on 09-18-201308:15 AM - last edited on 10-28-201301:23 PM by
We’ve been pretty busy over here in Brocade DataCenterland for the past few months.
Back in late July, we released NOS 4.0, which is the operating system for the Brocade VDX Switches and which delivers VCS Fabric technology. The 4.0 release provided several scale enhancements, including official support for 32 nodes in a fabric. But the real focus of the 4.0 release was manageability. This release brought the ability to define and push both global and local configurations from a logically centralized point. I’ve written a little bit about how the Logical Chassis principal switch concept works here, but I’d encourage you to read through the whitepaper to learn more about how global and local configuration and monitoring can be automated through the Logical Chassis. Add this to the OpenStack Plug-In we pushed last April, and you begin to see how VCS fabrics truly simplify the management of network operations in cloud data centers. (By the way, there’s a video demo of the OpenStack plug-in here for the curious.)
Then last month, we began shipping the Brocade VDX 6740 Switches, which provide 40G uplinks in 1RU ToR switches. The VDX 6740 packs up to 64 1/10G SFP+ ports into that space and the VDX 6740-T provides 48 1/10G Base-T ports. Our Ports on Demand licensing makes it easy to grow into these switches.
For VMware shops, NOS 4.0 brought multi-vCenter support and ESX discovery via LLDP. And if you were at VMworld San Francisco, you may have seen us demonstrate the Brocade VCS Gateway for VMware NSX. If not, you can see it here. The VDX 8770 and 6740 can monitor overlay traffic (any protocol, not just VXLAN) as it flows across them; the VDX 6740 supports virtual-to-physical workload translation at the edge. This is one of several enhancements we’re making in NOS 4.0 and 4.1 (GA’ing this winter) to enable networks to support multi-tenant architectures much more simply and efficiently.
In addition to support for overlay networks, VCS fabrics also support traditional Layer 3 segmentation with VRF-Lite, and a native Layer 2 technique—the VCS Virtual Fabric feature. Using 24-bit TRILL Fine-Grained Label encapsulation, VCS Virtual Fabrics address the need to support overlapping VLANs for large numbers of tenants, and to scale beyond the traditional 4096 VLAN limit. I’ll delve more into the VCS Virtual Fabric feature in my next blog, but you may want to familiarize yourself with the basics as described in this whitepaper. With server-based segmentation and services delivered by the Vyatta vRouter, Layer 2 and 3 segmentation options in the fabric tier, and highly scalable Layer 3 multi-tenancy delivered on the MLXe, Brocade offers an array of options for designing an end-to-end multi-tenant data center architecture.