Simpler, Easier Campus Networks Promised In Brocade’s HyperEdge Plans


Brocade aims to ease campus LAN management with HyperEdge, to be released next year as part of the its Effortless Network push

Brocade is looking to make deploying and managing campus networks easier through the Effortless Network initiative, which will be based on the company’s upcoming HyperEdge technology.

Brocade has also introduced two new campus LAN switches, filling out what the company can offer businesses with campus networks.

Reducing downtime

The goal of the Effortless Network strategy and HyperEdge technology is to reduce the amount of network downtime caused by human error by making the network more automated and easier to manage, according to company officials.

According to Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, 37 percent of network downtime is caused by human error – the largest cause of downtime – which, in turn, is the result of the growing number of manual processes required in modern networks. HyperEdge, which will be available next year, will ease that problem, according to Brocade.

Increasing automation in the switch will help businesses handle the growing computing trends that are putting increasing pressure on networks, from unified communications and video applications to virtual desktop environments and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) apps, where more employees are looking to gain access to corporate networks and applications through their personal mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, officials said.

Reportedly, HyperEdge will unify a campus’ wired network and give businesses a single point from which to manage the network. The technology will let businesses manage all their switches as though they were a single device, from initial deployment to software upgrades to monitoring. The aim is to reduce the time and cost of managing the LAN.

In addition, businesses will be able to mix and match within the switch stack, letting them run high-end and entry-level switches within the same rack. By doing this, the lower-end switches will share many of the rich features of the higher-end devices, which will enable businesses to build switch racks at a lower cost than they can currently. It also will protect businesses from having to rip and replace future switch stacks, saving money and protecting the investment in the network, according to Brocade officials.

All that feeds into what Brocade envisions for the Effortless Network initiative, which the company envisions will have three key aspects: a more simplified and automated access layer network that reduces operational costs and lets IT administrators be more responsive to business needs; networks that can scale and are easy to upgrade to better handle new applications and business trends; and products that offer enterprise-class capabilities at reasonable costs.

Businesses will be able to quickly upgrade their Brocade ICX and FCX switches when HyperEdge becomes available in 2013, according to the company.

In addition, Brocade officials also added two switches to the ICX line-up aimed at campus networks. The ICX 6430 and ICX 6450 both offer Layer 2 and 3 functionality and can support Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) and MACsec encryption for greater data protection. They are available in 24- and 48-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet configurations, and offer optional 1/10GbE uplink/stacking ports. Both switches can offer up to 384 ports.

The new switches follow Brocade’s newly released ICX 6610 switch.

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