Brocade is looking to transform itself from a hardware company with an enterprise focus to a carrier-focused software company, and it sees network virtualization as the key to making the change.
The company has been a leading storage networking hardware vendor, but sees the future as software networks. To that end, it acquired networking software vendor Vyatta two years ago, along with its CEO, Kelly Herrell.
I talked with Herrell, now VP and GM of Brocade's Software Networking Business unit, recently about the company's software strategy and how software is driving Brocade's shift to service provider networking.
Brocade is in step with SDN and NFV proponents as it sees network virtualization as key to making service providers more agile. NFV in particular will allow service providers to move away from expensive proprietary appliances requiring truck rolls to customer premises to install. Instead, using NFV, carriers will be able to deploy services as virtual servers located wherever on the network makes sense -- near the customer premises, in the data center, or anywhere in between.
Brocade claims 40 proof-of-concept installations with telcos worldwide, and commercial installations in product with big cloud providers.
For more on my conversation with Herrell, and to learn about Brocade's network virtualization strategy, read our Prime Reading report: Brocade Weaves Software-Based Networking Strategy.