Cisco didn't get back to us in time for our story about Brocade blackening Cisco's green reputation, but Cisco did get a statement to us. Here it is:-
"Brocade is misleading customers in the way power and cooling should be considered. It is also misrepresenting the power consumption of the MDS 9513 and is not taking into account any of many features typically enabled in a SAN environment. SAN power consumption should be evaluated holistically and it can be further reduced by High Density Directors with advanced power reducing capabilities; Server, Fabric, and Storage Virtualization; or Integrated SAN Services such as SAN Extension, SAN Routing etc."
"MDS 9513 with its advanced capabilities enables more reductions in data center power, complexity, and the number of devices when compared to many products, such as Brocade 48K. It is also important to look at the power consumption over the product life-cycle rather than focusing on part of its life."
"ESG Lab has independently validated that MDS 9513-based SAN solutions are more power efficient when compared to a competitor in real-world designs. For a copy of the report please download from this link."
This link refers to a December, 2006 ESG report. The Brocade ESG Validation report is dated March 2007 and, would you believe it, the author is the same for both reports; ESG's Brian Garrett. Guess what Brian said about using Cisco directors? Wait for it:-
"The Cisco MDS 9000 solution consumes 66% less power than a competitive solution."
Do we get to know the competitor? Nope. But it's December 2006 and Brocade has bought McData and Qlogic doesn't make directors. So the competitor is Brocade or Brocade-owned McDATA gear.
Guess what Brian Garret said about the Cisco results in general?
"While ESG believes that the approach used to examine the total power requirements of the storage networking solutions presented in this report is valid, we recommend that IT and facilities managers work together with their suppliers to perform their own analysis based on their specific requirements. A number of factors can influence the results, including the FC ports to be deployed in the network and the extra equipment required for a total solution. Regardless, ESG is confident that consolidating as many services as possible onto the fewest number of platforms can be used to reduce power consumption in the data center effectively."
Here, as a reminder, is what he said about the Brocade results in general:-
"While ESG believes that the test results presented in this report are valid, we recommend that IT and facilities managers work together with their suppliers to perform their own analysis based on their specific requirements. A number of factors can influence the results, including the services to be deployed in a storage network and the servers and storage required for a total solution."
Um. I think we can see a bit of cut and pasting going on here.
What I see here is Cisco quoting an ESG report to say that Cisco SAN networking gear is greener than Brocade's, and Brocade quoting a subsequent ESG report saying Brocade SAN networking gear is greener than Cisco's.
So what does ESG think about the relative power-saving merits of Cisco and Brocade directors? Beats me. If you do find out be sure to let me know.
See ESG statement on its two reports.