By David Gross
QLogic (QLGC), Emulex (ELX) and Brocade (BRCD) recently endorsed the forthcoming 16G, or FC-PI-5, standard under development by ANSI. While not unexpected, it was refreshing to see Emulex and Brocade in particular support stand-alone Fibre Channel's upgrade path, without the Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet nonsense both have been pushing the last two years.
SANs and LANs are not merging anywhere outside of PowerPoint presentations, and SAN managers continue to need vendors who have expertise in Fibre Channel and storage networks. While 8G Fibre Channel products are just starting to be deployed now, it seems SAN vendors are at least listening to customers who want to know how they will upgrade their networks in the future, not how they will “converge” them.
Brocade plans to have 16G Fibre Channel switches available next year. Still, I have to wonder how they'll maintain their market share in Fibre Channel as they continue on their misguided over-diversification into all things data networking. The press release they put out on 16G was filled with enough marketing gibberish to discourage any investor who thinks they might have turned a corner.
Some of the odd statements from the Brocade PR include :
“Brocade’s heritage is data center networking”
What??? Brocade's heritage is storage networking. No reason to run away from a segment they've dominated the last ten years to catch onto the flavor-of-the-month.
Then there was this...
“delivering unmatched simplicity in managing data-intensive applications, investment protection for existing SAN infrastructure and non-stop networking”
Non-stop networking, are they borrowing bad catch phrases now from HP? Also, if the products are so simple, why can't they described in plain English?