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SDN and NFV are the real integral gears of modern infra: Ken Cheng, Brocade

Yogesh Gupta | June 28, 2016
The power of networking infra is moving from hardware to SDx and we are leading that industry transition, says Ken Cheng, CTO, Brocade.

The networking landscape is undergoing a mammoth change with the advent of SMAC and new technologies like NFV and SDN. Brocade, as a company has transitioned to a great extent in the past couple of years to stay relevant to its customers' needs. Today, the company's portfolio cuts across SAN, campus networks, ethernet fabrics, SDN and NFV, to name a few. 

ComputerWorld India spoke to Ken Cheng, chief technology officer, Brocade, on the company's value proposition in today's hyper connected world of networks. "We are disrupting and leading the industry towards software-based networking rather than focus on selling expensive proprietary hardware like our competition," says Ken Cheng.

Edited Excerpts:

How is the new Brocade positioned in the enterprise technology world for 2016 and beyond?

You will hear us talk more about network as a platform as opposed to network as connectivity. In the last few years, we put a lot of investments (inorganic and organic) to build a technology stack for the customers to build innovative applications and services on top of our platform.

The 2008 acquisition of Foundry and then Vyatta in 2012 / 2013 was a conscious effort to lead the world of software networking. We also made a couple of acquisitions around mobile.

The big acquisition of Ruckus is a prized asset. This company, with its great technology and double digit growth, opens a big market for us to compete for the future. Many customers and channel partners in India know the Ruckus brand well. It is a leader in Wi-Fi tech as Brocade is in SAN, making the strategic alliance extremely compelling. Ruckus is strong in the public sector market in hospitality and stadiums and Brocade has good clients in corporate and service provider segment. There is a lot of synergy as we accelerate the growth on both sides.

We are a leading solution provider on 5G too. The future world will be all about edge computing, software defined everything and Wi-Fi, to name a few and we have all these assets to play there as well.

Transitioning from SAN to datacenter means you are competing with networking giants like Cisco. Why should companies work with Brocade?

We provide the enterprises and service providers an ability to build an infrastructure that is open and programmable. Whether wired or wireless access, we can provide it, whether the backbone is 100G or 400G. The competitors can catch up on these features, but what service providers and customers value the most is that they can build their own services and applications on top of our stack because of open API on every layer. They can take advantage of open API to program our infra and deliver value to their applications.


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