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White Box Battle: Can Amazon Take On Cisco?

White Box Battle: Can Amazon Take On Cisco?

A recent report that Amazon is considering entry into the network equipment space with a white box switch offering sent shockwaves throughout the industry. These switches would be coupled with open-source software and built-in connections to Amazon’s own cloud infrastructure. Investors anticipated a repeat of the damage Amazon has inflicted on countless other industries, and sent share prices of established players (including Cisco, Juniper, and Arista) tumbling. After this scare, the stocks recovered shortly after Amazon issued a statement denying current plans to offer a line of switches.

This fluctuation not only demonstrates Amazon’s tremendous power, but also underscores the appeal of an open network (white box) switch solution. Breaking the vendor lock-in of the traditional networking model can unlock unparalleled cost savings and architectural flexibility. Many forward-thinking enterprises (including Facebook and Google) have openly embraced the open networking model and supported its evolution.

However, some analysts have downplayed the threat to the establishment, doubting Amazon’s ability (or willingness) to provide maintenance and support packages comparable to those offered by traditional NEMs like Cisco. These packages engender trust in traditional NEMs, and make customers feel secure. To these customers, buying a switch from Amazon feels like operating without a safety net. They fear learning the commands of a new open-source software will be like learning a foreign language without a translation app or dictionary.

This does not have to be the experience. Champion ONE, the Champion of Open Networking®, has developed strong partnerships with established software providers for our Intelliport™ line of 1G to 100G white box solutions. These vendors, including IP Infusion, Big Switch Networks, Pica8, and Cumulus Networks that offer comprehensive maintenance and support packages to complement Champion ONE’s superior hardware support. Furthermore, our software partners offer a wide range of solutions for every level of comfort. For example, longtime Cisco users will find IP Infusion’s software commands instantly familiar; many are even identical. More Linux-savvy customers will prefer Cumulus Linux software.

The open network revolution has arrived. Make the leap with a trusted partner like Champion ONE.



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