February 07, 2013, 3:52 PM — On the surface, Cisco and Juniper's SDN strategies seem to have sharp contrasts if recent announcements are any indication. For example:
" Juniper places much more emphasis on the software angle of SDN, even ushering in a new software licensing business model; Cisco's attempts to make hardware as much, and perhaps even more, relevant than software.
" Juniper views SDNs as much more disruptive, potentially allowing it to significantly increase share; Cisco has thus far made no such dramatic market impact statements regarding SDNs.
" As part of its hardware focus on SDN, Cisco is funding a separate spin-in company -- Insieme Networks -- which is believed to be building big programmable switches and controller(s); Juniper has no such hardware investments, but did buy Contrail for $176 million, again emphasizing the software aspect of SDNs.
" Cisco has a timeline of 2013 deliverables; Juniper's timeline pushes a controller and SDN service "chaining" capability out into 2014, and the new software business model into 2015.
[SILOED: Cisco, VMware, OpenFlow fragment SDNs]
Yet analysts say there are really more similarities than differences in both strategies from the fierce rivals.