Interop 2012: Q&A, Saar Gillai, CTO, HP Networking

IT Pro spoke to Saar Gillai, vice president and CTO of HP Networking about OpenFlow and how a new era of software-defined networks could disrupt the entire networking industry.

We like that fact it is disruptive. we feel we can utilise this to cause a major disruption. We are a company with 12 per cent market share that is very much interested in planning a much larger market share.

We are very happy with the disruption. We think it is in our favour. But I don't think it is going to drive to the super commoditised environment. Will it provide more value to the customer? Yes! Will it completely commoditise networking? What are customers looking for? They are looking for reliable solutions that they can depend on to run there business.

If a customer just wants the cheapest thing, they can buy stuff today from all kinds of vendors and get that solution today with open source. But most people don't use that because mostly it is a question of system reliability. It is going to be disruptive and I think that is a good thing.

Networking is an evolutionary thing. Even with an OpenFlow switch, there are still things it doesn't do. And there is still a lot of intelligence needed, such as how you manage it and put it together.

You have got to implement the protocols and apply the standards to make it work. It's one of the benefits we have. We have been doing this since 2008 with Stanford so we know what these things are.

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