Campus Networks

Five Signs it’s Time to Upgrade Your Network

by Jeff Sejourne ‎08-13-2015 12:05 PM - edited ‎08-16-2015 07:58 PM (829 Views)

How old is the equipment running your campus network? Older than 5 year? Do you experience recurrent network outages? Do you struggle with poor quality voice and video communications? Do you pay too much to maintain your legacy equipment? Do you have trouble scaling up the network to accommodate new business needs? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to upgrade your campus network. We’ve put together a list of the five telltale signs it’s time to upgrade your campus network.



It's really fascinating to see how customers are innovating and migrating their core business from a physical to virutal world.


8 Ways Brocade is Building the Network of Tomorrow, Today

by Rick Freedman ‎04-07-2015 05:01 AM - edited ‎04-07-2015 08:00 AM (5,193 Views)

This morning Brocade announced new product and technology enhancements for its HyperEdge Architecture Campus Networks. The really exciting parts of the announcement were the new software technologies – Switch Port Extender and OpenFlow 1.3 support, which will simplify network management and enable software defined network innovations.


The hardware addition is the Brocade ICX 7250 Switch – a new entry-level switch that allows organizations and businesses to easily scale 10G uplink capacity and port density for increasing campus video and wireless demands. Combine these new hardware and software additions foreshadow how customers will be able to adapt and scale their network of today into the future.


A recent Gartner survey shows that 75% of data center professionals are expected to adopt Software Defined Networks (SDN) within the next five years, though only 7% already have SDN in use today. That’s consistent with the customers I talk to who have an eye to the future, but aren’t ready for these new technologies… yet. They know it’s coming and want to be prepared for the New IP. Their priority is building a network infrastructure that meets their needs today that can meet rapidly growing demands for wireless access, video, VDI and other network services that are taxing their legacy networks.


Most customers are looking, and hoping, that their infrastructure investments will last 5-7 years. And, in many cases 7-10 years. As they examine their options, they’re also very cognizant of the fact that these demands will continue to increase. So, while customers examine their options they have consider what they will need in the future, as well as how they will be able to take advantage of new technologies as they become available.


Last year, 2014, was our first presence at Aruba Atmosphere – for myself and for Brocade – and we were graciously welcomed by the Airheads community. As new Aruba partners we had a great opportunity to showcase unified wired/wireless solutions., featuring demonstrations of our integration points with AirWave and ClearPass. Additionally, as a leader in Software-Defined Networking (SDN), our breakout sessions drew a lot of attention and we received a lot of interesting feedback from the community about their views on SDN in the campus.


Over the past year, the partnership has grown stronger with delivery of the promised joint software integration and many joint customer deployments and success stories. We’ve worked jointly to make the customer experience seamless across the wired and wireless networks for both end-users and network administrators – with joint software development and unified technical support services. Customers like Levi's (SF 49ers) Stadium, Kilgore College and Westmark School attest to the importance and value of this partnership.


Integrated best-of-breed technology, management and support.  And now best-of-breed financing?  Really? No capital outlay with flexible operating expense options.  Nice to know when technology and financing move so fast in the network world. Only available from Brocade and Aruba.


As if the original deal wasn’t already sweet enough, two best of breed partners have now added unique industry acquisition methods. Just this month, Brocade and Aruba announced that the partnership has been extended into integrated financing. 

Now customers purchasing wired and wireless networks can include the equipment for both into a BNS subscription - expanding opportunities and virtually eliminating risk. Can your vendor(s) of wired and wireless networks offer a more tightly integrated solution with regard to technology, management, support and financing options?


SC14 New Orleans: Customers find Simplified Campus Networking on the Path to SDN

by Prasida Menon ‎11-25-2014 11:22 AM - edited ‎11-26-2014 10:45 AM (2,702 Views)

As the curtain fell at SC14 in New Orleans last week, passersby at Brocade’s booth 2145 heard a huge applause - the 3D Printer Raffle had found its winner. While the rest of us were wrapping up our final day at the SC14, I could not help but ponder on the many fruitful customer discussions and exchange of ideas that made this event such a massive success for attendees and participating vendors.


