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Optical/IP

Brocade Flattens Out

Today, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) announced its Ethernet fabric for data centers. Using a technology called virtual cluster switching, Brocade says it can make the network treat its fabric switches as if they were one switch, theoretically simplifying the management of the data center.

Brocade's first fabric switch will be the VDX 6720, available in 24 or 60 10Gbit/s Ethernet ports and due to ship around the end of the year.

Why this matters
The collapsing of the data center -- removing layers of aggregation, at least from the network management standpoint -- has been a strong theme with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). Brocade's announcement is along similar lines, but Brocade might have a more flexible offering, because the vendor says its Ethernet fabric can work with someone else's network cores. Cisco's Universal Computing System (UCS) is a single-vendor data-center architecture. Juniper's Stratus fabric appears to be one as well, but Juniper isn't releasing details until next year.

For more
Here's some further reading on the vendors' grand plans for next-generation data centers.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:18:31 PM
re: Brocade Flattens Out

Zeus Kerravala noted that Brocade "Strasburged" its data-center fabric announcement in June. At the time, that sounded awesome, referring to the Washington Nationals's star rookie pitcher. But Strasburg is now shelved for 2011 due to Tommy John surgery.

So, using the new definition... which vendor's data center strategy is going to get Strasburged?

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