EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Nicira Networks - Disruptive Network Virtualization


  1. Read: Nicira Case (draft)
  2. Read: Product/Market Fit
  3. Read: CaseWiki Instructions
  4. Review Nicira website
  5. Read MIT Tech Review article
  6. Read NY Times article


The objective of the CaseWiki is for students to experience the process of structuring and researching a case related to a current business problem and participate in a conversation involving real-time issues facing corporations. Complete instructions are available on the CaseWiki Instructions page.

Case Summary

From CrunchBase: Nicira Networks is accelerating the transformation to cloud infrastructure by delivering software that virtualizes the network and enables elastic, scale-out data centers. The company was founded by networking research leaders from Stanford University and UC Berkeley, and is led by proven entrepreneurs in networking, security, and virtualization.

Nicira seeks to replace traditional routers by creating a virtualized, software-defined network.

Problem statement: Facing competitive giants Cisco, HP, and Juniper Networks, how can Nicira enter the market and become a disruptive force that in this next generation of the network?

Discussion Questions

  1. What proof do we have that Nicira's idea is going to work?
  2. What are the ecosystem issues surrounding the switch to virtulized networks? Who will be the initial customers? How compelling is Nicira's offering to alternative or existing products?
  3. What level of future investment will be required to get Nicira's product into the market and successfully deployed?
  4. Who are Nicira's competitors, and what are the substitute products?
  5. What will it take for Nicira to scale and become the next Cisco?

SCPD Students