This year we showcased a wide array of Brocade solutions, while also actively contributing to the SCinet community with Brocade’s routers and switches. All of Brocade’s latest platforms along with our new Brocade Vyatta controller were exhibited to the scientific community demonstrating solutions such as, High-Performance Computing, Software-Defined Networking, Data Privacy and On-Demand Acquisition. 


Keeping up with User Demand Requires Out-of-the-Box Thinking

by Jeff Sejourne ‎11-04-2014 02:52 AM - edited ‎11-04-2014 04:14 AM (1,649 Views)


Ubiquitous video calls, unified communications, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), wireless access at wired speed greatly contribute to user productivity, but these new applications and devices, place immense pressure on the network, a network that was not originally designed to handle such demand.


Traditional legacy campus networks have been through years of incremental technology improvements and patchworks that have turned what should be a coherent network into a complex and fragmented collection of loosely coupled devices.


Striking Gold

by Michael Tennefoss on ‎10-10-2014 08:36 AM - last edited on ‎10-20-2014 09:25 AM by (2,075 Views)

Right across the street from Brocade at the newly opened $1.18 billion Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers football franchise.  Every fan will strike gold when they fire up their smart phone or tablet on the stadium’s Wi-Fi network. With dual high-speed 40Gig pipes, a massive Brocade switching system, and Aruba 1.3Gbps 802.11ac Wi-Fi everywhere, the stadium is a tour de force of Silicon Valley networking and fan engagement technology.


Does SDN Have a Role in Campus Networks?

by Jim Metzler on ‎09-29-2014 04:31 PM - last edited on ‎09-30-2014 10:36 AM by (3,020 Views)

The vast majority of the discussion about SDN to date has focused on the data center. Since the network is a lot bigger than just its data center LAN that begs the question “Does SDN have a role in campus networks?”


Unlocking Flexible Security in an Enterprise World

by Prasida Menon on ‎09-26-2014 12:02 PM (2,135 Views)

One of the biggest challenges faced by the enterprise world today is how to overcome the security issues faced in many of the enterprise organizations. The early adopters of the BYOD strategies have learnt their lessons the hard way – a plethora of mobile devices in the enterprise result in huge demand for authentication and authorization framework caused by the sheer volume of devices and each device’s varied authentication interface.


Did you know that the root cause for many upgrades is not based upon new applications or user demands, but based upon Planned Product Obsolescence and Vendor-Centric Business Practices?


Consider the dramatic increase in incumbent network devices moving to end-of-support (EOS), from 38% to 45%, in Cisco’s product portfolio.  This was reported by Dimension Data, one of Cisco’s top notch partners no less.


Sidestepping Security Woes of BYOD

by Prasida Menon on ‎09-04-2014 09:06 PM (2,032 Views)

My previous blog detailed how organizations worldwide can adopt BYOD programs seamlessly using innovative stackable switch solutions. While a solid network infrastructure and enhanced capacity form the backbone of any BYOD program, security is one of the overarching issues faced by many organizations today. With over 23% of US based employees experiencing some form of security compromise on their personal devices in any single year, it’s not surprising that a recent Gartner study shows over 75% of organizations cite security issues as their biggest concern for adopting BYOD programs. What is Brocade's Campus solution to help mitigate BYOD security risks faced by organizations worldwide?


Well, many of you may be wondering what happened after the network disruption that Cisco did a decade ago. Where are we going from there? Do you still want to stay status quo?


Not all Stacking is Created Equal

by Prasida Menon ‎08-22-2014 04:17 PM - edited ‎09-04-2014 02:40 PM (3,075 Views)

With BYOD strategies maturing, organizations worldwide are frantically looking to adopt BYOD programs, not only to improve employee satisfaction but also to improve user productivity. According to a recent Gartner research half of the enterprise world says they intend to move to BYOD for smartphones alone by 2017, let alone other devices such as tablets, standard mobile phones and PCs. What are the steps taken by Brocade's Enterprise LAN switches to mitigate these issues?


