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Brocade: Data center is in hands of users

Proliferation of smart devices has led to users expecting the network to respond on demand, but existing network infrastructure not able to handle upcoming data traffic, says Brocade exec.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Thanks to cloud computing, users now have data centers in their hands through their portable devices. However, this adds on greater burden to the current network infrastructure, which was not built to handle such data flow, said a Brocade Communications executive.

In a briefing with ZDNet Asia, Gerald Penaflor, senior director, enterprise business Asia-Pacific at Brocade Communications, explained the company's vision of the "network as the data center" and how the network infrastructure currently in place is not scalable enough to sustain upcoming network traffic.

According to Penaflor, the move toward data center virtualization has allowed organizations to push services and applications--previously available only in data centers--to users by capitalizing on cloud computing.

Using their mobile smart devices, users are now able to access data and services any time, which is why Brocade sees the network as the data center, he explained. However, users also expect responses on demand, which puts pressure on the networks.

While the network architecture designed and built 20 years ago worked fine then, it is now at a bottleneck due to the increase in network demand, said Penaflor who compared the situation to flying an Airbus A380 using propellers.

The company's Brocade One strategy aims to solve this network challenge by simplifying the network architecture to allow for more efficient delivery.

Asked if customers in Asia-Pacific have different requirements compared with other regions, Penaflor said no, adding that the technology for Internet Protocol is the same worldwide.

Asia-Pacific is a significant contributor to Brocade's revenue due to the size of the region, said Penaflor, noting that the China and India markets will likely surpass Europe and the United States in the future.

He pointed to the Forrester Research Internet Population Forecast, which predicts that Internet users in the Asia-Pacific region will grow from 560.2 million subscribers in 2008 to 937.7 million subscribers in 2013. In contrast, North America and Europe will hit 287.3 million and 482.1 million subscribers, respectively, by 2013.

Brocade has 18 offices in Asia-Pacific and plans to open another four offices in the region. The company has about 400 staff in its regional offices, with another 550 working in research and development.

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