September 01, 2010, 9:01 PM — Brocade will soon unveil 100Gbps Ethernet additions to its switching and routing product line, in what the company claims is its most significant Ethernet/IP product rollout since acquiring Foundry Networks in 2008.
The new products could include a 32-port 100Gbps Ethernet router previewed at Brocade's technology day conference in New York in June. It could also include a chassis-based core data center switch mentioned at the same conference.
Brocade would not confirm these possibilities. But in an e-mail prelude to the announcement, the company said it has "industry altering news regarding 100Gigabit Ethernet and several other significant developments" for service provider and data center networks. In the e-mail, the company said it will provide 100G Ethernet per port pricing, "ultra high density" chassis-based routers, and "competitively-priced" 100Gb Ethernet blades for carrier platforms.
"This announcement also marks Brocade's most significant networking platform development as a result of acquiring Foundry Networks to address a $30 billion addressable market," the e-mail states.
Brocade has been struggling with Foundry. The company just reported fiscal third quarter results that saw Ethernet/IP sales dip 5% from the second quarter, while the rest of the industry either grew very slightly or remained flat. Brocade also acknowledged missteps in its Ethernet/IP go-to-market strategy as reasons behind a significant drop-off in sales in the first quarter.
The company rebounded a bit in second quarter Ethernet/IP sales, but the third quarter saw that 5% dip.
"100G is important for Brocade," says Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala. "Foundry was known as an innovator in the space but Brocade had fallen a little bit behind. This [announcement] is important to maintain its position as an innovator."
At the June technology conference, Brocade said it planned to trial later this year what it claims will be the highest density -- 32 ports -- 100G Ethernet router in the industry. Several service providers were ready to place orders for the system, Ken Cheng, vice president and general manager of Brocade's IP Products division, said at the time.