Data Center


What Europe can Teach the US About Software Defined Data Centers

by mthordal on ‎10-23-2014 07:34 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 07:53 AM by Community Manager (961 Views)

After finishing my share of tapas and fantastic fried octopus with potatoes, it’s time to reflect on the VMworlds of 2014, in particular the discussions I had with customers, partners and peers during meetings and conversations in the Solutions Exchange.


Duke Butler

Journey to SDDC and World of New IP

by Duke Butler on ‎10-14-2014 11:00 PM (1,791 Views)

As we get ready for all the announcements at VMworld Barcelona from VMware and their partner community, I started to reflect on our past.  Brocade is leading discussion around “The New IP,” and VMware has been pushing towards the realization of the SDDC for customers.  The “New IP” can provide a roadmap to a highly virtualized environment. 



Lessons Learned for the Network from the Verizon Data Breach Report

by mschiff ‎05-23-2014 07:54 AM - edited ‎06-27-2014 08:11 AM (2,825 Views)

Last month, Verizon published its annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). Most in the industry agree that this is one of the best security reports available, and if you are involved in or have any interest in cybersecurity, then reading it is a must. The report covers nearly every type of security issue out there, and provides data from 50 global organizations representing 95 countries, which saw 1,367 confirmed data breaches and 63,437 security incidents in 2013. After reading the report once over, my first thought was, “Wow, this is not good, we are all in trouble…” 


AJ Casamento

Paying attention to your optical infrastructure

by AJ Casamento on ‎04-29-2014 09:53 AM (3,323 Views)

As optical networking becomes more and more prevalent and as the speeds have increased the importance of creating and maintaining a clean optical infrastructure has become paramount.


Mike Eversole

Brocade's Data Center Solar-Power Project Then and Now...

by Community Manager ‎04-18-2014 03:23 PM - edited ‎04-22-2014 09:02 AM (1,822 Views)

In 2010, Brocade first announced and launched the solar-power project for the company data center (as well as other major green initiatives).  I am one who is quite often in awe of these technology marvels and especially regarding the story of what actually goes on behind the curtains.  Now that a few years have elapsed and we are coming up on the half way point of 2014, I thought it would nice for a revisit.


There is a constant theme in Data Center design discussions today. The question of whether or not there needs to be an independent storage network or fabric as opposed to a shared environment. Unfortunately for the average consumer in IT infrastructure the answer is it depends; but generally yes. People need to be careful about making absolute statements concerning infrastructure architectures. One should never treat technology as religion. Technology occasionally makes for useful tools, but it never makes for good religion. And in this case the major challenge is it's not the Network infrastructure it's the Networks infrastructure.



It's time to break the status quo in the datacenter

by plaporte on ‎03-25-2014 09:31 AM (1,826 Views)

If IT assets matter less and IT agility matters more, why can't we break the status quo of managing individual networking devices?


As this market gains more adoption, operation agility and performance must be a part of the future of the virtualized desktops experience.



Data security and the role of the network

by anandar on ‎02-24-2014 07:10 AM (3,590 Views)

Insider attacks. Surveillance. Hackers wanting to break into a network. Today's ubiquitous and always-on connectivity has meant that IT administrators should take extra precautions to safeguard their information assets from snoopers. What can the network do to safeguard data privacy / data security?



Multi-pronged approach towards cloud architectures

by Sandeep.Singh.Kohli ‎02-18-2014 11:49 PM - edited ‎03-03-2014 01:18 PM (2,264 Views)

In my last blog I had discussed Brocade’s multi-pronged approach towards Open clouds, and today I want to dig deeper into the various networking architectures that support the approach. One of the top requirements that cloud has put on networking architectures is the requisite to provide multitenancy at scale


The Missing Link of Datacenter Agility

by on ‎02-11-2014 03:00 PM - last edited on ‎02-12-2014 10:21 AM by Community Manager (3,149 Views)

An adaptable and robust network fabric, combined with a sound automation strategy, can provides a solid foundation for datacenter agility in the cloud era.



Deploy Network Capacity 5x Faster

by mdetrick on ‎02-11-2014 08:00 AM (1,991 Views)

Imagine 5x faster to deploy data center network capacity using Brocade VDX and VCS vs. Cisco FabricPath.  Given the comparison outlined in this article, maybe this estimate is too conservative?  Here this CCIEs practical account of deployment in enterprise production environments...


