Software to be an Integral Part of Networking

Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade
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Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade

What significant changes did the Storage segment witness in 2013? What did these changes mean to vendors and customers?

The single biggest change in our industry has been the mainstream adoption of Solid State Disk (SSD) storage. We have said for years that SSD will be as disruptive in the data center as server virtualization and SSD arrays are being connected primarily with Fibre Channel. It’s driving unprecedented performance improvements for high density server virtualization, cost-effective virtualization, and traditional online transaction processing (OLTP) applications. The entire storage industry is “all in” with SSD as evidenced by the investment and M&A activity throughout 2013. Customers are benefitting from massive improvements in productivity, higher consolidation of workloads, and lower overall costs.

Can you paint us the picture of how the landscape for this industry segment will change in 2014?  What are some of the broader trends you are closely watching?

Virtualization will continue to drive change, storage capacity will continue to grow, and SSD will be the most disruptive technology in the data center. This will challenge IT organizations to build data centers that are scalable, easy to manage, and more reliable. The network matters for storage and it plays a vital role in adapting to change and leading the transformation of data centers.

How would customer spends change in 2014 (for Storage)? What makes you think customers will be buying more/ less?

We continue to be bullish on the prospects for the storage industry for 2014. The fundamental changes within the data center are going to cause customers to take a step back and figure out if they have the infrastructure to support the requirements for next-generation data centers. We believe our Fibre Channel and Ethernet fabric technologies are well positioned for customers who want the most reliable, scalable, and high performance networking for storage.

What's in store for your company in 2014?

We're positioning ourselves in all the emerging markets that we know will be propelling this industry. Brocade’s Ethernet fabric technology will continue to support the ongoing need for virtualization and simplicity. We're doing well positioning our products in data centers in expanding markets, including social media, which are building out large data centers of scale. And we continue to innovate across our IP networking product portfolio in order to drive further differentiation in our offerings. Software will continue to be an increasingly integral part of networking in the years to come and Brocade is now at the forefront of that transition. I have been pleased with the progress we’ve made so far, with a strong focus on data center networking and the public sector, and our efforts will continue to be focused in 2014.

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