Brocade has taken on the role of converged infrastructure kingmaker by being the only vendor to pose a serious networking threat to Cisco.
Brocade, the largest storage networking vendor, became a significant force in IP networking with its $2.6 billion acquisition of Foundry Networks in late 2008.
With Cisco and HP both having their own networking technology, that leaves Brocade the primary networking partner for other top players in the converged infrastructure market including IBM, Dell, and HDS.
That also makes Brocade an often-rumored acquisition target. An acquisition of Brocade could mean a major scramble by some of its top partners for an alternative.