AJ Casamento

Fabrics Increase Network Utilization by 200%

by AJ Casamento on ‎02-06-2014 08:50 AM - last edited on ‎02-19-2014 11:33 AM by Community Manager (3,834 Views)

IT organizations also need the flexibility to scale out their networks on demand to respond to immediate business needs without hard-wired technical limitations.



Brocade Ethernet Fabrics Lower OpEx by 50%

by mdetrick on ‎02-04-2014 03:35 PM (4,100 Views)

Lower OpEx by 50%...  Is Brocade making outrageous claims?  Can such claims possibly be true?  How can it be possible?  Do enterprises truly want to lower OpEx?  Read the true story from this Routing & Switching CCIE...



Time Traveling via the Gartner Data Center Conference

by lcaywood on ‎12-16-2013 09:21 PM - last edited on ‎02-19-2014 11:39 AM by Community Manager (8,024 Views)

I attended the Gartner Data Center conference in Las Vegas last week. I did the same in 2010 and 2011. Here’s a quick summary of what I observed then:


Last month I provided an overview of the Brocade SAN Analytic Management Pack for VMware vCenter Operations Manager (vCOps).  We also gave a talk on the solution at VMworld Barcelona to much interest. In a blog posted earlier this week, VMware’s Wayne Green also talks about why VMware is looking to ecosystem partners like Brocade to help round out the VMware cloud automation and operations offerings.


If you were unable to attend that session and would like to take a closer look at how Brocade is enabling SAN visibility for virtual infrastructure managers, you will want to attend an upcoming webinar hosted by VMware and Brocade on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 10:00 AM PST.  Please join us then.


Cloud Computing: Preparing For Hong Kong

by arnoldg on ‎11-01-2013 05:29 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:27 PM by Community Manager (4,063 Views)

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Silicon Valley. It’s been a good weekend for sports: Manchester United won (finally!), Sebastian Vettel claimed his fourth F1 Driver's Championship, and the Patriots came from behind to thrash Miami. And then there’s the Red Sox; oh well, three out of four isn’t bad. But all of those events are sitting on my DVR, because for the next week I’m focussed on one thing: preparing for the upcoming OpenStack Summit.



Brocade with OpenStack: Multi-pronged approach towards Open Clouds.

by Sandeep.Singh.Kohli ‎11-01-2013 03:28 PM - edited ‎11-12-2013 10:36 AM (5,772 Views)


As I prepare for the OpenStack Hong Kong summit at the heels of Brocade's OpenStack announcements, I ponder what would be a good topic to discuss here. I have been involved with open innovations for several years and one key topic of discussion that comes up is: What is the best way to deliver open technologies to end customers. Should vendors focus on just enabling their platforms to work with open technologies or should they focus on only working on community software and driving innovations there or should they focus on just enabling the partner ecosystem and getting their platforms certified by partners.






Cloud computing: Preparing for Hong Kong

by arnoldg on ‎10-28-2013 12:16 PM (381 Views)

We had a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Silicon Valley. It’s been a good weekend for sports: Manchester United won (finally!), Sebastian Vettel claimed his fourth F1 Driver's Championship, and the Patriots came from behind to thrash Miam


Here in Vegas for the VMware Partner Exchange event taking place this week, Feb 12-16th, this quote from Curtis Sahakian could not be more fitting. Whether it’s your luck at the poker table, or all the exercise you get walking around the convention center, or the opportunity to network amongst partners at this event – hopefully this motto rings some truth for you.


So let’s work together to increase your profitability and differentiate the value you provide to customers by including Brocade networking solutions, the best networking products for virtualization and cloud. Visit us at Brocade Booth #208 to learn about our compelling joint solutions that have been tested and validated with VMware:


  • Virtual End User Computing (VDI): The Brocade/VMware solution deploys VMware’s innovative virtual end user computing on the Brocade VDX family of data center switches and Ethernet fabric.
  • vMotion and Load Balancing across data centers: Brocade, VMware, and EMC have a reference architecture to implement a stretched vSphere cluster across two sites within a metro area.


