For the last two decades, many thoughtful people have predicted the decreasing importance of the relationship between IT staff and their network infrastructure providers. However, there are some straightforward cases that can be made suggesting it is highly unlikely that this scenario will happen any time soon.
While reflecting on the early days of networking, I thought about some fundamental inflection points:
The rise of the stackable hub and its suppliers in the 80s;
The mid-90s transition where customers were going from convenience connectivity to enterprise-class mission-critical connectivity;
Then in the early 2000’s with the deployment of combined voice and data communications.
Today, we are in the era of cloud-based virtualized IT infrastructures. Enterprise applications have moved into a distributed architecture, unified communications has become part of this pool, and now entire sections of IT are moving into a virtualized and distributed network based architecture. Never before has the ongoing operations of a company relied more on the quality, persistence and future proofing of the network infrastructure for this communication or connectivity solution.
Regardless of the fact that our industry is going through a period of consolidation and acquisition, what continues to drive market share gain and successful solution deployments are networking solutions that are built based on a future state concept of the world and are delivered by trusted networking suppliers.
Brocade is a good example of an organization that is focused on the networking infrastructure as the foundational element for this transformational shift in the IT industry. During the last three decades, when customers have gone looking for networking solutions, they have gravitated toward companies that were focused on delivering specific networking expertise and differentiated solutions.
While other networking providers increasingly provide networking solutions as an accessory to other businesses, Brocade is singularly focused on a world where information and applications can reside anywhere in the network, and thus the network will have to have the key characteristics to be able to support those applications. It will embrace existing infrastructure, multi-vendor open solutions, it will be cost effective, and it will run like your business runs – with on all-the-time reliably and dependably.