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Ethernet Switch Market: Who's Winning?
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MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
4/29/2014 | 11:15:27 AM
other views?
The Infonetics survey also polled IT buyers about Alcatel-Lucent, Arista, Avaya, Brocade, Extreme, and Juniper, among others. Do readers see any of these vendors making gains or losing ground in the switch market?
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/29/2014 | 9:22:42 PM
Re: other views?
It's interesting that HP is number two, and my assumption would have to be that this includes all the switches that are bundled with / embedded within compute resource. Cisco chomps at both ends of the stick, selling more core infrastructure as well as bundling their switchports within the UCS solutions.

The surprise then, perhaps, is that Dell isn't also shooting up the list faster, on that basis.

 
aditshar1
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aditshar1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 3:16:05 AM
Re: other views?
Though Cisco is holding on to its dominant market position, HP is making strides, and Huawei is beginning to make some headway among Ethernet switch buyers in the US, the study showed.


Sounds like releif for Vendor like Huawei after US Govt stand in last couple of years against chinese market/ vendors.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/08/us-usa-china-huawei-zte-idUSBRE8960NH20121008
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
4/30/2014 | 11:23:20 AM
Re: other views?
Thanks for providing that link aditshar1. It's pretty incredible to read what those U.S. lawmakers said in 2012, in light of the recent reports of NSA spying on Huawei.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 10:12:32 PM
Re: other views?
Yeah... not slightly ironic, isn't it?

The previous legal disputes between Cisco and Huawei (if I recall correctly for allegedly taking code, and for pretty much wholesale copying of CCO support documentation) leave a somewhat sour taste in the mouth, I suspect.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
5/1/2014 | 11:24:24 AM
Re: other views?
I think your memory is correct jgherbert. That was some lengthy legal dispute. Both companies were still taking shots at each other in 2012, after settling the original lawsuit, according to this report.
aditshar1
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aditshar1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/1/2014 | 1:28:00 AM
Re: other views?
Moreover last year there was news saying that Huawei and ZTE banned from selling to US Govt, i am not sure when they lifted this ban or stand. Even after such allegation it is commendable job done by huawei in Ethernet switch market.

http://techonomy.com/2013/04/huawei-zte-banned-from-selling-to-u-s-government/
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Strategist
4/29/2014 | 11:49:55 AM
Opportunities
With all the dust being kicked up by SDN, it's clear a lot of vendors see an opportunity to steal some market share from Cisco. This means a lot of innovation, such as a stronger push toward fabrics, and some gambles, such as Dell reselling third-party switch OSs for its own hardware. Overall, it seems like a good market for customers.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
4/29/2014 | 12:10:49 PM
Re: Opportunities
I agree Drew, the market is poised for innovation. It will be interesting to see how white-box switches fare in the enterprise market. What do you think it will take for them to move beyond the service provider space?
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Strategist
4/29/2014 | 1:02:07 PM
Re: Opportunities
Hi Marcia,

It's a good question. If you talk to the switch OS vendors like Cumulus, Big Switch and Pica8, they reliably cite financial services as early adopters, because these companies have the resources and business demands to experiment with new models that might give them an edge in rolling out new services faster.

For adoption in the general market, though,white boxes have to provide some kind of value proposition beyond being cheap, and there's still a ways to go there.

One argument might be that if you're looking to run your network like you run your server infrastructure, a Linux-based OS like Cumulus will resonate with folks who are comfortable with Chef/Puppet tools and scripting.

Then you've got the Dell strategy, where Dell provides a support and services front-end for the third-party OS. Customers still have someone to call if there's a problem, and the hardware comes from a known vendor, but they can experiment with a different switch OS.

Then there's the argument that we might want to start building networks where you swap out hardware every three or four years, just like you do with servers, because the switch silicon will continue to get both more powerful and cheaper. In this case, the white box model makes sense if you've got a network designed where you can swap boxes (and software) in and out like Lego pieces.

Of course, these are just speculations from 50,000 feet. I'd like to hear what the folks on the ground think.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
4/29/2014 | 2:47:57 PM
Re: Opportunities
At this point it seems like you can spend for Dell/HP/Cisco or you can spend for a pile of white boxes + a smart engineer to make them work. The costs depend on factors like how long you keep gear. The wild card, as Drew says, is how fast silicon is improving. If you want to stay on the cutting edge, white box + smart person seems like the way to go.

For Huawei, you have to admire their pluck. But I can't imagine any CISO signing off on that buy.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
4/29/2014 | 3:17:10 PM
Re: Opportunities
Good point about Huawei, Lorna. I imagine CISOs still would be leery, and like Tom points out, for many network admins it's "better the devil you know." Still, Huawei has been trying hard to build trust  -- it released a white paper on cybersecurity last fall that described the company's internal security program, and another the previous year that urged industry collaboration on cybersecurity.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
4/29/2014 | 3:36:57 PM
Re: Opportunities
We did a survey on Huawei about one year ago: http://reports.informationweek.com/abstract/6/10697/Data-Center/Can-Huawei-Succeed-in-the-U.S.?.html 

It was interesting; only 15% said flat out that Huawei is not a viable alternative for enterprise technology, but that was before the Feds banned its gear. I could see rerunning that poll with trending. Maybe we can discuss.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
4/29/2014 | 3:48:02 PM
Re: Opportunities
Interesting report! Thanks for sending. With all the recent news, I think it's definitely worthwhile rerunning it. I'm up for a discussion!
eheenan
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eheenan,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/3/2014 | 7:35:08 AM
Re: Opportunities
Interesting points by everyone. Huawei has been making a lot of noise in Japan of all places. If their smartphones start selling well in the US, it should have a big/positive impact on their US enterprise market share.

Many Fortune 2000 firms still have a high number of EOL switches in production, (even if they strongly deny it) which supports the idea of enterprises eventually becoming fans of white box switches.  They want options, whether it's a cheaper box or a longer/cheaper support contract.  I'd like to see how Cisco's services revenue tracks to the data in the report.

 

 
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
5/6/2014 | 3:27:34 PM
Re: Opportunities
Good point eheenan. Enterprises definitely want options. Any thoughts on what needs to happen in the white-box switch market for it to gain traction in the enterprise space?


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