The New Business Continuity: Moving Live Applications Across Data Centers (aka Clouds) Without Interruption

by nsomayaj on ‎10-26-2013 08:05 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:53 PM by Community Manager (2,282 Views)

In a recent VMware press release, CEO of VMware Paul Maritz says “Cloud computing represents the next major era of computing – and it offers major opportunities to simplify and enhance IT. Now is the time to harness the benefits of cloud computing to enhance IT’s ability to support mission goals and enable government to do more with less. And by beginning the cloud journey with virtualization, agencies can drive significant cost, agility and security benefits." Although Mr. Maritz is evangelizing the benefits of Cloud Computing (Private, Public and Hybrid Clouds) in the context of Government customers, IMHO, the benefits apply to other Businesses and Enterprises as well.  Virtualization as a core technology enabling Cloud Computing is a disruptive technology and has brought down cost of solving problems of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.


Brook Reams

VCS Fabrics and NAS Storage – A Match Made in Heaven

by Community Manager on ‎10-26-2013 07:18 AM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:55 PM by Community Manager (2,011 Views)


Brocade is the acknowledged leader in Fibre Channel SAN storage networks for block storage. But, much of the growth in storage today is in file storage, or what is commonly known as NAS (Network Attached Storage). NAS storage offers a robust, scale-out, high performance storage layer that simplifies storage management. However, the underlying network infrastructure for NAS storage has to be designed with the highest levels of resiliency, availability and performance.



1100 Customers Can't Be Wrong

by lcaywood on ‎10-26-2013 05:11 AM (1,683 Views)

It’s been a bit quiet on the fabric front lately, what with all the hoopla around SDN. But there are different kinds of quiet. There’s “nothing going on” quiet. There’s “lots of secret stuff going on” quiet. And there’s “just busy getting stuff done” quiet. With ourannouncement today, it should be pretty clear that as far as our customers are concerned, it’s the last one.


This isn’t dramatic “I’ve redone my entire data center!” stuff. That’s kind of the point, in fact. Fabrics don’t represent a grand departure from current norms in terms of skill sets, org charts, or other exciting and scary career-changing things. They just make life for operators a lot easier, and their networks a lot more flexible...



Bridging Virtual World to Physical World...

by nsomayaj on ‎10-13-2013 10:10 PM - last edited on ‎10-23-2014 04:56 PM by Community Manager (976 Views)


Nowadays, a main topic in the area of data center is Network Virtualization, and VMworld 2013 is no exception.  Enterprise businesses and Service Providers having tasted the benefits of virtualizing server and to some extent storage are looking for leveraging virtualizing network to make their data center operations cost less and resource utilization more efficient.


Brook Reams

Brocade is Integrating OpenStack Management

by Community Manager on ‎10-12-2013 06:15 AM - last edited on ‎10-28-2013 01:19 PM by bcm1 (844 Views)




Next week is the OpenStack summit in San Diego, CA, and Brocade will be there with a pilot to show how we are integrating OpenStack into our management architecture.  Brocade's endorsement of OpenStack goes back to a year ago, when during the Brocade Tech Day in May 2011, we announced our participation to the OpenStack alliance. Since that date, we, as a networking company, are working on enabling our product portfolio to be best optimized for OpenStack. The following is a summary of our direction.



  • Brocade has created an OpenStack integration module- called plugin - that enables interoperability between the Brocade VCS technology and Quantum, the component of OpenStack that centralizes networking. We have an OpenStack integration roadmap that will deliver, step by step, other plugins for various Brocade products
  • Brocade is in the process of developing a new management interface, Restfull API based, for ease of integration into cloud orchestration frameworks. This restfull API is service oriented and fabric level hence greatly simplifies networking operations and orchestration.
  • During the next OpenStack Summit in San Diego in October Brocade will showcase an OpenStack powered Brocade cloud lab in partnership with a leading OpenStack ecosystem player.
  • Moving forward, Brocade plans on contributing back to the community with code work and blueprints submission.




This week, Brocade hosted Steve Foskett from Gestalt IT and his merry band for Networking Field Day #4.  Jeff Rametta of the Strategic Solutions Lab (SSL) did a very nice demonstration of how VCS Fabric technology has been integrated with the OpenStack management platform. He shows how to completely automate provisioning of applications, virtual machines, storage, network and network polices using Brocade's VMware Automated Migration of Port Profiles AMPP, part of VCS Fabric technology, and the OpenStack API.  In this example, an application familiar to all attendees, WordPress,  is deployed in just a few minutes using VMware virtual switch policies to seamlessly create the same policies on all switches in the VCS Fabric.


Here is the link to Jeff's demonstration.



