Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD), the leader in data center fabric networking solutions, today announced advancements to the Brocade® VCS® fabric portfolio that are designed to significantly improve IT agility and help customers migrate to the New IP. These solutions enable efficient, automated, scale-out network architectures with new, advanced programmability and orchestration to deliver network resources on demand.
New innovations to the VCS fabric portfolio include the Brocade VDX 6940, the industry’s highest-density fixed form factor switch, which is designed for dynamic, scale-out data center architectures. To facilitate rapid deployment, the switch supports Zero-Touch Provisioning capabilities, enabling it to be configured and operational in less than one minute. Unlike traditional networks where each switch is managed individually, the Brocade VDX 6940 allows customers to scale out the network without adding operational complexity. Utilizing Brocade VCS Logical Chassis capabilities, customers can manage up to 48 switches as a single logical switch.
The automated approach to Brocade VDX switch deployment and operations extends beyond native VCS capabilities. Customers can seamlessly integrate a Brocade VDX network infrastructure with the rest of their data center ecosystem through advanced programmability, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and virtualization support, cloud orchestration, and DevOps integration. As a result, customers can operate their data centers more holistically, accelerate innovation and ensure that network resources are readily available and automatically provisioned as new services are deployed.
“SDN is enabling network infrastructure to deliver capabilities such as automated provisioning, programmatic management, service chaining, and integration with cloud orchestration, which is helping the network overcome long-standing limitations that made it an inhibitor to business agility, IT efficiency, and overall productivity,” said Brad Casemore, research director, Data Center Networks, at IDC. “By adding these SDN and orchestration capabilities to its Ethernet fabric portfolio, Brocade is helping its customers better align network architecture and operations with applications and developers.”
“As the rise of the third platform — including cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data — accelerates, organizations are encountering new requirements and challenges that cannot be addressed with legacy network architectures that were designed for client-server environments,” said Jason Nolet, senior vice president of Data Center Switching, Routing, and Analytics Products Group at Brocade. “Networks must transform from a siloed, static design to an agile, on-demand infrastructure that is automated via data center orchestration frameworks and programmability.”
“Brocade’s latest VCS enhancements strike an excellent balance between the features that need to be enabled in software and hardware,” said Zeus Kerravala, founder, ZK Research. “This combination can deliver the capabilities that businesses need to build a cloud scale network.”
For customers to realize this vision, networks must be automated, open, and software-driven. Today’s announcements follow these guiding principles with Brocade VCS fabric innovations in two areas: VCS fabric portfolio enhancements, and open, software-driven ecosystem integration with other parts of the data center infrastructure.
VCS Fabric Portfolio Enhancements
New Brocade VDX 6940 Delivers Simplicity at Scale -Purpose-built for scale-out architectures, the new Brocade VDX 6940 fixed form factor switch can be deployed as a spine or leaf switch. In addition to its rapid deployment and operational simplicity, the new switch provides the perfect balance of buffering and latency to address today’s dynamic data center environments, where both unpredictable traffic patterns and strict application performance must be accommodated. Its low-latency, cut-through, non-blocking architecture delivers line-rate performance at all packet sizes to accommodate varying traffic patterns and profiles. The on-chip buffer design with dynamic buffering delivers high throughput, a critical capability for environments such as Hadoop.
The Brocade VDX 6940 is available in two models. The Brocade VDX 6940-36Q offers 36 40GbE QSFP+ ports. Through a breakout cable, each 40 GbE port can be broken into four 10GbE ports for a total of 144 10GbE connections. This represents 40 percent more port capacity than any other network switch in its class. The Brocade VDX 6940-144S provides up to 96 10GbE ports, along with 12 40GbE or four 100GbE ports in a 2U form factor.
Open, Software-driven Ecosystem Integration with Brocade VDX Switches
SDN Support: In January, Brocade announced a free one-year license for the recently released Brocade Vyatta® Controller, based on OpenDaylight, to accelerate customers’ journey to SDN. With the upcoming release of Brocade Network OS (NOS) 6.0, Brocade VDX switches will integrate with the Brocade Vyatta Controller, as well as third-party OpenDaylight-compliant controllers, through support of OpenFlow 1.3 to enable a smooth migration to SDN.
Cloud Orchestration: As organizations migrate to cloud-based architectures to enable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), automated provisioning of the storage, compute, and network elements become key to fulfilling the promise of on-demand services. To address this need, Brocade delivered OpenStack support for the Brocade VDX switch family in 2012, and has continued to consistently contribute back to the open-source community. In April, Brocade will add VCS Layer 3 functionality to OpenStack Kilo release. The new capabilities include Inter VLAN routing allowing tenants on separate networks to communicate and Layer 3 ACLs to enabling Firewall as a Service (FWaaS).
DevOps: DevOps tools are beginning to extend beyond the server to the top-of-rack switch to enable network automation and enhanced agility in support of the DevOps movement. Aligned to this trend, Brocade will support Puppet and Python scripting across the Brocade VDX switch family with the release of NOS 6.0.
Expanded VMware Integration: Brocade continues to expand its strategic partnership with VMware to enhance the integration of virtualized servers and NSX-based virtual networks with physical networking infrastructure. Available today via the VMware Solutions Exchange, Brocade offers an IP Analytics and Content Pack for VMware vRealize Operations to help simplify operations management across physical and virtual resources. This approach provides enhanced automation and analytics to help ensure that service levels and cost efficiencies are maintained.
In addition, Brocade has enhanced the VCS Gateway for NSX by enabling the entire VCS fabric to operate as a VXLAN gateway. This improves gateway resiliency and performance, and greatly simplifies management as multiple switches acting as an NSX gateway can be managed as one single entity. This capability will be available in NOS 6.0.
Availability and Pricing
Software enhancements and the Brocade VDX 6940 switches will be available beginning in March, with a starting price of $27,995.