At Mojo Networks we’ve been on our soapbox for some time preaching that the end is near… at least for vendor lock-in and egregious hardware margins. Massive innovation is happening in the realm of software with the cloud enabling new ways we can harness data for quicker and more intelligent decision-making. Alternatively, hardware innovations come at a slower pace, but Big Logos have enjoyed huge margins on hardware where they have little to no value add. As hardware becomes commoditized, in many cases with little differentiation between Access Points produced by different manufacturers, it seems inevitable that the day of reckoning for vendor lock-in is near.
Of course, I have felt this way before wondering when the market (end-users) will say no more to overpriced hardware and demand the freedom to find the best software solution for their business, regardless of the hardware manufacturer.
If you spent your childhood weekends watching old movies like I did then you may remember Jason and the Argonauts. In the movie, Jason is sent on a difficult mission to retrieve a golden fleece. Along the way, he faces obstacles and those that want to stop him from completing his mission. It feels this way at times at Mojo as we continually come up against Big Logos who do not want a world where our Network Operating System (NOS) could run on anyone's hardware. But Jason, like Mojo has forged valuable partnerships with organizations such as Open Compute Project (OCP) and Edgecore Networks that share our passion for open standards and industry advancement. Working with these organizations we have proven that we can have interoperability and open standards in WiFi. Recently we built the world’s first large scale Open WiFi environment at OCP Summit where Mojo software stack ran on a combination of Edgecore and Mojo APs serving over 3400 attendees at the Open Compute Summit. However, it still felt like few noticed or cared about this achievement. Does the market not care about software freedom and overpaying for hardware? But we carried on, preaching that white box Access Points and Switches are here, they work, and they will (and are) reduce IT costs and fuel innovation.
Then yesterday I read a terrific article called IT Needs to Break Its ‘Logo Addiction’ on Network Computing reporting on the Senior Director of Worldwide Infrastructure at Amazon/Wholefoods, Peyton Maynard-Koran’s talk at Interop. The talk was about how IT pros need to break their Logo addiction. According to Maynard-Koran, the Big Logos no longer have the “secret sauce” anymore and that “anything you can do with a big vendor you can do with a commodity vendor.” He goes on to say that commodity hardware can save a company 70% to 80% on hardware alone. Adding that the Big Logos and their value-added resellers try to undercut the growth of white box hardware by sowing seeds of “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.” The result of using white box hardware and open source software? “..asking businesses for less money which frees IT teams to build IT products that make the business work faster and better.”
Hallelujah! We could not agree more. Let open standards reign!
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