Cisco CEO John Chambers delivered a keynote address at the Interop NY conference today, providing both a look back at networking's history and a look forward to what's to come.
Chambers is no stranger to making big pronouncements at Interop conferences. At the Las Vegas Interop in 2006, Chambers boldly declared that Network is the Platform. It's a vision that, seven years later, has evolved with the network itself.
"It's about everything being connected to the Internet and everything being IP-enabled," Chambers said.
Going a step further, the future of networking isn't just about connecting devices, but also about the applications that run on the network.
"'We're moving from a web economy to an application economy," Chambers said.
Even though Chambers sees applications as the key to the future of networking, he's not giving up on hardware, not by a long shot.
"Software by itself will not get the job done," Chambers said. "As we all know, it will be a combination of compute, storage and applications."
Chambers pledged that over the course of the next year, Cisco will lead the charge towards an application-focused infrastructure. That infrastructure will include custom ASICs and silicon in development at Cisco. Overall, Chambers stressed that the move to an application-focused infrastructure involves more than individual switches and routers. Instead, it demands that a network enterprise bring all the pieces required together in an agile infrastructure.
The focus on applications is one that Cisco's spinoff company Insieme has been hinting at for much of this year. Cisco has officially scheduled a launch date for its Application-Centric Infrastructure. The vendor will unveil it on November 6th, in New York.
"I'll be back next month to announce Insieme," Chambers said. "You know where I'm going with it. Application infrastructure is going to be the future."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist