Brocade Buys Foundry: Good Idea?

So, Brocade has bought Foundry. I may be wrong, but to me it looks like these companies have gazed into the future, not liked what they have seen, and jumped into each other's arms out of fright!

Personally, I think that Cisco are right in believing that storage and Ethernet networks will converge in the data center - and Cisco has just the device to ease that convergence: the Nexus 7000. If Cisco is right about this transition, Brocade might end up getting squeezed further.

For Foundry, the future might also not look so bright alone. Juniper has just entered the enterprise switching market with their EX series of switches. In the short term, at least, I think that Juniper will eat into the market share of the smaller vendors such as Foundry. In the longer term, I expect that Juniper will eat a little into Cisco's market share. But for Juniper to make significant inroads into Cisco's market share, I think Cisco would have to become staggeringly complacent. I think Cisco has learned its lesson in the service provider router market, so I don't expect that to happen very soon.

Brocade plus Foundry may turn out to be a great idea - it may ensure their long term survival. Or it may turn out to be the worst idea since Brocade named one of their certifications the 'Certified Fabric Professional' (who wants that on their resume?!).

Joking aside, it will be very interesting to see how the storage and switching markets develop over the next few years. Feel free to let me know what you think about Brocade buying Foundry - just keep it polite, as usual!

Mark

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022