Brocade's Klayko sees long path to cloud


This is going to take a decade. Guys that I deal with in the largest data centers in the world, we're talking about things that they're implementing three years from now. That three-year architecture is going to last for another five, seven or 10 years.

IDG: Brocade voiced strong support for Fibre Channel today while also talking about unified fabrics. Is it possible to embrace both?

Klayko: There's a lot of money invested in Fibre Channel. It works really well. All that customers want, really, is the ability to have flexibility going forward. I don't care which protocol is underneath, if it's Fibre Channel or FCOE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet] or iSCSI [Internet Small Computer System Interface] or NAS [network-attached storage] or Ethernet. It doesn't matter. We have to build that technology that allows that customer the choice. What's going to happen is, over any period of time, someone's going to go through some type of change, they're going to acquire somebody, they're going to divest, they're going to build a new data center, and at that time they're going to make a different architectural decision. [We] give them the tools to do it.

Right now, when you look at virtualization, and you need this shared storage environment underneath it, it's mostly Fibre Channel. Virtualization's not going away. You're going to need more shared storage, which means you're still going to have the need for Fibre Channel no matter what. For us and our development teams, we don't have religion anymore. Today, when you look at the storage providers who build the subsystems, their highest-performing products are all block storage products. You look at some of the emerging guys who are growing fast, like NetApp and Hitachi, their highest-performing is NAS. Perfect. Let them grow. I'm that ultimate Rosetta Stone that sits in between them to make sure that that seamlessly works.

Storage is hard. The ability to move 500 VMs with 10TB of storage and keep it all locked together, is hard. And I think there are only going to be a couple of us able to do it. Everybody needs choice, competition's good. I like our chances because, if you understand the storage side, you have a better chance of winning than [if you understood] the server side.