Juniper Veteran Joins SDN Startup
While we don’t have independent confirmation of Light Reading’s report — if it’s true — a couple of observations that maybe of interest to the community. (Update: 9/10/12 10PM. We have confirmation that Kireeti has left Juniper.) First, a little background: I worked with Kireeti at Juniper and have tremendous respect for him. Not only is he a brilliant networking CTO — he is a genuine and high quality person — who happens to be a lot of fun to be around. Second, I was recently reconnected with Kireeti when I moderated the Hot Interconnects Panel: SDN Fad or Phenom.
(You can register to download his at the bottom of this post).
What This Means for Kompella — and Juniper
Kireeti’s Juniper’s departure and Contrail’s expected hire has a number of SDN ecosystem implications and questions, including:
- Sheds light on Contrail’s strategic direction. We’ve heard rumors for sometime that Contrail is taking an MPLS-like approach to SDN and network virtualization. Many will argue that Kireeti is one of the fathers of MPLS — which lends credibility to the Contrail product rumors.
- May imply that Kireeti’s vision for SDN is not aligned with Juniper’s planed approach. Read what is public of Kireeti’s SDN vision — which he outlined in part at the Hot Interconnects Panel — by downloading his slides (register below)
- Highlights Juniper’s SDN troubles.
If true,Kireeti would beis Juniper’s second high profile SDN leadership departure (David Ward leaving Juniper to return to Cisco was the first). This just reinforces the questions we hear from service provider and enterprise customers in the SDN Community including: What is Juniper’s SDN Strategy? What does it mean for QFabric? Do they have the talent to execute a winning SDN Strategy?
While Contrail may have a fantastic opportunity, to me, Kireeti’s move says more about the state of affairs at Juniper (note: my view on should you join an SDN startup). Which can be summed up by questions I recently fielded from two F100 CIO’s who are long time Juniper customers: a) what is Juniper’s relevance in SDN and network virtualization? and b) can you give me a reason to short-list Juniper for a trial or POC?