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100G Ethernet

Brocade Preps 100G Launch

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) plans to announce 100-Gbit/s interfaces for its NetIron MLX router in September, Light Reading has learned.

Brocade CTO Dave Stevens mentioned it today during a media and analyst tour of the company's brand spankin' new data center, at its headquarters here.

Today, the MLX can support 256 ports of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, all at line rate, a density Brocade says is unmatched. Starting in September, Stevens says, it will support 32 100-Gbit/s ports. He's not giving out any product specifics, though.

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) have announced (or at least made mention of) 100-Gbit/s interfaces for their routers. (See AlcaLu Readies 100GigE Cards , AlcaLu Trash-Talks Cisco on 100G, Cisco Boosts the Core With CRS-3, Huawei's Doing 100-Gig, Too, and Juniper Claims 100-Gig First.)

Brocade hasn't disparaged 100 Gbit/s, but when the topic has come up before, officials have pointed to their routers' ability to use link aggregation, combining 10-Gbit/s lines to create a virtual connection as large as 320 Gbit/s. (See LINX Wants Its 100G.) Separately, the MLX's 10-Gbit/s density has been a selling point for some customers. It was a factor in the Amsterdam Internet Exchange B.V. (AMS-IX) re-upping its long-standing contract with Brocade (formerly Foundry Networks) earlier this year. (See Dutch Exchange Sticks With Brocade.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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StartUpGuy1 12/5/2012 | 4:26:18 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

Mr. Stevens need to do a bit more research before he speaks... Arista's 7508 has 384 ports of Non Blocking 10 Gig desnity... And they do it in 1/3 the space of an MLX...

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:26:13 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

Maybe he meant unmatched by anything at Brocade? :)


Brocade's a social media savvy company so let's see if they can be bothered to respond.

tsat 12/5/2012 | 4:26:12 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

Arista is a switch.. NetIron is a router.

BRCD 12/5/2012 | 4:26:11 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

With the announcement of the 8x10G blade on June 2, 2010, the Brocade MLX has the industry’s unmatched all line-rate 10 GbE port density in any single router platform.  Key point here is ROUTER -- while Arista may have more ports, their capabilities are limited to switching.  The Brocade 8×10G-D Series blade for the NetIron MLX router allows it to delivers up to 256-ports of wire-speed 10 GbE routing performance and supports IPv4/IPv6 functionality with a FIB capacity of up to 256K IPv4 routes.  The details and data sheet are online http://newsroom.brocade.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1299 

StartUpGuy1 12/5/2012 | 4:26:10 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

The Arista 7508 is both switch and router, as is the MLX.  It routes BGP and OSPF..  But is it not targeted at MPLS networks or large IP routed table networks...  IF Mr. STevens means that the MLX has the largest density of 10 Gigabit interfaces in a platform that supports MPLS, BGP, OSPF and 256K routes, then it would be correct.... 

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:26:09 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

Opticaluser -- regarding Arista, i think that's exactly what he means. But thanks for pointing out Arista's numbers.

Light-bulb 12/5/2012 | 4:26:08 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

So interesting "numbers" from the article and from the comments from the Arista fan.  Now my question to both of you... how about you run Multicast on those ports and line-rate and see the boxes melt.  


Or how about we turn on some Access control lists on the Brocade?  Or how about we do some HQoS on the Brocade?  Or how about we decide we need to do both IPv4 and IPv6 you know that crazy thing that will demand a network migration.


 


It's always interesting to see the vendors fight this out, but I'm still trying to understand what ASIC that Brocade has built that makes them unique or gives them a strength not achievable from anyone?  I think Google was building their own switches with the same merchant silicone, so what makes this MLX unmatchable?  


 


Arista is an interesting entry, very cheap, literally, but a minimized feature set that hits a target niched.  But again... don't do multicast or be prepared to live with the results.


 


Why can't we see a test conducted on all the big guys from LR and see a head to head?  Brocade, Cisco, Juniper throw in Arista?  Put them through the ringer, test code upgrades, fabric failures, RP failure, Unicast, Multicast, and perhaps DCB well at least with Arista and Cisco. 


 

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:26:07 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

Good points, Light-Bulb. A head-to-head test would be great, but in the past, no one's been willing to give us the routers to do so, except for Cisco.

ieeefellow 12/5/2012 | 4:26:03 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

is the 100GE  standard finally get approved?

mboltin 12/5/2012 | 4:26:02 PM
re: Brocade Preps 100G Launch

Light-Bulb, are you implying that the MLX cannot do all of those things? Have you tested it yourself? And most importantly, will you buy them if they can indeed perform up to your expectations?


Tests by publications like LightReading can be helpful generally, but they shouldn't be what you use to make purchase decisions. The tests are often subjective, and rarely reflect real world requirements. 


My point is that all of the vendors will allow you to evaluate their products. If you are a big enough customer, most will even set up the specific tests you mentioned. See if the boxes meet your requirements, be they multicast at wire speed, wire speed access lists, IPv6, support or whatever. However, if they do meet your requirements, don't be afraid to buy them because of unsubstantiated FUD you may have heard.

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