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Why Facebook's SDN switch won't affect Cisco's customers

Zeus Kerravala | June 24, 2014
While Facebook's SDN switch puts the company in the networking game on paper,the appeal of Wedge will be niche and the impact negligible for a couple of reasons.

With that being said, I do think there is some appeal for a do-it-yourself switch for companies that need massive scale and custom features. Companies like Facebook, Baidu, Amazon, and Google have hundreds of network professionals to throw at projects like this. In these environments custom features and a product optimized for that environment can save millions. So when Facebook claims they've saved "over a billion" in hardware, I believe them. The operational costs may be through the roof, but I do see the appeal for these types of companies.

However, I also think if you're in this class of company, you're more likely to buy your own instead of running an "FBOSS" based switch. Why would Amazon or Google want to run a product running a Facebook OS? Would they even trust it?

I have no doubt that the hyper-scale companies are likely to prefer an open networking concept, I just think they'll create their own instead of using a reference design created by Facebook.

So, is there appeal for the Facebook Wedge? Sure, in Facebook's network. Other than that, let's stop counting Facebook's networking chickens before their hatched.


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