Light Reading

Brocade Develops a Cloud Complex

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Brocade is announcing details of its cloud and data-center fabric strategy, stressing an open environment that seriously challenges what other vendors -- especially Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) -- define as "open."

At an analyst day held here Tuesday, Brocade introduced Cloudplex, an overall cloud framework that includes Ethernet and Fibre Channel fabrics; servers, presumably from multiple vendors; and additional equipment such as load balancers that move traffic across distributed data centers.

Future pieces of Cloudplex will include Virtual Compute Blocks, which are prefab packages of servers, storage and networking, and Cloud ID, a technology for keeping virtual machines secure.

Brocade also brought out a boatload of new products. A new version of its VDX switches, to be launched later this year, will carry Ethernet and Fibre Channel traffic, creating a link between those two types of fabrics. (Brocade didn't previously have a way to unify the two.) A new adapter card will support both 10Gbit/s Ethernet and 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel, giving each server the ability to run either protocol.

On the router side, Brocade is announcing it's done field trials with a two-port 100Gbit/s line card on the MLX line of routers.

Why this matters
Brocade sees the cloud, and especially the data center fabric, as its big chance to trump rivals, especially Cisco and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). Brocade is leaning on its expertise in storage-area networking and the fact that it's the only one of that competitive set shipping a storage fabric for next-generation data centers.

The real target appears to be Cisco. Cloudplex accomplishes what Cisco's Computing System (UCS) does, but in a less proprietary way, says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with Yankee Group Research Inc.

His point is that UCS is sort of like vertical integration, because it uses Cisco's own servers along with Cisco networking gear. Brocade's Cloudplex behaves more like middleware, creating a translation point that connects any computing infrastructure to the network.

Brocade will be putting a lot of emphasis on Cloudplex's openness -- that is, the fact that it encourages customers to buy whatever servers they want. "From the vendor roadmaps I've seen, they are the most open," Kerravala tells Light Reading.

For more
The fabric wars are going to get particularly loud during Interop next week. (Brocade tried to beat the rush by bringing analysts here for a day-and-a-half event held at its headquarters.) Here's our coverage of the topic so far.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:06:02 PM
re: Brocade Develops a Cloud Complex

Brocade is really thinking big here.  Much like Juniper, they've got a whole bunch of technologies in the works.  Dave Stevens (Brocade's CTO) spoke Tuesday afternoon and mentioned a couple of the products in progress.

Mercury is the code name for a big, chassis-based version of the VDX switch, the edge switch that connects servers directly to the data center core. (It's how Brocade flattens the data center layers.)  Stevens talked about Mercury supporting 750 10GEs or more than 100 100GEs.

Further out, there's something called Starlifter that will extend things like VLANs to other data centers -- i.e., they'll be able to reach across the WAN, if I understand this correctly.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (1) comment

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
Facebook in Africa: Beauty or Beast?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/27/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.