& cplSiteName &

Brocade Preaches Data Center Nirvana

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
6/9/2010
50%
50%

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) is making its play for the converged data center, announcing a set of technologies to collapse everything down to one layer and to make it easier to move virtualized resources around in the cloud.

If some of that sounds familiar, it's because Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) have been making similar plans for converged data centers. Juniper, in particular, expects to collapse the data center to one layer from three, with its Stratus fabric due out in 2011. (See Juniper Strikes at the Data Center and Juniper's Stratus: Wait 'Til Next Year.)

Brocade beat Juniper to the punch today, launching its own one-layer architecture called Brocade One, at an event in New York this morning.

Brocade claims it's the industry's first truly converged data-center fabric, and it represents the first joint technology development between Brocade's storage-networking folks and the routing people acquired with Foundry Networks. (See Brocade to Acquire Foundry and Brocade Takes Aim at Cisco (& Juniper).)

Brocade officials at the New York event said the goal was to treat the entire network as the data center. The implication is that Brocade's data-center goals are more ambitious than Cisco's or Juniper's; without mentioning those names, executives noted that the competition isn't doing much more than changing the wiring inside the data center.

At least one analyst was impressed: Zeus Kerravala of Yankee Group Research Inc. wrote on Twitter that Brocade "Strasburged" it -- meaning the company justified its own hype. (Stephen Strasburg is a major-league rookie pitcher who just killed it last night in his debut.)

As with Strasburg's game, Light Reading was only able to attend Brocade's event via the Web, but here's what we gleaned about Brocade One at first glance.

The technologies that accomplish the layer-collapsing are collectively called Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS), and they let the network treat a group of routers as a single network element.

VCS sits atop the new Brocade Network OS, another joint Brocade/Foundry creation that will run on all the company's new products. Those products will also work under a single management system, called Brocade Network Advisor, due to ship in the third quarter.

Brocade will also stick a new Virtual Access Layer (VAL) between the cloud's virtual machines and the first network hop. This will provide features such as quality of service (QoS) for each virtual machine.

More dramatically, VAL will let enterprises more freely move resources around. If a virtual machine gets moved to a different physical location, for instance, it might lose touch with the external firewall it was using. VAL would keep the connection alive by steering that virtual machine's traffic through the firewall anyway.

"You just move a virtual machine, and the network should configure itself automatically. That's the kind of data center we need to build," Brocade CTO Dave Stevens said at the New York event.

The first products armed with VCS are due to come out in the fourth quarter; they'll be small boxes with 24 or 60 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports. A 48-port Gigabit Ethernet system is slated for early 2011. A VCS-based chassis-sized switch is in the works, too, but Stevens didn't give a timetable for it.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:32:53 PM
re: Brocade Preaches Data Center Nirvana


The phrase makes for a nice bumper sticker, as someone else noted on Twitter, but I don't know if I fully grasp what they're trying to say yet.  Certainly the data center becomes more amorphous -- more like a cloud, in the older sense of PowerPoint slides showing an abstract "cloud" to represent The Network. Maybe I'll understand more after a formal chat with Brocade. (Or maybe I'll just get a head full of marketing terms...)

Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Flexible Deployment Approaches for the Gigabit Services Evolution

9|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


For many operators, the gigabit evolution begins with the shift from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. But that move represents a change not only in the protocol itself, but in the approach to architecting their entire DOCSIS delivery chain -- from the headend to the outside plant and home gateway components.

Jonathan Ruff, senior director of global technical ...

LRTV Interviews
Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Reusable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into reusable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (19) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Powell Kills the Cable Show
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.