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If Brocade was running for higher office, the company’s rallying cry would be "It’s the backbone, stupid," much to the chagrin of the storage vendor’s competitors.  

That backbone is strengthened by Brocade’s latest product; the Brocade DCX Backbone, a networking product that is designed to vastly improve the operation of data center fabrics.

While the Brocade DCX Backbone proves to be a better mousetrap, the real news here is for the channel. Brocade is willing to go to great lengths to increase its market share and is turning to the channel to make that happen. The company’s new reseller programs, which go into effect in February, are targeting channel players to make sure that the first word out of their mouths is "Brocade," when it comes to the storage in the data center.

Brocade primarily makes its products available in two fashions, via OEMs or via channel distribution. The company has OEM agreements with IBM, Hewlett-Packard, EMC, Sun Microsystems, and Dell. VARs can purchase Brocade products via those OEMs, or VARs can use the more direct route of purchasing products through traditional distributors, such as Avnet, Arrow Electronics, Bell-Microproducts or TechData.

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With Brocade’s new channel programs, VARs can benefit from either partnering with OEMs or by selling Brocade products directly. For those choosing the OEM route, Brocade has come up with some channel benefits that should make VARs sit up and listen. Some of those benefits include deal registration, MDF, lead generation and training. For those dealing with OEM-based sales, that seems to be a rather unique offering.

Most manufactures using OEM distribution usually leave all of the channel details and deals to the OEMs and do not work directly with VARs. That truly indicates Brocade’s commitment to the channel and the manufacturer’s desire to take on the big players, such as Cisco Systems, in the data center storage arena.