Do It Again Part 3: It is Easy to Believe in Self-Referential Data Sets

A component of my job requires me to interview people and one effect of the successful Arista IPO has been an increased number of CVs from Cisco employees. I am interviewing a candidate from Cisco about a week ago and this person tells me that Plexxi seems to have copied the theme from Insieme. That is nice. I find it to be a good exercise to look back and review writings from a year or two ago. Is it still accurate? What has changed? Do you still believe what you wrote? I think this is best way to avoid self-referential data sets.
Continue reading

Do It Again Part 2: My Thoughts on the State of Networking June 2014

My perception of 2013 is a year lost in noise with regard to networking and SDN. It seems that after Nicira was acquired by VMware in 2012, the velocity of SDN and networking noise increased to unexpected levels and it had a detrimental effect on the market. If I worked at an incumbent networking company, this is exactly the effect I would have desired. Freeze the market in a state of confusion and sprinkle in as much disinformation as possible. Well played if you have market share to protect.
Continue reading

Do It Again Part 1: My Past Comes Full Circle

When I was a young corporate system engineer (CSE) I helped a field sales team in the mid-west close a large deal at an insurance company. This was during the transition period from SNA to Client/Server networking and the deal included core, regional and branch nodes. The deal was the biggest in the company history and it provided me with a promotion to be the CSE manager. All was well in my world until six months later when the COO told me I had to go back and fix the account because we were having serious issues and we were on the verge of losing it.
Continue reading

Emerging Modern IT Force

These are some rough, non-distilled thoughts around the concept of an emerging modern IT force.  This is a continuation of a prior post, but the genesis of my thoughts reach further back to a breakfast on December 11, 2009 with Charles Gave.  It was at this breakfast I was introduced to their idea around the model portfolio company.  In December 2009, the equity markets were well off their lows and we had endured only the first round of QE from the Federal Reserve.  From my memory, the model portfolio company looked like a company that had strong brand awareness, with a strong balance sheet, essentially self funded with no reliance on government or public sector funding, it developed their product set (i.e. intellectual property) in the US, manufactured overseas in low cost centers and was able to optimize their tax burdens by collecting and retaining cash in overseas markets.  There was a back and forth discussion on corporate tax laws, where a company should be domiciled, where it should develop IP to best be legally protected and what the modern construct of the corporation would look like in the coming years. Continue reading

Comcast/Netflix Deal…what does it mean?

I am curious to learn the details around the Comcast/Netflix deal that is being widely reported this afternoon.  Having spent the better part of the past twenty-years selling equipment to service providers of all types on most continents and in a variety of regulated constructs, the subject of net-neutrality and OTT have been a prominent subject in my blogs over the past eight years.  SIWDT is coming up three years old and one benefit that content has to me is it is searchable and I can go back and critique my thoughts.  I did a search on “net neutrality” and it came back with four prior posts.  I carved out a relevant quote from each post:

Continue reading

Charles VIII and the Emerging Modern IT Force

I am careful with the use of the term revolution.  This discipline comes from my academic studies and too many years studying actual revolutions and revolutionaries.  We can debate the impact of technological advances on the field of battle, but these advances would be limited if they were not organized, trained and led with purpose.  I understand the impact of the percussion cap and rifled barrel, but it is the adoption and use of the technological that is important — not the invention of the technology in isolation. Continue reading

Networking Thoughts to Start 2014

SIWDT is my second blog.  My first blog lasted few years from 2005 to 2007.  I created my first blog, which can still be found on the Wayback machine, after having an unexpected breakfast with Dave Winer in 2006.  It was at a conference in San Diego and if you do not know who Dave Winer, please stop reading now and go back to whatever you were doing before you thought to read this blog. Continue reading

It’s All an Internet Wasteland and It’s Not Cool

The internet is dead, corrupted, boring, monitored and it stopped being cool a long time ago. Ironically it is led, marketed and championed by people who think they are cool. We were told that the internet was going to lead to a global awakening of new avenues, self expression, freedom and it was going to result in a world that was closer with deeper insights into the human condition. We went out and spent all this money to bring connectivity, computers, tablets and smartphones to everyone and the fact is it is all shit. The reason it is all shit is it is too good; too polished, too perfect, too monitored, too censored, too controlled by companies that long ago sold out to advertising by pushing the same crap brands.
Continue reading

