Is Cisco Conceding the SAN Director Market to Brocade?

Is Cisco Conceding the SAN Director Market to Brocade?

Cisco Live Tells a Hidden Story

Cisco Live is a trade show and convention put on by Cisco every year for its customers and business partners. It features a grand hall called the World of Solutions where over 200 companies display software, services and products alongside Cisco’s entries as part of the Cisco ecosystem.

There is a keynote by the CEO that fills a large auditorium and second keynote by the CTO. There are talks by senior technical specialists on new products and apps; and, loads and loads of success stories. There is even a Big Ideas Theatre where speakers offer alternative ways to use and look at technology. My favorite, was a talk about El (not Al). A look at how technologists are training machines to measure the Emotional Intelligence of a human user at the time the human and machine interface.

A myriad of courses are available to network engineers leading to network certifications such as the top of the line Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert commonly referred to as CCIE.

Cisco Live is billed as a place to “…build the foundation for your digital future. Transform your outlook, your career, and your potential through learning direct from Cisco’s best and brightest.” And, of course, unlimited networking opportunities.

So what’s the point you might ask? To which I would remind you that Cisco is also in the SAN business. Its MDS products compete with Brocade SAN products and have done so for quite a while. According to industry statistics Brocade has 82.5% of the SAN market while Cisco has 17.5% of the SAN market. No other company has a perceptible share of the market.

Add to that, Cisco has just announced three new 32 Gbps SAN switches to augment its MDS product line:

  • the 32-port 32 Gbps Cisco MDS 9132-T
  • the 48-port 32 Gbps MDS 9148-T
  • the 96-port 32 Gbps 9363-T

Though still lagging Brocade by over a year in product development one would think Cisco Live would be the perfect venue to trumpet Cisco’s latest SAN accomplishment. But despite a room full of network engineers, Cisco enthusiasts, business partners and vendors there was no mention of the new SAN additions. Truth is I could only find the new SAN switch display with the help of two Cisco “Hall Ambassadors”, who cumulatively spent nearly 20 minutes finding the 32 Gbps SAN products. The display is shown on the right. Not even a wall tag to accompany it. Nothing to explain what the machines are and why they were significant. It was easy to overlook or miss entirely.

Perhaps with lagging product development and a lethargic effort Cisco has already conceded the SAN market to Brocade. In which case, Cisco SAN users who are contemplating moving to all flash should look very carefully at what Brocade has to offer these days.

For a realistic approach to Cisco MDS products give us a call at 201-934-7286. Or send us an email at Cisco@TeamKCI.com. Let us show you a path as the paradigm shifts from digital to all flash.


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