Brocade CEO in Tick-Top Form

Has Greg Reyes watched one too many episodes of The Tick or what?

September 5, 2001

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

For a split second at the Salomon Smith Barney technology conference on Tuesday afternoon Byte and Switch could have sworn The Tick. took the podium instead of Greg Reyes, chairman and CEO of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD).

Okay, not exactly. He wasnt wearing a skintight, blue leotard with two antennae sticking out of his head, but Reyes did a great job of sounding just like the nigh-invulnerable, uncrushable superhero.

For those unfamiliar with The Tick's oeuvre, the program derives much of its hilarity from juxtaposing the fantastic world of superheroism with the mundane realities of life. Or in Reyes case, the fantastic world of superheroism with the mundane realities of storage networking.

”We are virtually unassailable,” he told a packed auditorium at the Sheraton Hotel in New York. “Our position has never been better. [ed. note: Apart from the stock price, of course – which has never been worse.] Our 2-Gbit/s products are a technology tour de force, and nothing stands in our way!"

All that was missing were a couple of villains for the storage networking superhero to blast into space: probably because Brocade’s batted most them out there already, according to Clint Vaughan, vice president of U.S. equity research at Salomon Smith Barney. “A lot of people are taking cracks at the storage networking game but, so far, none have made an impact on Brocade,” Vaughan said.Reyes did seize the opportunity to take a swipe at one of his competitors – QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) and its recent price cutting measures. “They are desperate; they have no OEM customers so they are giving it away," he said. Qlogic recently lowered its price point for 2-Gbit/s switches in an effort to gain market share before Brocade releases its 2-Gbit/s switches, expected later this year (see Is Brocade's SilkWorm Losing the Thread?).

Answering questions about the potential threat of IP storage on legacy Fibre Channel technology, Reyes said, “The economic slowdown has put a wet blanket on to the move to new protocols... Our installed base will be so massive by the time IP or InfiniBand becomes a reality, that no company will be in a position to compete with us on infrastructure or applications.” He also said the drop in price of 1-Gbit/s products as 2-Gbit/s emerges will “further buttress the iSCSI offerings.”

In the real world, of course, there is a villain not to be taken lightly: Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is quietly plotting to take Brocade head on with a giant SAN switch referred to internally as the Andiamo project (see Cisco’s Secret SAN Strategies Revealed and All Eyes on Cisco).

Reyes said that the noise about SCSI over IP being disruptive to FC had “dissipated.” Well. Not if you count the hundreds of thousands of dollars in venture capital pouring into startups planning to compete with Brocade, it hasn't (see Eric the Intransa Gent and Mad MaXXan at the SANdrome).

Perhaps Reyes should borrow this one from The Tick, too: “Don't count your weasels before they pop, dink!”— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights