Brocade Certification Program Discontinued

The old saying "Hindsight is always 20-20" came to mind as I started poking around the Broadcom/Brocade certification program pages earlier this week. I had reached out to Brocade Education to update a story on the company's certifications, after observing that the online cert presence has been unchanged (and apparently untouched) since 2016:


The Brocade University certification program has been inactive for some time.

Source: Brocade University Home Page


If you look at what shows up for the home page for Brocade University right now, you'll see the most recent posting goes back to March 2016, more than two years ago. If you look for signs of activity around Brocade University with dates in 2017 you'll find only a few items, and nothing for 2018 at all.


Further inspection revealed that Brocade was acquired by Broadcom in November of last year (Reuters). More recent news reports indicate job cuts of around 1,100 positions in the wake of the merger (ZDNet, June 15, 2018) with more cuts possibly still in the offing.


This prompted a query to Brocade Education through its e-mail inbox at that requested clarification on the current state and status of the Broadcom certification program, which included 5 certification levels (Associate, Professional, Expert, Master, and Distinguished Master) across six technology areas (Ethernet Fabric IP, IP, IP Storage Networking, Mainframe Storage Networking, SAN, and Software Networking).


The site remains a bit of a mishmash, and it wasn't possible to determine which, if any, of those credentials, plus related courses and exams, remain available. Here's the reply we received from the selfsame inbox (which included no contact information for the representative, named "Paul," who signed the response):


"... [I]ndeed Broadcom has retired the certification program so we no longer offer exams, accreditations, certifications or instructor-led training for that matter. We now only offer free web-based courses for Fibre Channel Storage Area Networking products and technologies."


That's a short and ignominious end to what had been an interesting and active certification program. To the best of my knowledge, in fact, Brocade was the first company to offer a real SDN certification.


I reported on this for TechTarget back in January 2014, in a story titled "Brocade SDN certification: What to know about its product credentials." I also mentioned this in a February 2015 story for GoCertify, "SDN Certifications: Still More Talk Than Action."


The Brocade program's retirement comes as something of an unpleasant surprise, but it also reinforces the notion that the only constant in the IT business is change, change, change. Though not all changes are for the good, change is nevertheless inescapable.


You can still find entries under the Brocade Education pages on the Broadcom site, but you'll find it hard to actually access or sign up for anything other than online video offerings. Sigh.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.