Meet Cisco/Insieme's recruiter

Her pitch promises "a virtual guarantee for a high financial payout" to those who join early stage start-up

Meet a recruiter for Insieme, Cisco's SDN spin-in! She's Jessica Vernon and she's done this lots of times before.

Vernon is an HR, staffing and recruiting specialist for companies in networking and telecommunications. Currently, she works with various Bay Area VCs and start-up ventures, but previously she worked as a director of human resources at MPLS switch maker Vivace Networks, which was acquired by Tellabs in 2003.

Her client list now includes Insieme, according to Vernon's LinkedIn profile. Below is a recruitment letter Vernon's distributing around the Valley, forwarded to us by one of our recipient sources, to pitch prospects on Insieme. Vernon was unavailable to confirm or comment on its authenticity or contents; we also deleted her e-mail address and cell number:


My name is Jessica Vernon and I work with VCs and start up ventures in the the Bay Area. I formerly worked for Nuova Systems from its inception in 2005 until its acquisition by Cisco in 2009. Their product has been at the forefront of Cisco's data center strategy for several years. 

I don't know if you are familiar with Mario Mazzola, Luca Cafiero, and Prem Jain but they are considered titans in the networking sector. Two of their companies - Andiamo (Network Storage) and Nuova Systems (Data Center Fabric / Server Virtualization) were both spin-ins into Cisco for north of $650 million each in the last 7 years.

In the last 12 weeks they have started a new company developing a very unique product involving open stack cloud computing and distributed data storage and they have asked me to assist with sourcing exceptional talent. Your senior experience is of high interest to our VP SW. I hope you will take it as a compliment.

The thing about this new venture (beyond its technical innovation) which makes it particularly unique and rare is that it is a virtual guarantee for high financial payout to those who join especially at this early stage because of the pre-arrangement. Though the company is just a few weeks old, the NY Times is already following it:

I would like to take just a few minutes of your time to discuss the job and provide you enough info to consider it one way or another. We are pulling together a team of great people from Brocade, Google, Juniper, VMware and a host of great start ups too. 

I appreciate your consideration and I hope to hear from you soon.





So according to Vernon's pitch, Insieme is working on an open stack cloud computing and distributed data storage product... Other educated guesses on what the spin-in is working on can be found in the blog SIWDT. One idea is a new Nexus box with storage hooks that would use two Ethernet channels - one to "logically allocate bandwidth vertically" in hierarchical switched data networks; the other to scale SAN traffic horizontally. This concept would be Cisco's attempt to "abandon FCoE as a convergence strategy" and hasten the demise of FibreChannel, SIWDT posits.

A second idea is an SDN box that peforms "NOS (NX-OS) to OpenFlow arbitration." Cisco would use SDN-like concepts to control the translation to and from the Nexus network through an OpenFlow interface: 

Think of it as a session border control (SBC) for your network between the NOS network and the OpenFlow network.  Cisco keeps their installed base closed to direct OpenFlow control, yet provides an OpenFlow portal in which they control the translation and arbitration function between the two networks.

A third idea, embedded in the comments to the SIWDT post, is simply a Nexus switch optimized for 100G Ethernet since the Fabric 2 launch capped the fabric capacity of the current Nexus generation. This new 100G switch would have a storage "twist" to it as well, the commenter speculates.

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