Think Outside the White Box
In the future, Chambers said, he expects Cisco’s principal competition to come from “white box” solutions — that is, open source software running on generic server and switch hardware, rather than the proprietary solutions from incumbent providers such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) that currently dominate the market.
The concept of white box networking isn’t new of course. However, until now, it’s only been considered viable for enterprise networks, data centers, and, just maybe, the very edge of service provider networks (and even then in special instances).
But what John (obviously, we’re on first name terms now) was talking about was something far wider in scope: extensive use of white box platforms across vast swathes of wide area networks, reaching right up to the carrier core — a near network “white wash,” if you will.