Brocade may have decided the best way to way address a changing datacentre market is to stitch itself to one of the big three server suppliers. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Brocade may have put itself up for sale. Brocade dominates the Fibre Channel (FC) storage area network (SAN) networking and fabric market with …
Whilst the logic in the article is reasonable, I'm not so sure that Brocade is up for sale. Firstly, any of the big three vendors acting as suitor would risk losing current OEM business to the other two biggies as they might turn to "independent" CISCO instead, which means the winner's expensive purchase could overnight become another StorageTek. The other issue is Brocade's domination of the market could lead to a spurned suitor using competition law to hold up the purchase in both the US and EU courts.
Market loyalty to Brocade
Whilst I agree that any purchase by one of the 'biggies' would jeopardise OEM business with others, I'm not sure how much impact this would have. I sell storage for one of the 'biggies' and customers almost always want the Brocade re-badged option. The amount of lost fabric sales through the competition could easily be outweighed by the access to new competitive storage environments who want to continue running Brocade fabrics. A change of fabric can typically be a bigger upheaval than a change of disk system.
The other option is that Brocade could be kept largely separate - similar to the way EMC has kept VMWare independent.
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