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Brocade Flexes Fabric Muscle At Technology Day Summit

Last June, the industry embraced the introduction of the Brocade One architecture, VCS technology and VDX switches--which for the first time brought to life a new fabric network design for flatter scale-out in virtualized clouds. At its Technology Day Summit in San Jose, Brocade presented its vision for the fabric industry, unveiled its next-generation fabric architecture called CloudPlex and announced the availability of several new products.

IT professionals sharing their experiences implementing VDX-based fabrics highlighted the day. Attendees heard Wim Vanhoof, of De Persgoep in Belgium, describe how he evaluated fabric solutions from Cisco and Brocade, but chose Brocade because "it was available." Wim told how he selected his vendor in January, received his switches in March, and is now set to migrate from his old network to his recently installed new fabric. Overheard at the summit was someone asking the VP of IT for FleetCor in Atlanta to explain why he chose Brocade for his fabric solution. He answered, "They all work. However, it [the Brocade solution] was right for me, but fabric is the way to go."

To me, the comment "fabric is the way to go" is profound because the simple phrase from a real customer validates the vision that Brocade CMO John McHugh captured in his statement earlier in the day, "Every data center is becoming a service provider, and every service provider is becoming a data center." I agree that fabric technology will someday bind together private clouds and public clouds into one global cloud.

Doug Ingraham, Brocade VP of product management, suggested that Brocade is defining the fabric market. And, McHugh added, "Brocade is installing second-generation fabric products while the competition [Cisco] is making announcements and shipping PowerPoint in volume". I found their claims hard to dispute after hearing customers describe their Brocade VDX fabric deployments.

I'm convinced Brocade has established early incumbency in the nascent market for fabric technology, which will eventually displace the networking technology we use today. On day two of the Summit, I hope to understand more about how Brocade is going to influence tens of thousands of certified Cisco engineers, as well as thousands of risk-averse Cisco partners who now depend on Cisco for their living, to follow De Persgoep and FleetCor to Brocade.