Following a successful – and better than expected – fiscal third quarter, and a very low-key reduction of 300 staff, 6% of its workforce, Brocade is back in the news with a number of announcements targeted at the data center, telcos and service providers. In addition to ‘significant’ advancements to its VCS Fabric technology and VDX switch portfolio, it also unveiled what it called the industry’s ‘most complete, end-to-end blueprint for delivering scalable data center multitenancy, from the server to the WAN.’
In July Brocade released a survey that supported its premise that most businesses are ill-equipped for current business demands. Although 75% of enterprises have updated their IT environments in the last three years, 91% of IT decision-makers stated that their current IT infrastructures still require substantial upgrades, and 33% admitted that their organizations experience multiple network failures each week. Almost two thirds — 61% — said their corporate networks are not fit for the intended purpose, with 41% admitting that network downtime has caused their business financial hardship either directly — through lost revenue or breached SLAs — or from their customers’ lack of confidence.
So data centers need help, and Brocade believes its enhanced VCS technology addresses the most challenging data center requirements, including network multitenancy, network intelligence for exploding storage growth and the emerging adoption of 100 GbE for ever-increasing bandwidth consumption. The company said its on-demand data center strategy seeks to simplify and automate customer’s networks enabling anywhere/anytime information access to the entire organization at lower costs.
One of the highlights of the announcements is the Vyatta 5600 vRouter, which delivers 10X the scalability and performance of the current Brocade technology, and is 40X faster than competing products from companies like Cisco, said Brocade’s Kelly Herrell, VP and GM, Software Networking Business. “We’re making sure that we maintain our leadership.”
He said in proof-of-concept tests with large carriers, they are seeing a CapEx savings potential of 90% or more when replacing purpose-built hardware with a high-performance x86 server and the router. Overall, he called the new offerings a “very progressive and pragmatic solution set.”
At last month’s earnings call (revenue of $536.6 million), CEO Lloyd A. Carney said Brocade is rightsizing the organization. “We’re getting down to our fighting weight, right? We’re getting to where we have the right infrastructure, the right spend and the right focus on the data center market, on the software-defined networking market, which everyone was talking about SDN space.”
VDX is a big part of that focus, he said. “On the IP front, I just want to reinforce that where we’re most focused right now, where we’re making the biggest investment this company has made probably in its history is in the VDX space. And we had very good growth year-over-year in that space. We’re on track to do the $100 million that we committed to.”
Feeds & Speeds
-VCS Virtual Fabric, which offers an evolutionary approach to multitenancy is hypervisor-agnostic, and supports cloud orchestration frameworks through open APIs.
-VCS AutoQoS automatically recognizes and prioritizes storage traffic;
-VDX 6740 family of 10/40 GbE switches (6740 and VDX 6740-T are available for order now, with list price starting at $15,995 ($833/10 GbE port);
-VDX 8770 100 GbE blade is planned for availability in the first half of 2014100;
-Vyatta 5600, in limited availability and scheduled for general availability toward the end of 2013, addresses the need for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), leveraging Brocade vPlane technology capable of 10 Gbps throughput per x86 core, and targeted at use cases such as BGP routing, ACL offload and Virtual BGP Route Reflection.