& cplSiteName &

Brocade Takes Aim at Nexus

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
6/10/2010
50%
50%

At first glance, the Brocade One approach, announced yesterday, sounds a lot like the plan Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) laid out. But Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) says it's really angling for Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), targeting what Brocade says is a weak point created by the transition to the Nexus switch family.

"The minute that enterprise customers start talking to Cisco about Nexus, we're on it like a hawk," says Bob Braham, Brocade's vice president of integrated marketing.

It promises to be an interesting fight, because Cisco, Juniper, and now Brocade are all taking different approaches to redefining the data center.

"Everybody has the same sort of vision: Virtualization doesn't work in current network environments, so the network has to change. Unlike in days past, when everybody had the same solution for everything, vendors are rolling out different solutions," says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with Yankee Group Research Inc. "The competition, I'd say, is so wide open right now because everybody's got a different way to solve the problem."

Cisco, with its Nexus switches and Universal Computing System, is pitching a data center full of Cisco-provided gear, including some servers. (See Cisco's Nexus Targets Data Center's Future and Cisco Dreams of Data Center Unity.)

Juniper, meanwhile, is stressing the data center's three layers down to one. Its EX line of Ethernet switches play a huge role there, using virtualization to blur the access and aggregation layer. And the Stratus fabric, due in 2011, will do the rest of the job by making the data center behave as if it were a single switch. (See Feature Story: Juniper's Enterprise Vision, Juniper Strikes at the Data Center, and Juniper Gets 'New' With Data Centers.)

Brocade is pitching a data center architecture that looks to the network like one chassis. But company officials also got into some specifics -- discussing, for example, the idea of adding more policy and security smarts to automate the process of moving a virtual machine inside the cloud. (See Brocade Preaches Data Center Nirvana.)

Brocade has also come up with a slogan: The network is the data center. It wasn't picked out of a fortune cookie; rather, it's meant to indicate that the features of a high-performance data center are starting to become requirements everywhere else. For example, the prospect of video-chatting iPhones (or theoretically someday, networked Flip cameras) means high speed, low latency, and quality of service will get increased emphasis inside the enterprise, Braham says.

"You could say the heavy lifting is at the endpoints," Braham says. "The enterprise, the endpoints, and the data center really have to be treated as one entity."

The one-chassis approach makes Brocade's architecture sound a lot like Juniper's Stratus, Kerravala says, although he thinks Brocade, with its strong storage-networking background, will integrate storage into the plan more thoroughly than Juniper will.

But the competitor Brocade wants to aim for is Cisco. The Catalyst switch line is aging, and Nexus represents a complete break, a system that doesn't even use the same type of operating system.

That transition is where Brocade wants to set up its ambush. Brocade is even touting a command-line interface that's similar to what Cisco offers with its Internetwork Operating System (IOS) on the Catalyst switches, offering some familiarity to operators who don't like the idea of learning a whole new set of tools.

Brocade might be on to something. Many customers get itchy when someone like Cisco starts preaching a one-vendor network. "Long term, what Brocade was talking about was where Cisco needs to get. You just can't have a vertically integrated solution," Kerravala says.

But there's an obvious advantage to Cisco's approach. All the different systems work together, and Cisco has the freedom to wring some features out of the mix that might be more difficult to pull off in a heterogeneous network. "They've got a lot of bells and whistles there that nobody else has," Kerravala says.

There's interest in Cisco's unified data center concept, but skepticism about whether it will work, Kerravala says. While Nexus and UCS have attracted customer interest, they're not getting used in the revolutionary ways Cisco is hoping for. "It tends to be more just a big server," he says.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
StartUpGuy1
50%
50%
StartUpGuy1,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:31:53 PM
re: Brocade Takes Aim at Nexus


So Brocade is introducing a new product line, a completely new operating systems and and new virtual fabric...  Based on internally developed ASICS and new software...


 


What happened to the Foundry code base?  They spent all this money on Foundry to introduce a new OS, new products and new Virtual chassis without including any of the Foundry systems?



Broacde might now how to make a FibreChannel chip, but a complex switching and routing asic and new code base, that dog wont hunt...

From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Eurobites: Be More European, EU Tells Streaming Services
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/20/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.