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Chambers: Cisco will become the number 1 IT company

John Gallant | July 23, 2013
Cisco boss talks about how SDN fits into its architecture, what Insieme is all about and why the Internet of Everything matters to IT pros.

Give me a minute on what the application-centric infrastructure means?  How is that different from networks of today?
Networks today are largely done in a server-type environment or totally in a cloud, but it's still a server in the cloud. If you watch what's going to happen, we'll put intelligence throughout the network. Think of the network no longer as what you and I grew up with, with seven layers. Think of it in three. Think of it as the unified backbone in the middle. Think about an infrastructure of the bottom, applications on the top. We will provide APIs that will interface to the application so you can program at any stage of the network - to do security or smart grid, just as an example.

With these 500 billion devices that are going to be connected to the Internet, you're going to probably do that [programming] locally and move your applications all the way down to that level. For smart grid you do it at the top-of-pole router right in the neighborhood. Nobody's going to try to do it back in the data center. Same thing with security, you have intelligence throughout the environment on how it interfaces. Your ability to program to any segment of the network is very key, and to allow people to gain competitive advantage in terms of their approach to this. At the same time, you've got to open up the network. Think of this as northbound APIs and southbound APIs. This is where [it would be difficult] if you haven't already built the number one router, the number one switch, now the number one cloud. I don't know if you saw it the other day that Cisco has the number one cloud share. That's the good news. The bad news is it's 16%.

You have to start somewhere, John.
Remember, people said we couldn't play in the data center, much less the cloud. We're the No.2 player in x86 blade servers. We passed IBM. Barring surprise, we're back up to over 70% switching share and 70% port share in the market, which 2-1/2 years ago, people said: Not a chance. [We're] a company that constantly reinvents itself, that knows when to stay the course; i.e., focus on service providers and architectures and enterprise coming together, and IT and communication coming together, which I would argue are the biggest transitions going on in the market. You know when I got service provider and enterprise customers together, they didn't even want to be in the same room three years ago. Today they get it.

And when I talk about IT and communication being one framework, people didn't believe in that, and that's clearly happening at this same pace. So those are transitions and it's an all-IP world. We were lucky on that. Everything is going to Internet protocol. Our ability to come into it with product leadership in the data center, the LAN, the access, the open architectures, the ability to move on this - we have opportunities that no one else has. What we're trying to do is not only not mess it up, we've got to speed our ability to go do it.


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