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OpenDaylight: Building an Open Source Community around SDN

It’s great to see Cisco and many companies across the industry make a major change in the use of Open Source via the newly form project hosted by the Linux Foundation called OpenDaylight. This consortium is an industry-wide, open and transparent effort to catalyze innovation and accelerate an application ecosystem for software-defined networking. With all the partners involved we are working to not only further development and adoption of SDN but also to foster a new developer community. A consortium like this has been long overdue and it’s great to finally see it come to fruition.

We are incredibly pleased to partner with Arista, Big Switch Networks, Brocade, Citrix, Dell, Ericsson, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, NEC, Nuage Networks, PLUMgrid, RedHat and VMware on the Project. This is the largest effort to date to drive Software-Defined Networking across the industry and into new markets.  While the initial goal is to build a common, industry backed SDN Platform, the broader objective is to give rise to an entire ecosystem of developers that can freely utilize the code, contribute to the project and commercialize the offerings. I further expect the ecosystem to expand into areas like tools and services.

Cisco has donated our core “Cisco ONE” controller code to the project and has officially open sourced the code under the Eclipse Public License. The community has come together around this code to form the architecture (see below) for the Open SDN Framework. Beyond donations of code, Project members are supporting the project via both financial investment and via developers we are committing to work full-time on the project overall. Donations from other members of the Project can be seen here and we expect this list to only grow.

As Open Source increasingly becomes a standard for customers and developers, we look at this as a new way to meet our customer needs and also help developers innovate in new ways without the barriers of vendor lock-in. Open Source is increasingly important for our customers and developers as well and as they evolve, we evolve. Cisco to date has supported Open Source through efforts such as OpenStack and now OpenDaylight and we look at Open Source as a critical pillar in our software strategy moving forward. By allowing developers to freely use these solutions we hope to enable a new developer ecosystem for software-defined networking and more. We are fully committed to enabling developers, both current and new, to deliver innovating applications and services that will help customers across the board realize the value of SDN faster than before.

The OpenDaylight architecture and code offering to date includes a modular southbound plugin architecture for multi-vendor environments. In addition, OpenDaylight offers an extensible northbound framework with both Java & REST APIs to ensure multiple developer skill-sets can build applications to the platform. We are also planning to build a onePK plugin for OpenDaylight to enable multiple users to drive network intelligence into their SDN applications. As you can see from below we will also be supporting key standards with this effort, including OpenFlow.




It’s important to note that you don’t launch a community; you build one. By investing in OpenDaylight we hope that our customers, partners and developers across multiple industries will now have the ability to build applications that frankly make the network easier to use and more automated. As an industry we are moving in a new direction and further up the stack and OpenDaylight offers new opportunities for application creation and monetization beyond the networking layer.

It’s a true rarity when you see both partners and competitors come together for the good of the community, and contribute code for the universal good of the customer. All OpenDaylight participants have committed to open source guidelines that include open communication, ethical and honest behavior, code and roadmap transparency and more. An Open Source project is only as successful as the community of developers and the level of code quality, and OpenDaylight’s Board of Directors (which includes multiple parties cross-industry) will be ensuring that partners, code contributors and project committers all abide by the same guidelines for the success of the project over the success of their own company’s offerings.

For more information, please see Code will be available for download soon, and we are looking for interested individuals for commitments across the board – from technical offerings to application development, and we welcome contributions from both individuals and other organizations. All ideas are welcome, and we look forward to multiple new innovative solutions coming from this.

Congratulations to all our partners and individuals who helped to make this happen, including the hard work done by the Linux Foundation. It’s truly an amazing accomplishment and we expect to see much more in the near future.

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Silicon Valley Innovation is Built Around Employee Mobility

In my last blog, I wrote about HP’s disturbing pattern of suing non-California employees under ‘non compete’ clauses, often imposed  years after employment began.  Apparently it’s relatively recently that HP decided to abandon its Silicon Valley roots and tie up its  non-California employees in legal knots.  HP is in fact the only large Silicon Valley-based company to have two classes of employees and try to impose mobility restrictions on those who live outside California.  HP’s efforts have gone so far as to sue an employee who took a buyout after having his salary cut, and one who didn’t even work in an area related to HP’s products that compete with Cisco’s.

