Brocade Offers Subscription Plans for Network Gear

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Seeking to capitalize on interest in the usage-based pricing models seen in cloud computing, Brocade today introduced a subscription-based option for acquiring network infrastructure equipment. The Brocade Network Subscription offers a new way for its customers to procure network capacity, allowing them to shift hardware costs from up-front capital expenditures to the operating budget.

Brocade says the new approach is ideal for cloud computing, in which capacity demands may fluctuate on a regular basis. An early adopter is Rackspace Hosting, one of the leading providers in the cloud services arena with more than 140,000 customers.

“Brocade Network Subscription perfectly aligns to our business model as it provides networking capabilities on a metered basis, as we need them, very much in the same way our customers utilize our own services,” said Paul Rad, vice president of Technology & Private Cloud at Rackspace. “The pay-as-you go model reduces our capital outlay so we can invest in other growth areas of our business.”

Flexibility in Acquiring Equipment

Brocade emphasizes that the new offering is not a lease, but an actual subscription in which customers pay for their network infrastructure on a monthly basis, allowing them to align network capacity with actual usage. The subscription structure gives customers more flexibility in refreshing network technology outside of traditional purchase cycles, and also provides the ability to scale down as well as up – an option that may be of particular interest to service providers seeking to manage customer churn.

“CSC will add Brocade Network Subscription as a new cloud and managed hosting service solution,” said Nick Wilkinson, president of Market & Product Strategy, Managed Services Sector at CSC. “Working with Brocade helps us to be more responsive to our customers’ IT requirements. Customer business infrastructure requirements demand immediate change through such events as merger and acquisition activity, season-based capacity requirements, and business activities such as cloud-based test and development of new software applications. CSC now has unprecedented flexibility to cost-effectively right-size the networking solutions we provide to our customers with OpEx billing that is consistent with our other cloud commercial terms.”

Brocade Network Subscription is now available for Brocade IP/Ethernet networking solutions, including the Brocade VDX  family, either through Brocade or its partners and system integrators.

Slashing Upfront Costs

“With Brocade Network Subscription, customers can turn on vast amounts of networking capacity, from high-end routers to wiring closet switches, without any upfront capital costs,” said John McHugh, CMO of Brocade. “The monthly subscription is a small portion of what the purchase costs have been historically. Just like application virtualization, this innovative approach allows organizations to acquire network capacity with little risk, while helping them scale up and scale down in line with their month-to-month needs.”

Analysts say the Brocade offering fills a need for many customers.

“The challenge facing IT organizations today is that new technologies, such as cloud computing, are coming to the fore and are making it much more difficult to project and predict workloads,” said said Joe Pucciarelli, Program Director of Technology Financial and Executive Strategies at IDC. “A flexible acquisition option like Brocade Network Subscription enables organizations to add and reconfigure resources in a much more compacted time frame.”

Here’s a video from Brocade in which Rackspace Hosting executives discuss the program’s benefits:

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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