Doubts are growing over whether Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) will be able to start volume shipments of its new SilkWorm 12000 2-Gbit/s SAN switch by the end of the year, less than a week after saying that it would meet that deadline (see Brocade Hits Numbers).
Since then, Andrea Grosz, storage analyst with First Union Securities, has discovered that beta trials of the multiprotocol director-class switch are running late.
They should have started in June and they havent started yet. Were in the third week of August and its still not in beta. That leaves the company with an awful lot still to do between now and the end of the year, which is when its expected to ship, she says.
Once Brocade ships the beta version to OEMs, these companies then have to test and qualify it with their equipment as well as train sales people. Being generous, this will take three months, says Grosz, Theres a high probability they wont make the time frame -- and the market will not look favorably on this.
Moving up market is always a hurdle, and this is what Brocade is trying to do with the 12000... Its expected there will be a month to two months delay and the stock will be punished for this, says Harsh Kumar, storage analyst at Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. But it wont be a total disaster for Brocade."