Light Reading

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...)

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Qualcomm Wants FCC to Stay Out of LTE-U Fray
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Distract-a-Cat Click Here
The vibrate function makes for a useful cat distraction.