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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Brocade Anticipating The Perfect Storm For Malaysia

The storm is coming, that is how Gina Tan (Brocade's Regional Director for South East Asia) described it.


2011 was the year of cloud computing; it was the year when everybody began to embark full momentum into it, starting with Microsoft with launch of Windows Azure and followed by all major technology vendors around the world. It was the year of the big bang for cloud computing, with birth of all sorts of product offerings.

Brocade braced up to the challenge with the launches of Ethernet Fabric, Cloudplex Architecture and Campus-LAN.

As much as excitement which got many of us in the industry to become heated up and always wanting for more each day, 2011 was the year of marketing for cloud computing. Consumers are still adopting the wait-and-see approach.

Make no mistake that those marketing efforts are not working, it is working. The idea of cloud computing actually got off to a better start from bottom-up rather than top-down. What I mean by this is that consumers acting as individuals actually find cloud computing to have more values and excitement than enterprises themselves. The reason for this cannot be debated from a single angle perspective, chief amongst it is that enterprises are tasked with ever decreasing budget to combat the exploding needs of enterprise IT demands. Hence, enterprises must make it a point to reuse existing investment while attempting to adopt cloud computing whenever possible.

The acceptance of cloud computing by the individual consumers created a wave which has become what is known as consumerization of IT trend. This trend simply defines that individual end users are able to influence enterprise IT road-maps based on the availability of lower cost and greater adoption of common and powerful consumer applications, social media applications and powerful mobile gadgets with enough computing power to perform corporate assignment. What this means is that the enterprise IT industry is going down the road of having a greater merge with consumer IT industry, blurring the line of distinction.

Brocade is all ready for this storm, reassured Gina Tan. The technology is already available since 2011. The Ethernet Fabric (empowered by VCS Technology) presents a solution for cloud ready IP based networking.

The core idea of VCS technology for cloud optimized networks is that the network is now more software oriented than hardware oriented. By all means, this introduces the concept of platforms, intelligence and automated, ubiquitous and scalability which are now coined as Ethernet Fabric. In other words, Ethernet Fabric means Ethernet networking virtualization. It allows conventional 3-tier networking architecture (access, aggregation, core) to be flattened, presenting a lostless and fully meshed network architecture.

The Campus-LAN network not only defines effortless networking. The term 'campus' also represents vast, variety, freedom, fast, scalable and on-demand. It is powered by HyperEdge technology which caters for 1.) single point management and 2.) mix-and-match-stacking.

It is interesting to take note of the mix-and-match-stacking feature in which switch stacks can comprise of different switch models. By conventional approach, a switch stack can only be formed using similar switch model. This will give flexibility and options for consumers to adopt Ethernet Fabric without the need to rip-and-tear existing networking infrastructure.

17% of capex budgets goes into networking with 50% of opex budget goes into maintenance. Ethernet Fabric and Campus-LAN technology will bring about great cost saving for enterprises.

Brocade's global strategy is to focus on the healthcare and educational industries, Malaysia inclusive.

For Malaysia itself, Brocade announced appointment of new country manager, Sean Ong who is previously from Cisco Malaysia. According to Sean Ong, the immediate strategy for Malaysia is to intensify marketing efforts, recruit key partners and focus on education for partners by leveraging on the APN (Alliance Partner Network) program.

The APN provides benefits for partners in ways of 1.) enhanced deal registration rewards, 2.) incentives for purchase of demo units, 3.) joint marketing fund 4.) cooperation in terms of technical support.

In conjunction with that, Brocade also announced the appointment of SpringLab Distribution Sdn Bhd as the APN Distributor for Malaysia. SpringLab was founded almost 4 years ago. According to its Director Desmond Low, SpringLab has all the capability to design, deliver and support Brocade's technology. Under its roof, customers gained to benefits from the followings:


  • Certified engineer
  • Onsite support (for west and east Malaysia)
  • Response time up to 24 hours.
  • Resident support engineer
  • Contact center
  • Reporting tools.

For Malaysia scenario, besides consumerization of IT, the demands for green IT, virtualization and IPv6 adoption bring about the thunder and the wind. Sean Ong and SpringLab are both very optimistic of the road ahead. Brocade from the start, has always been leveraging on the first mover's advantage, presenting its IP-based networking technology as competent alternative for consumers to adopt advanced, cloud ready technology with greater penchant cost saving.

The storm is not just coming, it has arrived and heading towards Malaysian consumers and Brocade has the umbrella. To embrace such challenges, Sean Ong expressed optimism. The key is in marketing, partners and funding.

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