Brocade claims first-mover advantage in SDN evolution

With the launch of a new channel track built around its software-defined networking offer and growth in its Ethernet fabric proposition Brocade says it is beginning to win in staunch Cisco environments

Brocade EMEA channel head John Mitchell has been discussing the growth of, and the company’s commitment to, software-defined networking, following the launch of a new channel track dedicated to advancing the evolution of the network.

Nearly a year after CEO Lloyd Carney told MicroScope that SDN would start to hit mission-critical environments around a year to 18 months hence – six months or so from now – the message from Brocade is that it has completely bought into the concept, according to Mitchell.

“Whether we are six months away [from major deployments] is not yet defined, but certainly we’re investing heavily,” he said.

In the past few months, Brocade has been busy integrating Vyatta – the open source networking OS firm it bought in 2012 – into its channel, culminating in the launch of its Software Networking (SWN) channel track in February.

The new track, which includes certifications, deal registration and so on, and is now available for partners to buy through distribution. It has also taken Vyatta on the road with a number of roadshow events around EMEA, and is pushing its successful Partner Academies as well.

“Cloud, Ethernet fabric and SDN represents an opportunity for channel partners to take end users on a journey,” said Mitchell. “The incumbent networker is stifling innovative companies and that is causing this move.

“Brocade is not where the network has been, we are about building a platform for the next generation network…. Our investment in Ethernet fabric and virtualised infrastructures, in the right platform, will allow partners to drive more services.”

Mitchell said this movement was already reflected in questions he was fielding from partners, and added: “I see this year as being about transition from three tier datacentres to fabric-oriented next generation architecture. We see most deployments globally are Ethernet fabric, and many staunchly Cisco environments are choosing to integrate Brocade.”

Read more on Network Infrastructure Solutions and Services