Where is the networking market heading and where does it leave legacies?

Cisco recently announced their financials and also over 5000 job cuts. While many are left wondering if they have to pack their boxes from the company, DSA is interested to know what has driven Cisco’s position in the market and addressing speculations of their shaky position in the network market.

The rise in adoption of cloud and virtualisation platforms have been gaining traction rendering many hardware companies redundant, forcing them to rethink their product strategy. We see the software defined scene making waves in the market charts, and certainly we are seeing decline in the legacy markets.

Of course, all these are still speculation by DSA to whether SDx (Software Defined Anything) is as big a fish as it seems at the moment, and whether they can genuinely push and edge the legacy out of the equation. We tried digging for some market insights from many big players in the SDx field and while many weren’t prepared to give us a very definitive answer, 2 major players in the SDS has offered some market insight.

While FalconStor’s Marketing Director in Asia Jimmie Chang isn’t really commenting directly on SDN or the networking market, he told us much about the SDDC (software defined datacentre) trend.

“It’s obvious that all traditional datacentre giants are facing troubles on the trend of software defined. It’s not really about technologies, it’s about their business models. All these leading vendors have built a profitable business model based on the premium pricing of proprietary solutions.”

And it’s not without reason that we are seeing the SDx trend take flight.

“The idea of software defined datacentre is to break the proprietary silos and to replace them with standardized hardware plus software. It’s disruptive because all of the expensive “high-end” machines in the datacentres are no longer needed. Therefore, the established vendors will have to reposition themselves, rebuild their business model, and they have to be fast enough to keep up with the fast growing startups.”

Jimmie observed that SDN technology has matured and indeed gain more traction far quicker than its storage counterparts. He even suggests that SDS and SDDC technology is in fact “lagging behind networking”.

“I think it’s partially because of the maturity of the technology and users’ concerns of data loss. but I’m sure that SDDC is an inevitable and unstoppable trend. What’s happening on networking today will soon happen on storage tomorrow as well.”

Similarly, CEO of ProphetStor Eric Chen echoes this sentiment. While FalconStor and ProphetStor are formidable rivals in the market, they have the same insight to market trends and is moving in the same direction. As Chen puts it, IT is moving – fast – and the demand is high. If the traditional supply doesn’t catch up, someone will be taking over. As it stands, the software define scene has almost all the advantages over legacy vendors.

“From this news release of Cisco, we know that the "Software-Defined Data Center" is not just a vision but a reality.  The IT industry has been moving toward cloud-based (public and private) and demands better manageability, functionalities, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.  The incumbents suffer from the disruption from companies such as ProphetStor that provides solutions with rich functions, higher performance, AI-based analytic, and much more flexibility; all based on simple, open, commodity hardware platform.”

For CEO Chen, Cisco serves more as an affirmation of their path and vision.

 “The Cisco fiasco is a way they are reacting to the challenges and it will not be a single incidence.  We envision this Software-Defined trend will continue and the users will benefit the most at the end.”

“ProphetStor has envisioned this trend since the inception of the company.  We created a Software-Defined Storage platform that can address the Scale-Up, Scale-Out, and Scale-Any requirements. A single platform can provide multi-use storage applications.”

Not just looking at old clunky HDDs, ProphetStor is looking towards flash and RESTful APIs to drive other segments of IT, including Analytics, Disaster Recovery, Data Delivery, and many third platform functions in web-programmable forms.

While Cisco and other legacy vendors aren’t headed anywhere soon quite just yet, it is safe to say they are slowing down by a significant margin compared to the players majoring in SDx. While it remains to be seen how the market will react and what changes or revamps these traditional vendors are looking at, from our point of view the software defined scene is slowly but almost definitely pushing forward.

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