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Cohen joins Cisco alumni at network hypervisor vendor Nicira

Cisco vice president Alan Cohen believes Nicira will bring virtualization to the network in ways few can imagine.

Mon, 10/10/11 - 1:54pm    View comments

CiscoNiciraCisco's global public sector and industry solutions vice president - Alan Cohen, has joined his fellow Cisco alumni at the network hypervisor vendor, Nicira.

According to Cohen:

"After many, many months of talking to the leaders of and investors in Nicira, I had my Billy Crystal moment:

Alan Cohen"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

"Having had my hand in a few networking start-ups and leaders, what we are working on at Nicira is so different from everything that occurred in the past 30 years, I am still trying to get my head around it.

"Virtualization and the cloud is the most profound change in information technology since client-server and the web overtook mainframes and mini computers. We believe the full promise of virtualization and the cloud can only be fully realized when the network enables rather than hinders this movement. That is why it needs to be virtualized."

Nicira Network HypervisorCohen continued:

"You build products either because you love technology or what it does for people. You join a company because the people there either amaze or inspire you. So when Steve Mullaney, Martin Casado and the gang in Palo Alto asked me to join their excellent adventure, how could I say no? Steve is a deeply experienced and wicked wise networking executive who I have known on-and-off for all of my years in the Valley. I did not know Martin prior to Nicira, but I am now convinced he is the Ray Ozzie of networking. The software he and the team are driving will change everything.

"This is something that has to happen. Now I get to be part of a great team that will bring virtualization to the network in ways few can imagine."

Cohen's take on virtualization and the cloud:


Although Cohen does not name Cisco directly, I can't help but believe Cohen's October 2nd blog story:

Five Deadly Sins of Incumbency

Is in reality, a well-meaning "warning" that's directly aimed at his previous employer, Cisco Systems.

For example:

"Sin 1: Manifest Destiny

"This is the market leaders' sense of entitlement. Frequently this shows up when a company believes it's their birthright to maintain disproportionate market share even though they have not innovated or created value in years."

Finally, although I'm a firm believer that independent technology vendors are both the future and lifeblood of technology innovation, I'm not at all convinced that Nicira will have any type of independent future based on the past track record (i.e. selling out) of its management team and investors.

So it's my personal opinion that Nicira is just merely a technology cash-out play!

Related stories:

Rifts between management and engineering appear to be depressing Cisco's stock price

Unconfirmed rumor: Cisco Enterprise SVP Manny Rivelo bolts for Dell Force10

Cisco's borderless networks SVP Brett Galloway has left Cisco

Cisco's restructuring embeds operating committee, councils, boards and working groups deeper into Cisco's new management structure

What's your take?

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