not sure if this statement from HP was out right ignorance, or just a brazen lie. Either way I found it to be quite funny.Save your valuable CPU cycles for the more nuanced ignorance, lies, and FUD coming our way very soon [Unified Computing]. We are going to need 100% of Doug Gourlay in those battles.Brad

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  4. Now I get it…Invent”” when you don’t understand”

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  5. Mike Rau

    While developing and supporting standards are common place in the networking world, there is a another practice that is very standard. It is the practice of creating FUD when you neither understand or you are fearful that there may be a better answer that put you behind the curve.”” I think back to the days of Remote Source Route Bridging which allowed SNA traffic to traverse IP backbone networks. In those days there was tremendous FUD around reliability, traffic prioritization, and scale. But over time think of the network efficiencies that were delivered through consolidation as this technology proved its ability. Follow on worked delivered DLSw which improved interoperability among multiple vendors.Over time standards and multi-vendor interoperability win because they deliver a framework which allows others to contribute to the business value of the overall architecture. I’m guessing that may be scary to many and so here comes the FUD.”

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  6. It is really humiliating when we see a giant like HP declaring their defeat is such a ridicoulous way.. Maybe we should ask HP about their plans to support FCoE on their servers; and if they are going to lock themselves out of FCoE based data centers; and see from their EXPERT point of view what is their equivalent invention.

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  7. Craig Huitema

    Omar bustin’ out with the VG-AnyLAN was just downright good humor! …and I have to dogpile on that one. History will indicate that it was not Cisco, but the, ahem,
    etworking”” company that Doug refers to above, that had some interoperability challenges way back when. 100VG-Anylan was not compatible with the industry standard 100Base-T. But guess what networking company supported VG (despite its lack of traction in the market) so customers could actually get the 2 networks to talk:Router# show interfaces vg-anylan 3/0/0VG-AnyLAN3/0/0 is up, line protocol is up Hardware is cyBus VG-AnyLAN Interface Frame type is 802.3, address is 0060.3e64.2460 (bia 0060.3e64.2460) Internet address is 10.1.1.5/16 MTU 1500 bytes, BW 100000 Kbit, DLY 100 usec, rely 255/255, load 1/255…

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  8. While this competitor is much larger than those of the past, and our relationship has just a bit more at stake, I still think our approach should remain the same. Provide accuracy where appropriate, and arm our field with materials to kick their *&^%. In the case of Cabletron, they chose to go frontal on us with their attack on IOS in the now infamous oxing”” ads, and they lost big time. Fidelity kicked them out of the account.In the case of IBM, we beat them with technology resulting in them getting out of the networking business (sold their biz to us for 1B)In the case of Fore Systems, they got religion, and we prepared our field on how to combat their ATM message and beat them by being non-religious.Again, while the size of the competitor is significantly different this time, we should still apply the same take the gloves off principles we’ve always applied at Cisco. Call High, Call low, build relationships with the server guys, fortify our networking relationships, and arm the field with as much data as the can possibly handle.Harris SussmanEmerging Data Center TechnologiesCisco”

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  9. Maybe Cisco need to show they’re now fully interoperable””, and publish an RFC on EIGRP, so other vendors can interoperate with it.”

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  10. Omar Sultan

    Sigh–more wishful thinking–time to break out the fluffy bunny slippers again. They might have a point though–not sure if NX-OS has VG-AnyLAN support…?Omar

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