Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Brocade Wants to Kill Your Cloud Buzz

CMO's Cranky, Contrarian Keynote Counsels Cautious Course To Cloud Computing

Providing a remarkable contrast to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's exuberant "I got your big honkin' cloud right here" demonstration of his new vertically-integrated Exalogic Elastic Cloud server at OpenWorld, Brocade CMO John McHugh, speaking  at the NetEvents 2010 EMEA Press Summit in Istanbul, took a different, decidedly downbeat view of cloud computing, calling it "overhyped" and predicting that it "is going to get adopted and embraced much more slowly than people believe."

In his talk, which was subtitles, an industry visionary seeks gold amongst the chaos of change, McHugh, rated by Network World among its "top 50 most powerful people in networking", predicted that the realization of public and hybrid cloud computing is "probably 10 years or more away" and counseled IT people to, in the meantime, "work with one provider to develop a customized private cloud [but] inside a metal cage."

Now, given Brocade's current position as a premier provider of data center networking and storage technology, that is hardly surprising advice for him to give. But, while contrarian views are to be expected in relation to any topic accorded as much adulation as is cloud computing, the thoroughness of McHugh's gainsaying is nonetheless surprising.

Making sure that nobody would mistake him for a cloud cheerleader, he went on to say, "Virtualization is driving new models for application deployment and IT in general.  Unfortunately, the existing networking infrastructure is incapable of managing the associated complexity of wide-spread deployments of virtual machines."

McHugh's remarks are particularly notable, coming as they do less than a week after a brief surge of speculation on the prospect of Brocade being acquired by any of several cloud-strong companies.  One was IBM, which doesn't want to get into the SAN business.  Another was Juniper, whose "network operating system" strategy is highly incompatible with Brocade's world view.  And, as a long shot, Oracle was also on the list in consideration of its taste for troubled companies with good technology and Sun's relative weakness in networking equipment, but its path to vertical in-cabinet integration seems askew with Brocade costly component assortment.  The Brocade CMO's statements seem like a staunch defense of the very things that made all its prospective suitors bail.  Or, maybe there just isn't enough lipstick in the world.

Or, maybe it was just a case of sour grapes, as McHugh's rueful comments about the trend of consolidation in the networking industry suggest.  He was probably talking about HP and its recent purchase of 3Com, but he could just as easily have been making a more nuanced point about Oracle's fusion of processors and interconnects in the Exalogic cloud-in-a-box or Cisco's grafting together of servers and switches in its Unified Computing System.

In any case, all of these and many more come quickly to mind when McHugh says, "Over the past two decades in networking, the companies that have excelled are those that have focused almost exclusively on networking solutions, like Brocade does today. Companies that are trying to sell networking as an accessory to servers, or IT solutions have failed to provide customers with the flexibility and economies they need."  Yow, that sounds downright Amish.

By now, any cloud booster left in the room was surely ready to molt like a diamondback from sheer frustration, but McHugh had one more dreary dictum to dispense.  Apparently speaking for the entire industry, he declared, "We just don't [at this time] have technical, legal and security [capability] to engage fully with cloud."

Mr. McHugh and his and his Brocade colleagues should read the just-released Comp TIA survey of end-user organizations, "Cloud Computing: Pulling Back the Curtain", which presents a far more convivial near-term outlook for cloud computing, including:

  • 72% of end-user organizations plan to expand the number and types of cloud computing services they use in the next 12 months
  • 64% plan to increase their investment in cloud solutions in the coming year
  • More than half of IT channel organizations plan to boost their investment in cloud solutions in the next 12 months
  • Customers perceive the benefits of cloud computing as reduced capital expense (85%), lower operating cost (84%), and new capabilities (81%)

McHugh's views seem to accurately reflect Brocade's cautious collective consciousness, which seems to see cloud computing as a potentially perilous quest which should take ten years - "Evolution Without Revolution" is their phrase for what they see as the correct approach to cloud computing.

Meanwhile, competition from cloud-crazy and wildly successful Cisco crushes their margins, one cloud-focused suitor after another passes them over, even for less attractive prospects, one telecom giant after another builds out public cloud infrastructure at a feverish pace using their competitors' products, their customers beg to be told how to do cloud computing, and the only thing that moves their stock is a rumor of acquisition by one or another cloud-focused company.  Brocade, lay down the hammer and let's look after that head wound, please!

If Brocade simply couldn't lay any credible claim in the cloudosphere, all of this might be understandable, but such is not the case.  With their existing portfolio, and perhaps a few tactical acquisitions, Brocade could be all about the private cloud, in positioning and reality.  And yet, they eschew and demur.  It may be time for a few large institutional shareholders to slap the board around a little before the shorts start their slow circling descent, if they haven't already.

More Stories By Tim Negris

Tim Negris is SVP, Marketing & Sales at Yottamine Analytics, a pioneering Big Data machine learning software company. He occasionally authors software industry news analysis and insights on Ulitzer.com, is a 25-year technology industry veteran with expertise in software development, database, networking, social media, cloud computing, mobile apps, analytics, and other enabling technologies.

He is recognized for ability to rapidly translate complex technical information and concepts into compelling, actionable knowledge. He is also widely credited with coining the term and co-developing the concept of the “Thin Client” computing model while working for Larry Ellison in the early days of Oracle.

Tim has also held a variety of executive and consulting roles in a numerous start-ups, and several established companies, including Sybase, Oracle, HP, Dell, and IBM. He is a frequent contributor to a number of publications and sites, focusing on technologies and their applications, and has written a number of advanced software applications for social media, video streaming, and music education.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Latest Stories
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Imagine having the ability to leverage all of your current technology and to be able to compose it into one resource pool. Now imagine, as your business grows, not having to deploy a complete new appliance to scale your infrastructure. Also imagine a true multi-cloud capability that allows live migration without any modification between cloud environments regardless of whether that cloud is your private cloud or your public AWS, Azure or Google instance. Now think of a world that is not locked i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and atten...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to m...
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.