Followers of the networking industry, which includes the hundreds of financial analysts we hosted on our campus yesterday, seem to have one particular hot-spot on their radar: the data center. It’s understandable, because most customers are deploying virtualization and trying to deal with the challenges of application virtualization in a “classically designed” data center. Virtualization requires a network with agility and without structural boundaries. Most data center networks have been designed with a “3 tiered” architecture which is particularly ill-suited to support the deployment of virtualization.
But the industry discussions around the evolution of data center networks today rarely consider both challenges facing customers who want to enable cloud computing. Virtualizing and converging your existing data center is only the first step in this process. The true business flexibility and economies that will be achieved with that virtualization domain can be extended into the internet. This requires specialized solutions for low latency and remote extension that most networking providers don’t offer.
Brocade expresses this view through the slogan “the entire network is the data center,” which we introduced at Technology Day earlier this year along with our Brocade One vision and strategy. Brocade’s unique but clear perspective highlights something that all competitive strategies have missed: that the true challenge for the networking industry is not how to bring Ethernet to all corners of the data center, but how to bring data center capabilities to all corners of the network.
Our message was very well-received then and we continue to evangelize this view by constantly talking to customers and sharing with them why Brocade’s networking solutions will address concerns no one else understands. My presentation at Analyst Day provided an update on how well we’re doing spreading this message industry wide and discussing where we need to get the word out. Based on the questions I fielded yesterday and the sideline conversations I had with our guests, it’s clear that we on the right path.