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Interview with Swapna Bapat, Director, Systems Engineering, Brocade India

September 16, 2016
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In the face of changing industry dynamics, Brocade has come out with new solutions that will enable its customer organisations to drive on-business operations and eliminate performance bottlenecks. In an interview with tele.net, Swapna Bapat, director, systems engineering, Brocade India, talked about the trends that are driving digital transformation, the significance of and innovations in storage solutions, and Brocade’s new products for the Indian market...

What are the current trends in the Indian IT sector? Which technologies have seen the highest traction amongst enterprises?

Cloud adoption, including both public and private cloud services, is growing at a rate of more than 35 per cent. A hybrid arrangement that involves the hosting of non-critical applications on public cloud and critical applications on in-house cloud platforms is also prevalent in many enterprises. The adoption of this hybrid framework will further increase because of its flexibility in terms of burst-on-need and pay-on-need.

Another emerging trend is automation in data centres, which helps minimise human involvement in basic network upbringing as well as in dealing with basic issues. To this end, Brocade has come up with the workflow composer that allows automation of simple operations in the network like enabling mix configurations and resolving port down.

The third trend is the growing adoption of Wi-Fi by enterprises. The need to have a consistently available Wi-Fi connection has become as important as the need for oxygen. Another key trend is the increasing use of flash as a storage option in the storage area network space. Brocade has developed solutions to meet all these emerging requirements.

What are the latest offerings of Brocade in the Indian market?

The company has recently launched the industry’s first Gen 6 fibre channel directors for providing storage connectivity and business resiliency solutions to all-flash data centres. Besides ensuring a higher speed and the benefits of the 32 Gbps fibre channel, Gen 6 has high intelligence capability. Its fabric vision technology helps overcome the traditional limitations of network monitoring by introducing input-output (IO) insight, the industry’s only integrated network sensor that provides deeper visibility into the IO performance of storage infrastructure. The director also possesses the X6 extension blade that duplicates traffic through internet protocol over long distances in an encrypted and extremely efficient manner.

What have been the recent innovations in storage solutions? What are the benefits of fibre channel technology for storage networking?

The increasing need to gain faster access to storage is driving the adoption of flash storage solutions. Moreover, the price of the flash solid state drive has gone down considerably. However, large enterprises are still going for hybrid models (using flash with older technologies) because they are hesitant to adopt a new technology immediately and are also not sure whether flash will be able to meet all their needs. Going forward, the other major change that will occur in the storage space is the increased usage of non-volatile memory express in storage solutions. Fibre channel is the most reliable technology for storage and has a proven track record of about 20 years. It works on the credit-basis and acknowledgement-based protocol. Brocade has pioneered in this space.

What were the key driving factors behind Brocade’s acquisition of Ruckus? How will the move help the company?

Ruckus is a major player in the Wi-Fi space. Given the fact that adoption of Wi-Fi is bound to increase exponentially in the coming years, the acquisition will significantly help Brocade in leveraging the emerging opportunities in this space. Further Ruckus’s wireless products complete Brocade’s campus portfolio. Ruckus also has a very strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region and this will augur well for Brocade.

What is your outlook for the internet-of-things (IoT) and machine-to-machine technologies?

IoT is changing the way businesses are run. Companies like GE, ABB and Caterpillar are developing tools that convey information about the performance and maintenance needs of equipment. IoT has various applications in smart cities, smart health, etc. Ultimately, the information transmitted by IoT devices has to be processed using analytical tools and hence the growth in IoT will drive the growth of data centres.

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