Muddying the market somewhat is the potential sale of Avaya’s networking business by private equity firm Silver Lake. There could be an opportunity to combine these businesses, Kerravala notes.
Kindness also worries about the overall market for networking equipment. Data center networking sales haven’t been growing in recent quarters as more and more workloads move to hyperscale cloud data centers, he says. It’s imperative for networking vendors to find a differentiator. Brocade has pinned those hopes on integrating its equipment with the open source Open Daylight controller, and attempting to take advantage of the huge increase in network traffic thanks to the Internet of Things.
Kerravala is slightly more optimistic. “The commoditization of the network is overplayed,” he explains. “There are certainly changing trends in business between the cloud and mobility, but it’s still all reliant on networking. Networking vendors need to be able to add value to these new computing models.” Broadcom will be looking for a suitor wiling to do that with Brocade’s products.
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