The 30 Years of Network Evolution, A Three-Part Blog. Part Two: Disruption in Layer 2 and Layer 3.

by Abdul Wahid on ‎07-22-2014 10:44 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 01:13 PM by (2,382 Views)

In part one we talked about disruption in Layer 1. After Cabeltron, other companies entered the market with innovations in Layer 1. Notably Synoptics and Chipcom who were challengers to Cabletron. Chipcom came up with improved hardware with high-density ports. 


The 30 Years of Network Evolution, A Three-Part Blog. Part One: Disruption in Layer 1.

by Abdul Wahid on ‎07-15-2014 07:50 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 01:03 PM by (2,608 Views)

1985 - Two great networking giants, Novel and 3 Com competing for the dominance. Novel wins at last and people rushed Certified Novel Engineer (CNE) certification. 


Wired networks are dead. Long live wired networks.

by Rick Freedman on ‎07-03-2014 06:10 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 01:25 PM by (2,517 Views)

The expansion of wireless networks in recent years has been phenomenal.  The rapidly growing use of smartphones, tablets and corporate acceptance of BYOD has forced businesses to offer wireless connectivity virtually everywhere.  Pundits have forecasted the decline of the wired network as we know it and, perhaps, the demise of wired-only network companies. 


How then, can a network company that only makes wired network switches still be growing?  As with most technology companies, it requires a business to adapt and change, to survive and thrive.  The end-user connectivity may be changing, but the importance and dependence on the wired network has never been greater.


SDN Hybrid Mode: Connecting the Dots

by Simon Pollard on ‎06-10-2014 05:00 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:14 PM by (1,982 Views)

Combining all the elements of a modern IT infrastructure can often feel like solving a technological dot-to-dot puzzle; there aren’t any visible relationships between all the points that must be interconnected but when they are joined up they form a coherent picture. Every IT professional is painfully aware that the reality is somewhat different; the relationship between the different components – network nodes, servers, storage and applications – runs deeper than mere connections;


Elastic Networks

by Simon Pollard on ‎06-10-2014 12:27 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:15 PM by (1,786 Views)

One of the biggest challenges when designing any new system that requires an element of capacity planning – computing, networks, transportation, to name a few - is deciding what the primary criteria are; should you go for a big initial costly build-out and hope that all of the capacity is used? Or aim for something more flexible that can start smaller and be expanded as required to deliver greater capacity. Factors such as the need for up-front investment and sketchy predictions of future demand need to be considered and the result can sometimes be a difficult compromise.


SDN Killer Apps for the Campus

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎05-16-2014 06:22 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:27 PM by (2,641 Views)

The data center is getting all the SDN attention these days, but the applications that will help SDN cross the chasm may actually very well come from the campus.


SDN has the ability to radically transform campus networks over the next few years and address today’s most acute management challenges.  Campus networks require application specific policies like security & access control, VLAN traffic isolation and QoS policies to be provisioned across the network one switch at a time. This consumes a lot of resources and results in a static network that cannot be easily updated as business requirements evolve and new applications are deployed.


Brocade Products and Website NOT Affected by Heartbleed Vulnerability

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎04-16-2014 12:52 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:30 PM by (5,712 Views)

Since early last Wednesday, the web and media have been abuzz over a new security vulnerability they have named the Heartbleed bug. Heartbleed is a security vulnerability inOpenSSL, an open-source protocol primarily used to encrypt web communications but also used by IT personnel for connecting securely to network devices and servers for administrative purposes. After thorough investigation, our engineering teams have concluded that neither our products nor website are affected by the Heartbleed bug. 



SLG CIO’s cite network infrastructure as critical to “Big Five” success

by Rick Freedman on ‎04-04-2014 02:18 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:36 PM by (2,347 Views)

The “Big Five” IT initiatives: 1) data center consolidation; 2) mobility; 3) security; 4) big data; and 5) cloud computing are gaining visibility and awareness for their promise to improve state and local agency performance, productivity and service.  However, a recent MeriTalk study and webinar on “The Big Five in Overdrive” demonstrate that while these solutions get a lot of attention, it’s the underlying network infrastructure needed to support these that is keeping CIOs awake at night.  The hot, new technologies get the visibility, but it’s the basics, blocking and tackling, where the real opportunity to re-engineer and save big comes from.


