Brocade Beefs Up Network Virtualisation Credentials


Brocade adds new VDX switches, a new Vyatta virtual router, and enhances its VCS Fabric software

Brocade has been busy after it added more capabilities to its VCS Fabric offering and VDX switch portfolio.

The additions include multitenancy, storage-aware networking and 100 Gigabit Ethernet performance.

Network Virtualisation

The enhancements to the network virtualisation portfolio bolster what company officials have called key building blocks of Brocade’s On-Demand Data Centre initiative, which aims to combine the best of virtual and physical networking technologies to create an environment to help businesses more quickly provision resources as they look to address new data centre demands created by such trends as cloud computing and big data.

Network Switch © Dabarti CGI, Shutterstock 2012Brocade officials on 18 September also rolled out what they are calling a complete blueprint for scalable multitenancy throughout the data centre.

“As cloud computing matures and is increasingly adopted in production environments, new requirements are emerging and deficiencies in legacy architectures are becoming more pronounced,” Jason Nolet, vice president of data centre switching and routing for Brocade, said in a statement. “Our continued innovation in Brocade VCS Fabric technology addresses the most challenging data centre requirements, including network multitenancy, network intelligence for exploding storage growth and the emerging adoption of 100 GbE for ever-increasing bandwidth consumption.”

For telecommunications companies looking to leverage network-functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), Brocade is rolling out the Vyatta 5600 vRouter, which officials said is up to 40 times faster than virtual routers from other vendors.

In the VDX switch lineup, Brocade is adding new top-of-rack 10/40 GbE switches that include new silicon that supports the company’s VCS Virtual Fabric, which is a new offering. The VCS Virtual Fabric does virtually what Brocade’s VCS Fabric has been doing for several years – enabling clusters of switches to be managed as a single unit. VCS Virtual Fabric is designed to be an alternative to virtual overlays, is hypervisor-agnostic and supports cloud orchestration platforms through open APIs.

Other Enhancements

Another enhancement to the switching software is VCS AutoQoS, bringing the VCS Fabric to storage and automatically prioritising storage traffic.

The new offerings in the VDX 6740 switch family includes 40 GbE and 160 GbE trunks, 32 Flex Ports – for Fibre Channel, Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet – support for 10 GbE and 10GBASE-T, and 24MB deep buffers. The silicon also supports OpenFlow 1.3, the latest version of the SDN protocol, and Brocade is offering a 100 GbE line card for the VDX 8770 modular chassis.

The VDX 6740 and 6740-T switches can be ordered now starting at $15,995 (£9,908). The VDX 8770 100 GbE blade will be available in the first half of next year.

Brocade also is adding to its NFV lineup with the Vyatta 5600 vRouter, aimed at telecom vendors and service providers. The router is designed to let users leverage the packet-processing capabilities in the latest x86-based servers, which are using 10 GbE network interface cards (NICs) to handle the rapid growth in data traffic. Through the Vyatta 5600 vRouter, customers can take advantage of those server capabilities through software rather than having to deploy purpose-built routing hardware.

The new virtual router is the latest product from Brocade’s acquisition last year of Vyatta, a startup in the SDN and network virtualisation fields. Using Brocade’s vPlane technology, the virtual router is capable of 10Gbps throughput per each x86 processor core. The 5600 vRouter complements the company’s Vyatta 5400 vRouter portfolio, which is aimed at cloud service providers.

According to Kelly Herrell, vice president and general manager of Brocade’s Software Networking Business, the company is seeing capital expense savings of 90 percent or more when replacing routing hardware with high-performance x86 servers and Brocade’s virtual router.

The Vyatta 5600 vRouter will be generally available by the end the year.

Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group, said in a report that while Vyatta products are being used by such cloud service providers as Amazon, Rackspace and SoftLayer, they have yet to contribute much to Brocade’s bottom line. However, the 5600 vRouter could help the company “gain greater mindshare in NFV/SDN deployments,” he said.

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Originally published on eWeek.

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