2012: The year software-defined networking sold out

Companies spent roughly $1.6 billion buying networking startups in 2012 with one deal being responsible for the lion’s share of that total. Yet, even if VMware hadn’t purchased Nicira for $1.26 billion, networking deals and software-defined networking deals in particular, were red hot in 2012.

How Vyatta buy helps Brocade in a software-defined world

Brocade, the switch company, is buying Vyatta, a company that pioneered the idea of open-source routing software, in a bid to compete in the networking world as software-defined networking severs the link between networking software and the box that it sits on.

Brocade’s SDN vision sheds some light on OpenFlow’s evolution

Brocade joined the parade of vendors, large and small, trumpeting their software defined networking strategies. The company laid out a strategy that offers a Brocade-specific fabric as well as an ability to operate an OpenFlow network simultaneously with an existing network.

The new iPad has CIOs quaking in their cubicles

It has become increasingly clear to corporations that their networks can’t handle the many devices that employees are bringing into their offices. And this iPad has more elements that could make it a hit in the enterprise, such as a higher-resolution screen for video.

HP Buys 3Com to Play Cisco’s Server Game

hplogoUpdated: HP (s hpq) said today that it plans to buy router and switching gear maker 3Com (s coms) for $2.7 billion — a deal that seeks to put HP on better competitive footing against Cisco (s csco) and its server efforts. HP and the rest of the computing industry have struggled to come up with an answer to what Cisco calls unified computing systems, which combine servers and networking into one box, and in doing so have tended to lean on partnerships with networking providers such as Brocade (s brcd) and Juniper (s jnpr).
With its No. 2 line of Pro Curve networking gear, HP  was seen by the industry as being in the best position to compete, so this deal looks like an admission from HP that it has some holes in its networking portfolio that Cisco could exploit.  The boards of both companies have approved the deal. HP will pay $7.90 per share in cash for 3Com. My question is: Why didn’t it buy Brocade?
Update: Cisco has posted a comment in response to the deal, basically saying that HP is welcome to follow its industry leadership in unified computing.
Update2: Dan Primack over at peHUB has raised some legitimate questions about the price HP paid, and noted how 3Com’s stock has been steadily rising in the last couple of weeks. He pulled some Bloomberg data that shows how trading volume shot up today before the deal was announced, leading him and other blogs to suspect insider trading may be at work.

Dell Plays the Networking Field With Juniper Deal

datacenterDell (s dell) today said it’s agreed to resell gear from Juniper Networks (s jnpr) as the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker attempts to fill the networking hole in its product line. It signed a similar agreement with Brocade in August in the face of an onslaught of competition around unified computing systems (UCS) ignited by Cisco’s (s csco) launch of its own brand of servers in the spring. HP (s hpq), with its line of networking gear, is similarly forcing Dell to think outside the server box. Read More about Dell Plays the Networking Field With Juniper Deal

Is Networking Gear the Last Stand Against Commoditization in the Data Center?

datacenterBrocade’s hanging of a “for sale” sign shines the spotlight on the one area of cloud and enterprise expansion that up until now has been largely overlooked: the network. Pick your model — cloud or enterprise — and it’s clear that while the list of server vendors is long, the single-source networking choices are few and far between. And as both cloud and enterprise markets move to commodity architectures that stress scale-out server approaches using IP and Ethernet networking, the importance of robust networking infrastructure becomes even greater. In the face of this transformation, will networking remain the last piece of the data center puzzle in which brand names still matter? Read More about Is Networking Gear the Last Stand Against Commoditization in the Data Center?

Who Will Buy Brocade?

Brocade logoBrocade (s brcd), which makes switches and storage networking gear that connect servers to the storage and communications networks inside data centers, has put itself up for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. Such a move makes sense as the worlds of networking and servers converge in what we’ve dubbed comm-puting and others refer to as unified computing systems and unified network fabrics (see our GigaOM Pro report on the topic, sub required). Brocade may think it’s worth more as part of a unified comm-puting effort than alone as a purveyor of storage and networking gear. So if someone does buy Brocade, who might that be ? Read More about Who Will Buy Brocade?