Greetings from Munich, Germany. I am here this week at the EMEA IBM System z Technical University. This event is IBM's primary System z technical conference in Europe each year. Brocade is proud to be the Gold Sponsor at this year's event. We have a prominent booth, are giving three presentations, and have several people at the event including yours truly.
Why is this important? It's just the latest example of the deep commitment Brocade has to IBM System z, and our mutual mainframe customers.
Brocade's CEO, Lloyd Carney recently had a Q&A session/interview with Enterprise Executive Magazine. The interview appears as the cover story in the May/June issue of Enterprise Executive. The article had three really important points that I felt needed to be shared and highlighted. They sum up our experience, and commitment to IBM System z and our mutual customers very well.
Historical perspective: According to Lloyd in this Q&A, “Brocade has a long, unique history with mainframe technology going back more than 25 years to 1987 and bus and tag channel extension. Our corporate “family tree” includes companies such as Data Switch, Computerm, Inrange, CNT, McDATA and Foundry Networks. We developed and manufactured many generations of products supporting both ESCON and FICON technologies, including the DCX 8510, which is our ninth-generation FICON director.”
On why the mainframe is still a relevant technology today: According to Lloyd "The IBM mainframe is the Mark Twain of IT; reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, mainframes are alive and well, and are continuing to deliver business value to the companies that depend on them. The IBM mainframe is still extremely relevant technology in 2013. All 50 of the world’s top global banks depend on the IBM System z to run the most sophisticated, I/O-intensive transactions on the planet. More than 20 of the 25 largest U.S. retailers continue to run their businesses on IBM mainframes. Brocade is proud that our FICON directors account for more than 80 percent of the installed storage area networking infrastructure in these global enterprises. They’re our most important and valued customers, and it’s an honor that we’re trusted for their mission-critical infrastructure."
On how much longer will Brocade continue to invest in the mainframe market: According to Lloyd "Brocade will continue to invest in the mainframe market for as long as there are mainframes, which likely means for a long time to come."
Which brings me back to the Munich IBM System z Technical University. Brocade recognized the importance of this event. Its the primary IBM System z Conference in Europe in 2013 We're supporting IBM and the System z platform as a Gold Sponsor. We're meeting with customers, giving presentations, advice, etc. We view this as very important. When we talk the talk and say System z is important to Brocade, we walk the walk so to speak. Actions speak more loudly than words. For another European example, Brocade is a member of Guide Share Europe.
How important is IBM System z and its customers to Cisco? I expected a huge Cisco presence here given their recent new product announcement with their MDS 9710 directors.
How important is IBM System z and its customers to Cisco? I wanted to ask someone here from Cisco, but unfortunately that was not possible. You see, IBM System z and its customers are so important to Cisco, that Cisco did not show up here. Yes, that is right, Cisco did not show up at the most important IBM System z Conference in Europe this year. No booth, no presentations, not even any attendees here to learn. I almost felt like I was involved in a Where's Waldo episode entitled "Where's Cisco"?
Let me close this post by contrasting that absence with one of Lloyd's quotes:
"Brocade is proud that our FICON directors account for more than 80 percent of the installed storage area networking infrastructure in these global enterprises. They’re our most important and valued customers, and it’s an honor that we’re trusted for their mission-critical infrastructure."