A potential differentiator for Brocade and an area where it, like Cisco, can ill afford to be disrupted is the company's dominant market share in SANs. It's a credible data center foothold for the company as customers make the transition to a more fluid, programmable IT environment, including software-defined storage.
"It's a good place to launch from into some of these newer, more adjacent SDN and NFV areas," he says.
Brocade's SDN strategy, announced almost two years ago, hasn't changed much since then but is evolving, Schliesser notes. At that time, Brocade announced support for OpenFlow in hybrid mode OpenFlow working with traditional Layer 2/3 routing and forwarding protocols in an SDN -- NVGRE and VXLAN network virtualization overlays, and 100G SDNs.
"We're not stopping with building great OpenFlow switches," he says. "Ultimately, what people want is much more encompassing than that."
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