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Interview: Brocade's new MD lays out SDN strategy

Brian Karlovsky | Oct. 23, 2014
Former Polycom MD, Gary Denman, looks to expand software channel in Australia.

Brocade's new managing director, Gary Denman, is attempting to expand the company's software channel through software-defined networking in a traditionally a hardware-based business.

The former Polycom managing director, who has been with the company four months, believes SDN will play an increasingly important role in Brocade's business and has laid out the company's open source SDN strategy.

This follows the release of the Vyatta SDN controller recently, which followed the Vyatta platform announcement in June.

The Vyatta controller is built continuously from the OpenDaylight Project, a community-led open source initiative aimed at accelerating the adoption of SDN and Network Functions Virtualization in order to provide levels of agility and efficiency not possible in traditional IP networking.

The controller also offers extensive options in how customers develop or source applications.

It provides a stable open source development platform for organisations and commercial third-party developers, with complete portability to any OpenDaylight-based controller.

With direct access to the controller code and the support of leading developers from Brocade and its peers across the OpenDaylight community, customers can accelerate application and feature development by leveraging the community and independent developers, while retaining full intellectual property rights.

Denman, who brings considerable software knowledge into the business, told ARN the controller release was the third piece of the puzzle, but there were many more to come.

"It's an evolutionary approach," he said. "In the two to three months we have seen a rapid increase in the seriousness that people are taking around understanding the suitability the technology to their needs," he said.

"The datacentre is really where this technology is going to be adopted and therefore you have two classifications right now.

"You have the datacentre provider/Cloud service provider and then you have got the larger enterprises, who are going to retain their dev centre.

He said there was a huge amount of interest among the two groups.

"They are still very much in the exploratory phase," he said.

"The controller is very much a piece that will give everybody an impetus to move forward. They have looked at the network function virtualisation and said 'that's great, it works as a router, now how do I bring that into my environment'.

"It's absolutely a transition. It's not one or the other it's the two together."

Denman said this brought the need for a whole new skill set among partners.

"We are introducing software, so the traditional networking partner was very much a hardware networking, datacentre, hard provisioning partner, if you like.

"Whereas now it's going to be integration and development and a whole range of skills that we are looking at thinking 'wow! where are you going to find that skill set'."


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