"Wow" was one of the comments, and deservedly so.


Jeff and the rest of the team at SSL also regularly contribute content to the Strategic Solutions Forum where you can get more information about reference architectures, design guides, deployment guides and validation tests.  Drop by and take a look around.  Feel free to make comments and ask questions.


There were other informative Brocade presentations at NFD4 and you can find them on this page.  The updates included the innovative Brocade HyperEdge "mix and match" stacking technology used in the campus ICX platform, an update on the newest VDX switch, the VDX 8770 chassis switch with 10GbE and 40 GbE speed,


Note: One analyst called the Brocade VDX 8770 a "beast of a switch". Another said, "Compared with Cisco Nexus and Juniper QFabric, the VDX 8770 is a leader in latency, speed and densit...".  And yet another said "Brocade delivers on the promise of delivering large-scale Ethernet fabric solutions."


and an in-depth discussion of where OpenFlow integration is going (our ADX application delivery switch) and why that's innovative (the long tail market opportunities).


SAN Visibility for Virtual Infrastructure Managers

by lcaywood on ‎10-10-2013 01:55 AM - last edited on ‎10-28-2013 01:20 PM by bcm1 (1,459 Views)

At VMworld San Francisco back in August, we showcased the Brocade SAN Analytic Management Pack for vCenter Operations Manager (vCOps).  This pack effectively fills in a longtime gap in the VMware management suite of virtual infrastructure. In this video, analyst Zeus Kerravala gives his thoughts on the solution.


VCenter Operations Manager provides a unified view into the health, risk, and efficiency of the virtual infrastructure and the health of applications to help improve quality of service and provide early detection of performance, capacity, and configuration issues. Visibility into infrastructure components such as server, storage, application, etc are provided through the vCOPs solution and corresponding vCOps  management packs that brings monitoring of these components into vCOps fold. But the SAN was always a "black box" as there was no visibility when the virtualization administrator needed SAN monitoring, until now.


The Brocade SAN Analytic Management Pack provides SAN visibility within vCOps by leveraging not only the latter’s adaptive capabilities for amplifying signals and dampening noise, but also draws on two other pieces of Brocade SAN technology to provide actionable visibility of SAN-based performance inhibitors.




For example, a not-uncommon SAN problem which often evades troubleshooting is the "slow-draining device".  A good description can be found in this blog, but effectively, multiple SAN zones may be passing traffic into a single port or link to a LUN, causing congestion and latency. The ripple effect of this condition can be disastrous. Indeed, all VMs that are connected through these  zones to the slow-draining device can see their performance decreased to the point that the guest application becomes ineffective.


Brocade Fabric Vision technology, a feature of Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel, proactively monitors all ports within a fabric for performance degradation, congestion and bottlenecks and then synthesizes the information within a fabric-wide view. Information about growing hotspots is then fed to the Brocade SAN Analytic Management Pack to allow the VM administrator to understand how SAN issues may be affecting certain areas of their virtual infrastructure. If changes are warranted, they can be made in Brocade’s network management tool, Brocade Network Advisor, and then easily pushed out across the SAN for remediation.


We’ll have this solution on display again in the Brocade booth P202 at VMworld in Barcelona. The solution can also be found on the VMware Solution Exchange. In addition, Didier Stolpe will giving a deep dive session, Health, Risk and Efficiency Assessment of SAN Infrastructure with vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS) (STO 6123), on Tuesday, 15. October at 17:00. Please stop by if you’re in Barcelona.


Why use VCS fabrics for IP storage?

by lcaywood on ‎10-09-2013 12:30 PM (289 Views)

With our announcement of new and upcoming VCS releases on 9/18, we talked quite a bit about multitenancy and gen



Why use VCS fabrics for IP storage?

by lcaywood on ‎10-09-2013 04:30 AM (722 Views)

With our announcement of new and upcoming VCS releases on 9/18, we talked quite a bit about multitenancy and general fabric manageability and orchestration. One interesting new feature that didn't get a lot of attention at the time is AutoQoS for NAS. VCS fabrics have a strong following among storage administrators who like the familiar Brocade resilience, losslessness and automation for their storage networks--just as important for IP storage as for FC storage.


I invited my colleague Dave Phillips, Director of Product Management, to give you some further context on how and why VCS fabrics are used in IP storage environments, and why we introduced the AutoQoS feature.





