Cisco senior management figures have asserted that they still "love hardware" and that software-defined networking (SDN) need not commoditise the network market.
On a tech-focused second morning of the vendor's Worldwide Partner Summit in Boston, chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior told attendees that Cisco's focus is on programmable networking, encompassing processors, hardware, software and services. She outlined that "a large part of the platform is going to be open source, [so] we need to have a strong ISV programme".
"There is a lot of hype [around SDN] and it is our responsibility to explain it to customers," she said. "SDN addresses only a portion of the requirements of our customers. Our vision is all about programmability and a system made up of ASICS, hardware software and services."
This view was echoed by sales and engineering head Rob Lloyd, who claimed that he has "been hearing a lot about the commoditisation [of hardware] for all of the 19 years I have been at Cisco".
"I actually really love hardware," he added. "When you take ASICS and integrate software, hardware and services, you create better performance, better scale and more simplicity. The idea that SDN is going to commoditise networking and kneecap Cisco and everything we do is just not true. If you hear that SDN will commoditise hardware, it is a load of fibs."
As if to demonstrate Cisco's continued dedication to tin, Lloyd announced on stage a new iteration of Cisco's Catalyst 2960 switch, dubbed the 2960X. The product will launch into the channel in the next month, he claimed, and will offer double the performance at the same price of its predecessor.
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