Brocade Pokes Cisco in the Eye, Switches for IBM

nullCisco Systems’ (s CSCO) decision to launch servers targeting the data center market has turned its allies against the company. To date, the biggest beneficiary of the Cisco-server blowback has been Juniper Networks (s JNPR) — now Brocade Communications (s BRCD) is now moving to take advantage of it as well. IBM, which already sells certain Brocade storage networking products, will now rebrand and sell Brocade switches under the IBM brand. Brocade, when it acquired Foundry Networks, gained a portfolio of IP switches; the IBM deal includes products that range from 10 GB switches to top-of-the-rack switching devices.

IBM-Brocade Deal Facts
  • IBM will rebrand and sell Brocade’s enterprise IP networking products
  • NetIron MLX Series, NetIron CES 2000 Series and FastIron SuperX Family to be rebranded.
  • Available through IBM in May 2009

Brocade already has storage partnership with HP (s HPQ), which also used to resell Foundry switches. With this new IBM partnership, Brocade suddenly is looking at an even healthier future. “From a dollar point of view it is hard to tell how big this deal is going to be, but for us having IBM as a partner is a big boost,” Marc Randall, a senior VP at Brocade, told us. “For now the products are focused on the data centers, but our Ethernet IP products can also play a big role in the campus environment.”

Randall wouldn’t specifically name Cisco but he did take a subtle jab at the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant: “Customers are looking for choices and in Cisco’s environment, there isn’t much of a choice. Everything is from Cisco.”

Mark Sue, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, in a recent note to clients wrote of Brocade: “The company may now be well positioned to meet and potentially exceed our earnings estimate for the full year. Expanding OEM opportunities on the Ethernet side with IBM and re-established ties with HP may further enhance our earnings outlook.” (Related Posts: How HP can fight Cisco & Win; Cisco’s Data Center moves to spark M&A)