Sorry Oracle, Xsigo IS NOT Software Defined Networking

In Oracle’s flashy press release this morning announcing they had just acquired Xsigo, the headline reads “Oracle Buys Xsigo – Extends Oracle’s Virtualization Capabilities with Leading Software-Defined Networking Technology for Cloud Environments”. Since VMware bought Nicira last week for over a billion dollars, Software Defined Networking (or SDN) is now the hot enterprise tech buzz phrase and the Oracle PR machine wasn’t going to be left behind.

Then the race was on… nearly every tech pub was off racing to get the story first. GigaOm declared “Oracle snaps up Xsigo for SDN smarts“, Forbes hailed “Oracle Buys Software-Defined Networking Firm Xsigo”, PCWorld pounced with “Oracle Buys Xsigo for Software-defined Networking” and even the San Jose Mercury News “Oracle follows VMware into network virtualization space with Xsigo purchase“.

The only problem is that Xsigo doesn’t have much in common with Software Defined Networking. In spite of a single web page claiming Xsigo is “positioned to support OpenFlow”, Xsigo isn’t even listed as a member of the Open Networking Foundation, the non-profit consortium working on the development and standardization of the OpenFlow protocol standard which Software Defined Networking is based.

One of the only tech pubs to get it right was Wired, they just weren’t the first with the catchy headline:

Although comparisons with VMware’s $1.26 billion acquisition of Nicira are inevitable, Xsigo actually makes a very different type of product. Whereas Nicira offers a tool that lets you build entire computer networks using nothing but software, Xsigo sells a simpler product called Data Centre Fabric (DCF), which is specifically designed to virtualize network cards and connections, reducing the amount of physical hardware and network cabling required to run a network of virtual machines.

In the end, it’s a win for Oracle’s PR team but a major fail for enterprise tech pubs.