An article at The Information states the AWS is targeting Cisco. Its a good headline but I don’t think thats what is happening here. Its more likely that AWS has a network appliance to improve networking to AWS (SD-WAN?) in the same way that Snowball improves storage migration. I think this is more likely than a whitebox Ethernet switch, but a whitebox IOT edge, uCPE or x86 appliance running a SD-WAN app.
Link: Amazon Web Services Targets Cisco in Networking — The Information – https://www.theinformation.com/articl…
AWS designs and develops its own Ethernet switches today using a whitebox baseline design. Enterprise Networking is a high margin business that is ripe for disruption. “Your profit margin is my opportunity” and 65% gross margins are common today and this leaves space for Amazon to take some market share.
Can They Do It ? They already make their own switches and have a significant market share. 30-40% of all switch ports are sold to MSDCs like AWS.
How would they do it ? Four ways, 1/ unsupported basic product, sold as-is. Hoping that NOS makers move to support it. 2/ Supported but simple feature set avoiding the complication and cost of legacy protocols. 3/ Full enterprise support but remotely only.
Alternately, they could target the home market. Or the IOT Edge market to support the Greengrass on-premises.
Finally, telcos are looking at whitebox for edge networking using open source technologies for NOS and SDN controllers. They need time/place distribution and delivery large numbers of switch units.
Why would they do it ?
1/ Boost manufacturing volumes to reduce internal switch costs.
2/ recruitment – build skills in the market to reduce internal hiring costs
3/ open source – most of the solution is open source and cost little to develop, easy exploitation
4/ Antagonism – drive enterprise IT vendors to move faster in the cloud