Feeds

Brocade has 2-year Fibre Channel headstart on rival

Cisco you laggard ...

The essential guide to IT transformation

Brocade is making 16gig Fibre Channel hay while Cisco is still lagging up to two years behind, having made a wrong bet with FCoE.

Brocade's chief technology officer, Dave Stevens, presented at an investors' meeting attended by Aaron Rakers of Stifel Nicolaus, who reports that Stevens: "highlighted a faster-than-typical transition to 16Gbit/s FC (Fibre Channel) thus far, equating to approximately 18 per cent of the company’s total SAN switching revenue – driven primarily by the company’s director-class solutions."

Rakers said: "Our discussions supported our belief that the 8Gbit/s-to-16Gbps FC industry transition could be more meaningful than prior industry transitions given enhancements around application acceleration capabilities and integrated security features with 16Gbps FC."

Okay, this transition to 16 gig FC is a big deal. So where is Cisco, Brocade's main competitor? Rakers talks of "Cisco’s laggard positioning with regard to 16Gbit/s FC – up to 18 to 24 months behind Brocade."

Cisco has been pushing Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) more strongly than Brocade and this looks like a Chambers' mis-step, as FCoE is remaining a niche edge protocol, one not penetrating into the core of storage networks.

Rakers mentions: "Brocade’s view on FCoE as remaining predicated to deployments at the top-of-rack rather than making meaningful traction into the data centre core – we agree... [Brocade] does not expect an expansion beyond the top-of-rack market deployment given the performance/reliability attributes – noting that combined FCoE blade/module shipments of FCoE into the core network backbone have remained immaterial."

One factor limiting possible FCoE expansion is the fact that file-based storage remains a consistent player in the data centre:

Brocade views the current mix of enterprise deployments between SAN vs. NAS as remaining consistent – citing industry research showing mission critical deployments as reflective of a 70/30 mix between SAN/NAS; especially in the largest Fortune 1000 environments.

Brocade is doing well with its Ethernet VCS/VDX products: "The company currently has +325 cumulative VCS/VDX customers – expanding from the cited +200 customers exiting the January quarter and reflective of a strong ongoing ramp over the past few quarters (a trend we expect to continue toward the 800+ customer mark over the coming 3 to 4 quarters)."

Rakers said Brocade "sees Juniper QFabric offerings as focusing on high-end monolithic architectures, while Cisco’s solutions approach looks to conflict with the company’s traditional model (ie, collapsing the aggregation and application layers)."

All in all, Brocade is doing well with Ethernet and very well with 16Gbit/s FC, where it is effectively a monopoly supplier because of Cisco's misstep. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.