Where the Virtual and Physical Converge

by Patric.Chang on ‎10-07-2013 01:46 PM (281 Views)

At VMworld Barcelona, Brocade will showcase cool solutions to help customers tap the benefits of new data center technologies.  Brocade will use an innovative display approach where virtual individuals interact



Reduce your Network TCO by 50% with Brocade VCS and IBM Flex

by royg on ‎10-07-2013 09:43 AM (1,030 Views)

Several important industry trends such as virtualization, cloud computing, hyper growth of unstructured data and business analytics are affecting existing data center enviornments.


As a result of this phenomenal growth in data, corporations are experiencing new requirements for their underlying Data Center infrastructure, primarily enhancements to their network and storage architectures. They need to...

  • Enable an elastic, scale-out model
  • Optimize East West network traffic
  • Provide simple, predictable, efficient and available compute and storage access.

So how do IT organizations keep up with the constant demand of the business and improve quality of service, while battling tighter operating budgets?


IBM and Brocade have partnered to deliver an open architecture based on the industry leading IBM’s Flex System combined with Brocade’s VCS Ethernet Fabric technology (the EN4023 10Gb Scalable Switch Module) and IBM NAS storage products…SONAS, Storewise v7000 Unified, and the N series (N3000, 6000, 7000).


The IBM Flex with its high density packaging, allows more servers and switching components into less space, sharing many common components, greatly reducing cabling and optic cost and provides integrated solutions that:

  • Consumes less power and cooling, especially important for data centers with strict power budgets.
  • Conserves data center space and resources, providing flexibility when and how to expand your data center.
  • Simplifies operational processes via VCS Fabric technology for connecting multiple Flex systems both intra and inter rack for low-touch scale out architecture.
  • Improves IT responsiveness to business needs by simplifying data center management that includes compute, network and storage required for fast application delivery.


Now let us look at how the IBM EN4023 with Brocade VCS Fabric technology embedded in the IBM Flex Chassis can help you build a more efficient Data Center.


Compared to the traditional 3 tier networking architecture, VCS Fabrics increase network efficiency, simplify the network architecture, and reduce the time for adding  network capacity.


The three-tier legacy architecture induces significant inefficiency in the network and hinders application performance due to increased latency between the multiple tiers. Another issue is that adding additional compute and network capacity on demand is not possible.  You may have to re-architect your network for maintaining the same performance bandwidth (e.g. oversubscription ratio) between the network tiers. These changes require significant manual intervention to simply add additional switching capacity and trunk bandwidth.


IBM Flex with the Brocade VCS Fabric alleviates these issues.


Brocade VCS Fabric greatly simplifies the network architecture by collapsing multiple tiers into a flat architecture. All the switches are connected via active-active links and using intelligent multi-pathing capabilities. The end result is a network that is ideal for heavy East West server traffic and providing lower latency, predictable performance and very fast application response time.  Net-Net VCS Fabrics increase the efficiency of your network by 2x compared to traditional networks.


VCS Fabrics also offer unprecedented automation in setting up and managing a highly virtualized scale out network. The VCS Fabric provides a single point of management for all the switches in the Fabric so that you can provision, monitor and troubleshoot your entire Ethernet fabric from a single point within the Fabric.


With VCS Fabrics, supporting VM’s on the network is seamless and automated using Automatic Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP) and integration with VM Ware vCenter offering zero-touch VM discovery, configuration, and mobility.


Another unique feature of VCS Fabrics is the self forming trunks which significantly reduces manual labor, planned downtime and human error by eliminating any CLI commands for configuring the trunks and adding switches in the network. This helps you to deploy additional network capacity 5x faster than the competition.




Figure 1 – VCS Fabric Optimized for Scale out deployments


VCS Fabrics offers the industry’s most advanced capability for adding capacity non-disruptively to the network.  Innovations like Auto-QoS for NAS traffic, VM Aware network automation, auto configuration of ISL trunks and fabric formation truly offer unprecedented automation and flexibility for supporting scale out storage designs. Combined with the inherent scalability capabilities of IBM Flex System and NAS storage, the EN4023 10/40Gb Scalable Switch module and its VCS Fabric capabilities provide IT departments an elastic server, network, storage infrastructure that addresses the business challenges for on-demand capacity growth and fast application delivery.Existing VCS customers have realized over 50% TCO savings for network alone.  Check out the TCO tool...



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