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Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. Message Board

  • la_cossack la_cossack Feb 13, 2001 11:20 AM Flag

    Kumar is Krazy..

    10:26AM Brocade Communications (BRCD) 62 7/8 -1/8: Shareholders of Brocade will no doubt remember May 22, 2000. That was when USB Piper Jaffray analyst Ashok Kumar downgraded Brocade, with his primary rationale being that the Fibre Channel (FC) standard would eventually lose the standards battle in storage area networks (SANs). Kumar cited privately held Nishan Systems as the company which would push storage over IP (SoIP) to the forefront of SAN technology, displacing FC and companies like Brocade whose products are based on the FC standard in the process. has interviewed Brocade CEO Greg Reyes on several occasions since that SoIP threat to Brocade was first reported, and on every occasion he has made two claims in Brocade's defense. First, with its dominant position in the SAN switch market, Brocade could adjust if the technology ever shifted away from FC. And second, he didn't see Nishan's SoIP efforts as competitive; they would extend the reach of FC, rather than replace it. While we are not convinced that Brocade could easily weather a move away from FC, Reyes' second point about SoIP and FC being complementary is looking quite prescient. Nishan has been a relatively secretive start-up, making the SoIP claims tough to analyze. But in a joint press release from Nishan and FC-based host bus adapter maker JNI (JNIC) today, Reyes's claims about SoIP are pretty much confirmed. That press release announced an agreement between Nishan and JNIC -- that alone tells you that Nishan is not seen as the death of FC by at least one key player, as JNIC depends on FC just as Brocade does. The press release goes on to state that "JNI and Nishan Systems see deployment of a FC/SoIP solution as the ideal answer for linking a customer's SANs across regional, national or global operations." Back on May 22 when Kumar downgraded Brocade, Nishan issued a press release claiming that it would "revolutionize the SAN market by creating a complete end-to-end solution based on the proven networking standards IP and Gigabit Ethernet." Now Nishan sees an FC/SoIP solution as ideal. We haven't heard from Kumar yet, but it appears that Nishan is shifting from being an FC-killer to being an FC-supporter. Given that this threat to FC was a key concern for a highly-valued Brocade, the apparent victory for FC is a victory for Brocade. In the wake of the Emulex (EMLX) warning, short-term concerns about the SAN market remain. But at least one key long-term concern for Brocade appears to be fading. - Greg Jones,

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