Brocade is seeing Software-Defined Networking (SDN) shake up a networking industry that has been mostly static.
Asia-Pacific software networking business development director, Benjamin Hickey, said the IT world has changed due to the massive amounts of data being generation, as well as the shift towards mobile, Cloud and server virtualisation.
Yet in the context of all of this, Hickey said the network as a technology has not really changed over that time.
As for why networking has not undergone a significant change, Hickey points to the structured nature of the market.
"You don't have to look too far to see the market has been fairly consistent in terms of the number of competitors over the last decade or two," he said.
"The space has been dominated by a few large competitors in a pecking order that hasn't really changed."
Time for change
In a market controlled by large vendors, Hickey said things remained static due to the existence of a status quo.
"That's why we haven't seen that change, but it is changing now with SDN," he said.
Hickey adds the drive towards software-defined is not something new, as it has already been observed in other spaces.
An example Hickey points to is the server market and how it shifted away from mainframes.
"As things mature in the IT industry, they tend to decouple, and the reason they tend to do that is for business benefits," he said.
As part of that decoupling, Hickey said "abstraction layers" get built in and people are able to simplify the problems they focus on.
"The benefit that comes from that is this explosion in innovation, and that's what we're seeing with networking now," he said.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.