Storage networking and Ethernet supplier Brocade has done good, with record fourth quarter and full year results; pats all round boys. But you're still stuck in a mature market rut with no breakout yet visible. Quarterly statements from publicly-quoted storage companies provide a clear snapshot of how they are doing; there's no …
Shouldn't we all run FCoE now?
In 2007 I was told that bulidng an FC SAN was madness and a dead end. Now in 2012 disk system vendors don't even bother to mention or include FCoE when they present their latest Unified storage system.
What has happened with FCoE? Still just Cisco banging on about it?
Brocade and futures
FCoE is not an alternative to FC, never was and never will be. At best it is an opportunity to rationalise cabling using TOR. The future is some iteration of converged Ethernet and FC with "standards" being argued over by all the interested parties.
What fascinates me, and has not been highlighted very clearly in the article, is that the Ethernet revenues Brocade are generating are almost identical to the revenues that Foundry were achieving when they were acquired. Therefore, despite Ethernet routing and switching being a colossal market and one of the key drivers behind the acquisition, Brocade have singly failed to grow their business in $$$ terms. They can trumpet technological advancements and being at the head of the curve with things like SDN but the simple fact is that is not putting money in the bank. Sadly, lame technologies from Cisco and HP will continue to dominate customer environments simply through incumbency; new players like Arista, Gnodal, Mellanox etc all blasting away at the high performance end of the 10 and 40gb/e piece and with a Storage angle......... they will be disruptive at the very least at it would not be a surprise if one of them gets snapped up by a large storage vendor - EMC for instance - to cover off this direction and gap in their coverage.
I struggle to see how Brocade are going to really make an impact in this area as they just do not have the sales capability to deliver even allowing for a new Sales VP and CEO. Any momentum that they could have generated post Foundry acquisition was consumed by a recalcitrant sales force entering the company and a disintermediated Partner/OEM team that they already had. And they continue to compound this by an unhealthy insistence on a two tier channel which means that they will always be one step removed from the customer. Still, how often do we find that we do not see the problem when we are too close to it?
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