Future Generations Riding on the Highways that We Built

When I was in high school and college, I never thought about a career in networking; it was just something I did because it was better than all the other jobs I could find.  I worked at my first networking startup in the late ‘80s and twenty-five years later, I am still working in networking. Continue reading

Healthcare.gov’s Phoenix Project Moment…

Over the past two weeks the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had their Phoenix Project moment with the launch of Healthcare.gov.  From an outsider’s viewpoint, it appears we are at the point in the novel where the launch of the site and backend systems has been a failure. Continue reading

Just to tell our souls we’re still the young lions…

I am listening to Mellencamp’s Lonesome Jubilee album, which provides a flood of memories from 1987.  I had the morning drive slot as a local DJ at tiny college radio station when the album debuted and I was heavily into U2 at the time.  One morning the station director surprised me a little after 6am one day to ask why I was not playing more John Cougar?  This was a time when we were still using cart players for ad insertion.  Check it Out and Cherry Bomb are two fantastic songs from that album.  I had two Twitter exchanges collide (one on OpenFlow and the other on thought leadership) this past week which provided the framework around this post, but I could not channel the energy to write until I put on an old playlist and much to surprise, I found myself listen to Mellencamp after a decade long hiatus.  That is how SDN and thought leadership met Mellencamp one day and became a blog post. Continue reading

Four Reasons Why I am Bullish on CSCO…

I have been a known CSCO bear in the past.  All you need to do is click on the CSCO category on my blog to see two years worth of postings.  Recently, I have become a CSCO bull for the long term.  I have been building a position in the $23-24.25 range.  I did not become bullish on CSCO because I did some work on it and found some facts to fit my thesis.  It was a different path that lead me to becoming bullish.
Continue reading

Framing Exercise:::What if we Turned the Network Off?

While I was out at VMWorld, I was telling my colleague @cloudtoad about how I learned to sell multi-protocol networking to SNA shops.  This conversation started me thinking about network.  Since that conversation, I have been reading some recently issued RFXs that we need to respond to and it led me to an interesting framing exercise that I thought I would share on the blog. Continue reading

Market Thoughts Post Labor Day Weekend 2013

I recently made a market call ahead of July earnings thinking that the market might crack.  I have updated my SPX chart from my July Market Call posts, which you can read here and here.  I am currently LONG a lot of volatility.  It is currently working well and next week when the bond traders come back and we get NFP, Fed events, tapering no tapering, Syria, conference season, deficit ceiling, etc., I am happy to keep the lon vol trade on.  I am also long CL1 here and some high quality large cap tech stocks on the thesis of buy backs and dividends.  I have one big loser on the LONG side and that is FIO.  I hope they get taken out at this point. Continue reading

SDN and VMWorld:::WWJTD Edition

I had a great week at VMWorld.  The show was fantastic for Plexxi as we recorded 6x as many leads as last year, but the friction simmering in networking has emerged from behind closed doors and spilled out in full public view.  Here are a few links if you missed what I am referring to: Continue reading

Working on Mysteries Without Any Clues

Heading out to VMworld for a second time as member of the Plexxi team.  I am really looking forward to the SDN, networking, overlay, switching banter during the show week.  During my first year at Plexxi, I spent a lot of time presenting to end-users in the financial, web scale and cloud provider communities.
Over the past six months, not so much.
Continue reading

Are You Building a Company or Managing an Engineering Project?

Earlier today I read this post titled “SDN is Not a Technology, It’s A Use Case.”  Shortly after, I found myself in a conversation with one of our lead algorithmic developers.  We were discussing recent developments in the deployment of photonics inside the data center and papers we had read from Google researchers.  At Plexxi, we have already begun the thinking around what our product architecture will look like in 3-5 years.  In the conversation I was having with the algorithmic developer, it occurred to me that we sometimes become so immersed in what we are doing on a daily, weekly, quarterly basis that we lose track of whether we are working on a project or building a company.

Continue reading