Leading the Road to SDN

by Rick Freedman ‎03-19-2014 05:15 PM - edited ‎03-19-2014 05:21 PM (3,125 Views)

Everyone seems to believe that Software Defined Networks (SDN) is the future.  They know it’s coming… whatever it is and whenever it gets here, but don’t really know what to do about it. 


We talked to hundreds of attendees at the Open Network Summit (ONS) in Santa Clara and the Aruba Airheads Developers Conference in Las Vegas over the past two weeks about our SDN strategy.  Most were familiar with the general concepts of SDN and knew what it is, at least in concept.  Some had ideas about what they might do with it… some day.  Few had specific plans to implement SDN or had even done any work with SDN yet.


What we learned was that Brocade is helping customers on the road to SDN with OpenFlow 1.3 and Hybrid SDN implementation to make the transition smoother.


Are State and Local Government Networks Ready for the Big Five of IT?

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎02-27-2014 12:34 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:38 PM by (2,432 Views)

A new Meritalk study, underwritten by Brocade, examines how the implementation of the Big Five of IT-data center consolidationmobilitysecuritybig data, and cloud computing – will affect state and local government.  According to the report, most state and local organizations plan to fully deploy the Big Five in the next three years, but almost all say their agency is not fully prepared for the resulting demands on the IT organization and the network infrastructure.

The study examines:

  • The potential combined network impact of the Big Five
  • The current state of readiness for state and local agencies
  • How agencies can take advantage of Big Five benefits without bottlenecks, downtime, and security risks

Out is the new Up in Network Design

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎11-24-2013 08:36 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:18 PM by (4,055 Views)

Scaling up vs. Scaling out:  for years, IT architects have been debating the respective merits of big box vs. multi-box solutions to achieve scalability.  Big box solutions can be simpler to deploy and manage but they are typically more expensive to acquire and offer limited upgradability and future proofing.  With the recent success of cloud computing, the question has been settled for compute and storage: only distributed multi-box architectures can achieve the level of scalability and availability required for cloud based applications.


Is managing your campus network a bit of a daily headache?  Are you finding you have more not-spots than hot-spots in your wireless coverage? Do you find yourself have to explain (again) just why it is going to take “THAT long” to deploy that application?  The campus environment in many organizations has just not kept up with evolving trends, and the legacy networks are showing their age.  The “fixes” that have been deployed over time often make things worse rather than better, as complexity and cost go up, and overall performance and availability at best stay static.


Lego Networks

by Simon Pollard on ‎10-28-2013 01:04 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:42 PM by (2,844 Views)

The Effortless Network is about making campus networks fit the environment that they are being deployed into, making things simpler and more flexible by allowing network managers to build networks that are only limited by their imaginations. By using Ethernet as the connection medium within a switch stack we allow far greater deployment flexibility.


Tee it up!

by plaporte on ‎10-26-2013 05:02 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:44 PM by (1,639 Views)

For campus networking, customers have been challenged with a convergence of trends that are forcing them to rethink their architectures and technology. For the last year or so, we’ve been saying that campus networks have moved beyond “best effort” and are now as critical as your datacenter network. While some early visionaries “get it”, many campus network architects have not….yet.


Taking the Network outside of the Wiring Closet with Enterprise Compact Switches

by Jeff Sejourne on ‎10-26-2013 02:31 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 03:46 PM by (2,328 Views)

So, what do you do when you need to convert an existing room into a conference room or a classroom where you are going to need more ports than what’s currently wired in the walls? Essentially, the network admin faces two options, deploy an enterprise switch inside the room or let users bring their own switches to solve the problem on their own as they often do. 


Deploying consumer class unmanaged switches in an enterprise network is a bad idea, the problems are numerous: no security, no quality of service, no traffic management, no monitoring, no visibility to the network administrator and the biggest of all, no spanning tree.  What if a user inadvertently creates a loop through improper wiring and brings part of the network down?