Brocade Launches ICX Switch Series, Partner Program Changes

The VAR Guy

March 6, 2012

3 Min Read
Brocade Launches ICX Switch Series, Partner Program Changes

In the world of network appliances, Brocade is looking to stand out head and shoulders above the rest, thanks to a new partner program flanked by a new set of networking switches. The VAR Guy spoke to Barbara Spicek, Brocade’s VP of global channels, about the new partner program and got a quick look the future of Brocade. Read on and get informed …

First up, our resident blogger presents the brand new Brocade “Effortless Network” LAN switches: The ICX 6430 and 6450, outfitted with HyperEdge technology and a list of advanced LAN switching and stacking capabilities. But you’re probably wondering, just what is the Effortless Network? According to Brocade, it’s the company’s ongoing goal of creating switching products that allow for simplified automation, enterprise-class features and ease of scalability across the campus LAN (that is, LAN technology across en entire company or, yes, a campus environment.) Brocade’s HyperEdge technology is part of that Effortless Network portfolio, but HyperEdge technology also includes features that make it easier for mobile devices to join the network and adapt to traffic for unified communications, virtualization and security needs.

The Brocade ICX 6430 and 6450 both feature “single-point management” capabilities, which allow the ICX boxes to mix and match with other edge switches that can then “inherit all of the feature richness of the premium switches in the stack,” according to Brocade. Simply put, ICX units with HyperEdge technology allow for one single device to manage an entire switching layer.

Great! The VAR Guy loves a good technical overview. But what about the partners? Spicek said with the new switches and Effortless Network capabilities come new channel incentives, including additional registration bonuses when selling ICX switches, demo programs with loaner equipment for sales or lab tests, and “a major channel seeding initiative that enables partners to ‘test drive’ the products.” Nifty. The Brocade Alliance Partner Network also now can offer its partners low-to-no-cost training that covers nearly all of Brocade’s portfolio, plus a new training site dubbed “MyBrocade.”

For a little more color, Spicek was happy to oblige:

“[Brocade is] really introducing leading edge and aggressive campus technology [and] we’re making a pretty aggressive push [with] attractive channel programs alongside,” she said. And just how aggressive? Spicek said partners already are fired up, noting more than 2,000 channel partners have registered for a webinar that includes the virtual launch of the ICX product. Additionally, the new training portal, which includes a new campus certification online, will deepen the amount of free enablement training channel partners have access to, she said.

So why Brocade and why now? “It’s very important [channel partners] have companies innovating with technology to bring to their customer, [while] tying programs and strategies around it. It’s a compelling value proposition,” Spicek said, stressing that Brocade is looking forward to attacking new networking opportunities with its partners as they continue to innovate on the networking scene.

Hmmm. Our resident blogger thinks Brocade is looking to take a bite out of HP and Cisco Systems where it can. Meanwhile, if you can’t wait to get involved, all the new partner program enhancements are available today along with Brocade’s switches. The new duo, the ICX 6430 and 6450, start at $1,295.

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