Why I didn’t like Transport Gear Markets before and like them less now

I’ve never liked Transport Gear markets. I can pin some of the blame on Kurt Melden’s great comments way back in the ’90’s. The comment went something like :

The difference between Service Provider gear and Enterprise gear is that Service Provider guys are looking at your gear thru the lens of “I can charge for those features” and the Enterprise guys are looking at your gear thru the lens of “I’m a cost center … I’ve got no revenue potential from this gear”.

If you take this comment one layer deeper and segment Service Provider gear on its revenue generating potential to a carrier one will find that transport gear comes in dead last. It doesn’t directly address service provider revenues ( there are exceptions but they are few ). The services are defined by the “routers” and/or “services” systems. The transport equipment fills in the solution. Back in the old days transport gear was a little better because SONET/SDH was integral to the telephone system. Today it is not integral and has less value.

So why am I saying this today? As usual I was inspired by a recent Andrew@Nyquist post. Today it is was on Equinix and Datacenters. The discussion is on transport, but it reminded me that transport is a supporting function of a data-center and as such is a cost-centric discussion. The discussion on revenue generating equipment for Equinix would be very different.

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