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Capital letter 'S,' 'D,' 'N' will never happen

John Dix | Jan. 14, 2014
Steve Mullaney, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's Networking & Security Business Unit, outlines the company's vision of software controlled networks, challenges other Software Defined Networking visions, including Cisco's ACI initiative, and outlines how the company will roll out higher layer network services.

So I've already paid for my physical network, now I have to pay more?
The thing is it's making your physical infrastructure better. It was the same with server virtualization. You already bought the server, so why are you buying server virtualization? Well, because you want to make that server better. You want to make it better in terms of CapEx. You want to make it better in terms of OpEx. So it's the same thing with the network. 

You already bought a physical network and paid X for it. That's a sunk cost. But now when your favorite network vendor comes in saying you need to upgrade, because of me you can tell him "No thank you. I think the gear I have now is perfect. It's all I need. In fact, I can delay that upgrade for another three to four years. Thank you very much."

We've had many customers look at this as a CapEx deferment. They had budgeted a massive CapEx upgrade to get this type of functionality, but now they don't need to do that and they're putting their money into software instead of the physical infrastructure, and this is a hell of a lot easier than ripping and replacing my gear, and cheaper.

Do you have any reference points to show what kind of success you're having?
You're going to start seeing a lot more customer wins. People are making these architectural decisions now and we're winning them. So we're going to start marching these people out. 

And from a revenue perspective, we have told financial analysts that we'll be material from a VMware perspective in 2015. We have customers in production. We're doing revenue now, lots of it, but when you're part of a $7-billion-per-year company, what is material? Right now the important thing is winning those architectural decisions. And I'm talking top financial companies, top service providers, top media companies and the leading enterprises. 2014 is when we're going to trajectory out across the chasm. It's going to happen.

And as soon as we do that the tornado will hit in 2015. 


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