Heroes Of The Cloud – Part 3
Cisco Systems was one of the companies which rode the wave of success popularly known as the “Dot Com Boom” of the late Nineties. Unlike many of the tech companies that fell to ruin when the Dot Com Bubble burst, Cisco has managed to remain relevant and innovating in the post-Bubble tech world.
There is a perception that Cisco’s core business is “routers and switches”, not the most exciting of hardware, yet indispensable on the working on the Internet, in fact, any computer network. As the battle for bandwidth developed in the first decade of the 21st century, Cisco was positioned to develop hardware systems that blurred the lines between routing and switching, in contrast to the earlier software based packet processing models.
When Cisco made the decision to become a player in the Cloud Computing Market, one of their first moves was to call on Lew Tucker. Tucker is one of the “old hands” with more than 20 years experience in the high tech industry, ranging from distributed systems and artificial intelligence to software development and systems architecture.
Before joining Cisco, Tucker had been the CTO for Cloud Computing at Sun Microsystems. When he got the call from Cisco, his reaction was that Cisco was a “switch and router company” while his Cloud building experience focused on “complex distributed computing systems”. Cisco countered that they are a networking company, and Tucker came to realize that their hardware based model could be an effective way to create fully automated Cloud systems.
Tucker is a vice-chairman of the OpenStack Foundation and has adopted OpenStack as the cloud platform for Cisco’s WebEx, a market leading Software as a Service collaboration Solution. Interestingly, Tucker is an unabashed fan of Rich Wolski, co-founder of Eucalyptus Systems, one of OpenStack’s leading competitors.
By Peter Knight