Two recent actions since that blog posting are stunning.   First, HP renewed legal action in Texas, where one of the employees used to live, trying to get a judge there to schedule a court date on a day’s notice and to apply Texas law even though the California judge in the case is going to hold a hearing, as is certainly appropriate, to verify that the employee has in fact moved to California. (Yes, he came to work for Cisco after he arrived in California, rented an apartment, got a drivers license, etc.) Once again the Texas court refused to intervene, and in fact effectively “stayed” HP’s legal actions indefinitely. HP also tried in Texas to raise another bar to employee freedom, claiming that the employee would ‘inevitably’ use HP’s trade secrets to do his job at Cisco, and therefore should be barred from continuing his new job. Just as California law bars enforcement of non-compete clauses, California courts won’t recognize this doctrine either, seeing it for what it is — an effort to impose de facto non competition clauses.

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What’s for Dinner? Cisco Serves $49 Billion Services Opportunity to Partners

If someone invited you to a dinner party, but then only allowed you to eat the bread at the table verses the entire meal, chances are, you’d leave feeling pretty hungry.

Applying that analogy–let’s look at how a vendors services model impacts the overall partner-vendor relationship. We all know that services are “meat and potatoes” for solution providers. As a matter of fact, services now represent 40-50% of Cisco channel partners business, up from 20 percent five years ago.

But the reality is that traditional services models don’t allow channel partners to fully participate in the services opportunity. HP is a case in point. HP has a traditional services model, with an army of approximately 200,000 services employees and a “hard deck” where they sell direct to 1,800-2,000 of their largest customers.

Cisco, on the other hand, has approximately 11,000 Services employees and allows partners to participate in the Services opportunity at every level, from the largest global customers to the local small business. Our partners are the extension our Services arm.

Through programs such as Collaborative Professional Services (CPS) and Steps-to-Success, Cisco also has a range of initiatives designed to transfer knowledge gained by Cisco Services to accelerate partner success.

To go back to our original analogy, Cisco allows partners to enjoy the entire meal…and the $49 billion services TAM around Cisco technologies and architectures in FY12 definitely offers some enticing menu options!

To take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, Cisco Services aims to work with partners to deliver new services experiences to customers through its unique sales engagement model, smart services portfolio and partner-centric programs. Now, Cisco is taking the next step forward to further clarify our sales engagement model and drive consistency in the field.

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Unstoppable Momentum: Cisco Data Center

Nexus 7009

Our latest TechWiseTV episode is all about the recent announcements rolling out from the Data Center team. We did our best to cram a few handpicked things we liked and give you the detail we thought it deserved.  The theme, and the show title: Evolutionary Fabric, Revolutionary Scale.

The announcements include the most scalable 10 Gigabit Ethernet Layer 2/Layer 3 Fabric in the industry.  The claim is that no matter how diverse your data center demands may be, Cisco offers unparalleled abilities to arm you with efficiency, agility, innovation and differentiation.  So no matter your form factor, physical, virtual or cloud- based environments are all positively impacted with an industry leading fabric-based approach.

Filled with geeky goodness….look at what you will find!

  • 2nd gen Nexus 7000 with revolutionary new scale
  • FabricPath, Adapter FEX, and VM FEX support on Nexus 5500
  • New FEX switch and B22 OEM program
  • Expansions to Nexus 3000 family
  • IN YOUR FACE COMPETITIVE!  Don’t miss the final segment of the show…Jimmy Ray calls out HP, Juniper, Arista….”I showed you mine, now show me yours!”

Watch the entire thing after the jump.

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HP Sues Employees for Leaving – We Challenge HP to Support Employee Freedom

For the third time in two years, HP has filed a lawsuit to stop a former employee from going to work with Cisco – in one case, almost half a year after the employee had left HP in a voluntary reduction-in-force.  As headhunters and other companies are flooded with resumes from HP employees seeking safe ground amidst the chaos of executive turnover, we can probably expect to see more desperate moves to lock up human capital. In an unhappy work environment, it’s a strange decision to try to achieve employee retention by litigation.  And it can’t help recruitment efforts when it seems the corporate slogan could be changed from “HP Invent” to “HP Sue.”

HP has a heritage as a proud California–based company.  Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard built their world-class organization in the one state that won’t generally enforce employee non-compete clauses. In Silicon Valley, human capital is as mobile as financial capital.  Employees’ freedom to find the best way to use their skills and advance their careers is a key factor that has driven the development of Silicon Valley.  Trade secrets are protected by intellectual property laws, not by non-compete agreements and vague theories that a new job would “inevitably” cause an employee to use trade secrets of his or her former employer.   Somehow, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard didn’t see a need to build a company based on suing people who might want to leave.  As HP has grown in states other than California, however, it’s tried to impose restrictions on employee mobility.

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