Brocade aims to FAN out competition

Storage vendor wants to be market leader for file area network, an emerging methodology for managing file data.

SINGAPORE--Storage area networking (SAN) vendor Brocade Communications Systems is eyeing to grab a major stake in the emerging file area network (FAN) market.

"We want companies to think of Brocade when they think of FAN," said Gerald Penaflor, the company's regional sales director for South Asia-Pacific and Korea, in an interview with ZDNet Asia.

A FAN integrates hardware, software and services to organize and route file data or unstructured data stored within a file system, such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint documents. The new storage methodology is tipped to help businesses cost-effectively manage data networks, consolidate data and improve data connectivity.

By extending its business to include FAN, the vendor expects to enlarge its total addressable market (TAM) to US$5.4 billion, from the US$1.8 billion SAN market.

Penaflor said that in addition to product offerings unveiled in June this year, such as its flagship StorageX and Tapestry WAFS, the company is also actively educating the market on FAN and the benefits the emerging storage architecture can provide.

He added that early adopters could include government agencies, banks, telcos and manufacturing companies.

According to the Dell'Oro Group, Brocade currently dominates the worldwide US$383 million SAN market, garnering a 48.5 percent market share in the second quarter of this year.

Other players in the FAN market include data storage specialists EMC, which last month released file-management software Infoscape, and Network Appliance (NetApp), which OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) the technology from Brocade.

In August, Brocade unveiled plans to buy switch maker McData for US$713 million, during which the company's vice president of marketing Tom Buiocchi, also underscored the market opportunities in FAN.