Report: AWS Mulls Entering Enterprise Networking Space

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), is reportedly looking to enter the enterprise networking market.
The report, which was published Friday, showed a decline in stock values at networking heavyweights Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and generated numerous reports that speculated on the potential disruption to the industry.
The Information cited unnamed sources and reported that “Amazon Web Services Targets Cisco In Networking” (requis subscription). This immediately led to a drop in the price of Cisco stock as well as Juniper. Arista was also likely to be affected.
According to the report, AWS would leverage commodity, “white-box” hardware and open source software. These are key tenets in the software-defined networking movement (SDN), which has also shaken up an industry that was long dominated by Cisco.
Cisco did however jump on the SDN bandwagon, and it enacted other modern networking initiatives in order to stay relevant in new-age network. However, it may have had a harder time dealing with AWS, a cloud giant.
The report stated that Amazon plans to price its white-box switches at a lower price than competitors, as it does in many other categories. According to one person familiar with the program, white-box switches could be priced between 70 percent and 80 per cent lower than comparable switches from Cisco.
AWS would connect open-source software to its cloud services. This would allow it to leverage white-box hardware and open-source software. These services include storage and servers.
The Information stated that Amazon had used white-box switches similar to those found in its data centers for some time. This is a standard practice among large technology companies. According to a person familiar with the project, AWS expects to launch the networking switches for outsiders in the next 18-months. According to the person, AWS is currently working with white-box manufacturers like Celestica Networks, Edgecore Networks, and Delta Networks on the switches and is open to collaboration with other companies.
Although Amazon didn’t comment on this report, Cisco offered a stock PR response quoting their leadership. However, other companies, such as SDN specialist Apstra and intent-based networking specialist Apstra, did weigh in.
“The combination of white box hardware and open-source software allows companies to lower the cost of building their network, said Mansour Karam (CEO of Apstra), a startup that sells software to manage networks with devices from multiple suppliers.” The report said. “It’s not surprising that Amazon would want participate in, and control, the datacenter as the onramp for their cloud services,” said Mr. Karam. Karam.”