Brocade Expands Partnerships for Converged Networks

The company, which already works with HP's Aruba business, is now adding Aerohive and Ruckus as partners in wired-wireless offerings.


Brocade is adding Aerohive Networks and Ruckus Wireless as partners in an effort to offer enterprises tightly integrated wired and wireless solutions for their campus networks.

Brocade first partnered with Aruba Networks—now part of Hewlett-Packard—in 2013 to jointly develop a converged networking offering for campus environments that are dealing with the growth in the number of devices that are accessing the networks and the demand for more speed. The companies also wanted to offer an alternative to Cisco Systems' single-vendor solutions.

Now Brocade is bringing Aerohive and Ruckus into its newly formed Open Mobility Solutions Program to ensure that their wireless LAN (WLAN) products perform well on Brocade's wired network infrastructure and will be able to support new technologies, such as software-defined networking (SDN).

It also offers Brocade customers a choice of wireless vendors that will run atop their wired networks, according to company officials.

"Brocade pioneered this approach with Aruba Networks based on an open and interoperable framework, and our Open Mobility Solutions Program is now ready to expand to a broader set of partners," Jason Nolet, senior vice president of the Switching, Routing and Analytics Products Group at Brocade, said in a statement. Through the partnerships with Aruba, Aerohive and Ruckus, "we can provide unique added value to our customers—a combined solution with a consistent experience across the wired and wireless networks."

Brocade is among a growing number of wired networking vendors that are partnering with wireless counterparts to offer enterprises a converged networking solution. HP bought Aruba earlier this year for $2.7 billion to create a top-tier alternative to Cisco.

"The market is looking for an alternative to the incumbent," HP CEO Meg Whitman said in March during Aruba's user conference.

Extreme Networks made a similar move in 2013 when it bought Enterasys Networks and its wireless technology for about $180 million. Juniper last year launched its Open Converged Framework through which it can offer enterprises best-of-breed networking technologies. Juniper initially brought Ruckus and Aruba into the program, and earlier this month announced that Aerohive also was joining the effort.

In Brocade's Open Mobility Solutions Program, the company integrates its ICX networking switches with the partners' wireless technologies. The joint offerings are tested for interoperability, and the integration gives customers unified management and security of their wired and wireless networks. The two companies also offer unified technical support through a single point of contact, Brocade officials said.

The company will jointly engineer solutions with Aruba, Aerohive and Ruckus around management tools and security policies for the converged networks. In addition, the joint products will be offered through Brocade's network subscription program, which gives customers flexible financing options.