Brocade aims to conquer Cisco

Firm has transformed to one with comprehensive IP and data centre networking portfolio

Tags: Brocade Communications Systems IncorporationCloud StorageCloud computingDatacentreUnited Arab Emirates
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Brocade aims to conquer Cisco John McHugh, chief marketing officer for Brocade says the company has transformed since 2008.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  November 30, 2010

Brocade is planning to expand its reach even further here in the Middle East after its successful Brocade conference and the good reception of its VDX data centre switches in the region. Brocade is now hoping to challenge Cisco's hold on the top network architecture spot.

John McHugh, chief marketing officer for Brocade said that the company has transformed, especially since the acquisition of Foundry Networks in 2008, from a company focused on storage connectivity, to one with a comprehensive IP and data centre networking portfolio.

"Brocade is a transformational company and so a lot of readers may or may not know Brocade - they may know it as the company it was three years ago. [Today] this is a place where Cisco is the dominant brand, but I think Cisco has struggled a lot to create and move to the next generation of architecture and make breakthroughs in their fundamental way they deal with problems," said

McHugh added that Brocade is pioneering technology that is radically more simple, more energy efficient and dovetails more with what customers are doing.

"I think we are a very interesting and controversial, change-oriented player in the industry, that a lot of customers are new to, but their reaction to what we do and how we are doing it is almost uniformly receptive," he said

 McHugh added that the company's new technologies tie in well with the efficiencies that clients are getting out of their servers and data centres. Brocade introduced the concept of Brocade One, a unified network architecture and strategy, as a cloud enabling vision and technology in June 2010 and the company said it would reveal developments later this year, which they have now done.

"We promised by the end of this year we would be putting out products that customers could deploy immediately to optimise the way they transformed their IT infrastructure into something that is cloud enabled. That is what we are doing at this conference - introducing a product know as the VDX and we announced that product today and are showcasing it out on the floor here," said McHugh.

Mc Hugh said the VDX technology offers a vastly simplified virtualisation system to clients.

"The problem with virtualisation is that, while customers understand the value, it breaks their existing infrastructure. It is like giving a kid who has just learned to drive a racing car.  It is just too much for them to handle and so the VDX product tames that racing car and makes sure it is straightforward enough for them to be able to deploy the value of virtualisation without having the complexity overwhelm them," he said.

With its growing success in the Middle East, the company has a rapid expansion on the cards.

Currently the company has 22 people operating in the UAE, with a presence in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Egypt and Kuwait and is planning on bringing more people into the local operation here in the UAE.

"[The Middle East] used to be an emerging market with some challenges; the reality now is that there is a large number of big enterprises and companies who have established their operations here so there is a huge potential market. We are trying to make some smart decisions on how best to deploy resources and have as much coverage at the same time," said Albert Soto, vice president Europe, Middle East and Africa.

McHugh says that virtualisation is spreading at breakneck speed and the trend is far from slowing.

"I have been in this industry about 28 years and I have watched a lot of trends hit the market and watched the client buy VOIP etc. There is nothing that has been taken up by customers at the speed at which virtualisation is today. It is technology that is vastly improving the way customers can scale their business and almost to the person they get it because it is so powerful and important to them," he said.

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