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
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
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
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.
A few house keeping items to start the week…
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
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
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
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.
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.
I was reminded of a scene from Field of Dreams the other day. The scene I was reminded of occurs when Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) meets Terrance Man (James Earl Jones) in his apartment. I am thinking of the part when Terrance says “Oh my God, you’re from the sixties!” with a smile and excitement and Ray says “yes.” Terrance picks up an insect sprayer, starts spraying and yelling at him to get and go back as there is no room for him here in the future. He slams the door, but Ray stops it and says “you changed.”
My July market call did not work out. I am long some equities and long some vol (which is not working out), with a high percentage cash position. The Yen short worked. I am looking forward to the upcoming Cisco results as they will be the first to report a July month and if their guidance for enterprise spending is positive, I will go long high beta tech growth names.
Now that we have finished with confusing messages from the Fed week, we can move on and do some trading. I am covering my SPX short with a 800bps loss. The market will not turn down despite fund outflows, higher weekly claims, UPS pre neg, China GDP, earnings and guidance. I am staying long VOL through earnings. I will buy the QQQs today to increase net long SPX exposure to ~1700. Maybe I am being fooled by the B wave, but who knows. I will get some tailwind with the MS upgrade of NTAP this morning.
Ahead of the NFP, I prefer be short the SPX and YEN and long VOL. I am going to look for some stupid strong GOLD day and will short GOLD when I see it. I think GOLD is going to $1000. Regarding my prior post on the carry trade being blown up and the change from duration to economic targets and what this did for gamma…blah, blah…read this article on Bridgewater interest hedging.
Here is a link to my short term SPX chart, following up on last night’s post. I did watch the market today and that was nothing to get excited about on the long side. A few wildcards to deal with: (i) short week, (ii) NFP on Friday and (iii) earnings kick off in ~2 weeks. I updated my short terms SPX chart here. I also posted a picture of my SPX chart below. I think we will have a mini-rally into the NFP and we might continue to rally into next week as this is a holiday week.
I am going to attempt to be brief as not to bore too many readers. I have been spending the last few years fully immersed in networking and building a venture backed technology company. Every now and then something in the financial world happens that stirs up memories from 2007-2008. The last time I logged into a BBG terminal (FYI…BB journalists can independently confirm) was Feb 2011 and I am not following the markets. In fact, I have gone days without looking at the markets, but I have been trading more frequently as readers will know. For the record, I closed my shorts on GOLD and Treasuries on Friday. I am long: MS, C, INTC, MSFT, FIO, NTAP and ERIC. I took some profit in BSFT and will buy back in at a good technical entry point.
The most read post on my blog was written on February 22, 2012. It was about the Cisco spin-in called Insieme. It has been read thousands of times and still holds the single day read record for my blog. I do not consider it the best post I have written, but I am looking forward to reviewing it and measuring the accuracy of the prediction this week. I really do not know what Insieme is building, but if these reports here and here are true, we should all have some form of clarity this week.
** This post and others labeled “Echoes from Our Past” are not technology related. I am not blogging about equities, networking or SDN. If you are looking for a post on those subjects, please stop reading as this blog will soon return to regular subject matter. **
Echoes from Our Past posts are a diversion for me. I enjoy writing, so much so I have finished an unpublished novel, yet I cannot decide to self-publish as a complete novel or release in serial Dickensian form using a blog. This is my attempt to put myself in the place of my 3rd great grandfather who answered Lincoln’s call for 300,000 volunteers in July 1862. At the age of 35, he left his farm in Lyons New York and went south to meet other men in battle. Continue reading
Be forewarned, this post is a bit of rant on variety of subjects that typically get asked of me at conferences or I see written by analysts, sycophants and self decreed intelligentsia. The four most frequently asked questions or suppositions inquired about are:
- Will network virtualization result in fewer network elements (i.e. switches and routers)?
- The network is ripe for commoditization, so will this commoditization process result in lower margins for network vendors?
- If end users are adopting DIY network devices via open source software, will network vendors still be around?
- Will the network engineer or network administrator still be around in a few years?
This is my attempt to write down the answers. I think I have been answering these questions over the past two years on this blog, but perhaps I was somewhat indirect with my answers. I will try to be direct.