Data Center

mschiff

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 (1,892 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…” 

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AJ Casamento

Paying attention to your optical infrastructure

by AJ Casamento ‎04-29-2014 09:53 AM - edited ‎04-29-2014 09:53 AM (2,194 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.

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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 (1,193 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.

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AJ Casamento

Do Storage Networks need to be treated as "special" regardless of the technology in use?

by AJ Casamento ‎03-25-2014 02:36 PM - edited ‎03-25-2014 02:36 PM (2,455 Views)

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.

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plaporte

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

by plaporte ‎03-25-2014 09:31 AM - edited ‎03-25-2014 09:31 AM (1,575 Views)

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

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jgamez

VMware PEX 2014: Networks matters for Performance and Agility of the Virtual Deskop

by jgamez ‎02-27-2014 03:49 PM - edited ‎02-27-2014 03:49 PM (2,763 Views)

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

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anandar

Data security and the role of the network

by anandar on ‎02-24-2014 07:10 AM (3,364 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?

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Sandeep.Singh.Kohli

Multi-pronged approach towards cloud architectures

by Sandeep.Singh.Kohli ‎02-18-2014 11:49 PM - edited ‎03-03-2014 01:18 PM (2,003 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

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bcasemore@idc.com

The Missing Link of Datacenter Agility

by bcasemore@idc.com on ‎02-11-2014 03:00 PM - last edited on ‎02-12-2014 10:21 AM by Community Manager (2,786 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.

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mdetrick

Deploy Network Capacity 5x Faster

by mdetrick on ‎02-11-2014 08:00 AM (1,684 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...

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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 (3,185 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.

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mdetrick

Brocade Ethernet Fabrics Lower OpEx by 50%

by mdetrick ‎02-04-2014 03:35 PM - edited ‎02-04-2014 03:35 PM (3,206 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...

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lcaywood

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 (6,804 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:

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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.

arnoldg

Cloud Computing: Preparing For Hong Kong

by arnoldg on ‎11-01-2013 05:29 PM (3,295 Views)

[Note: I wrote this piece last weekend, because I knew that I’d be too busy to work on it this week. This explains the prematurely skeptical reference to the Red Sox.]

 

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.

 

This time next week I’ll be in Hong Kong as part of the Brocade team, joining thousands of cloud computing technologists, users, salespeople, and writers for a week of business and technical sessions. My main focus will be on the Design Summit sessions for Neutron, the OpenStack networking subsystem formerly known as Quantum. My colleagues will be involved in a variety of areas, including FC SAN features for the Cinder storage service, load balancers, and integration of our VCS fabric. Several of them are presenting in the main Summit. And we’ll all be talking to customers and partners.

 

OpenStack networking is complicated. This is mostly due to the fact that data center networking is going through a period of massive disruption in several different areas, leading to a combinatorial explosion of complexity. Overlay architectures, different kinds of tunneled underlay, the replacement of dedicated network equipment by software running in VMs, the emergence of controller-based SDN such as the OpenDaylight project, and the spectacular performance improvements in merchant silicon and x86 processors: these have resulted in many innovative products from startups and established vendors, all of whom are keen to participate in OpenStack. In part, it’s because the OpenStack mission has been expanding from a simple EC2-style IaaS to include legacy data center automation and carrier NFV. Public clouds emphasize abstraction and multi-tenant isolation, features which are less relevant for other users of the technology, and it's challenging to develop abstractions and APIs which address all of the use cases. There is still a lively debate on which parts of OpenStack are "core" elements of every OpenStack system. (Indeed the original Nova networking system is still the default; deprecation is planned for the upcoming Icehouse cycle.)

 

In this exciting and unpredictable environment, my team has been working on a project to manage some of the diversity. In our Dynamic Network Resource Manager (DNRM) Blueprint, we’re proposing a framework for managing the pool of physical and virtual network resources from multiple vendors. It borrows an idea from the OpenStack Nova scheduler: the use of a policy-based resource allocator that abstracts away the complexity of resource management, and allows each cloud operator to choose the resource allocation policy which fits their environment.

 

We’re demonstrating a proof-of-concept implementation of DNRM that uses the Brocade Vyatta vRouter, probably the most widely used virtual networking appliance. The DNRM resource manager uses Nova to provision a number of Vyatta virtual machines. Then a modified API handler in Neutron intercepts each client request to create an L3 Router, calls the policy-based DNRM allocator to find the best resource instance, examines the type of resource, and calls the appropriate driver (in this case the Vyatta driver) which talks to the VM to configure the vRouter. All of this can be viewed in the OpenStack Horizon dashboard; we've added a new panel which displays the state of the resource pool.

 

The Blueprint explores a range of use cases that are supported by the DNRM framework. Several of Brocade's customers are particularly interested in the ability to allocate virtual appliances for dev/test networks and physical systems for production traffic, without changing any code. Others focus on the way it supports resources from multiple vendors, or the ability to choose specific resources to meet compliance requirements.

 

Inevitably such a comprehensive mechanism as DNRM overlaps several projects within Neutron, including the FWaaS, LBaaS, and VPNaaS work. In recent weeks we’ve been meeting with many of the other contributors to OpenStack to thrash out the details of what a final architecture should look like. I’m looking forward to the Design Summit sessions in Hong Kong, which should lead to agreement on a program of work for the next Icehouse release of OpenStack. It’s going to be complicated, for the reasons that I already mentioned, but I think this increasing complexity emphasizes the need to provide cloud operators with policy-based automation tools.

 

And when I get back from Hong Kong on the 10th, I'll see which of those sporting events I still want to watch!

Sandeep.Singh.Kohli

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 (5,101 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.

 

 

 

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arnoldg

Cloud computing: Preparing for Hong Kong

by arnoldg on ‎10-28-2013 12:16 PM (256 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

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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.
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nsomayaj

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 ‎10-28-2013 01:13 PM by bcm1 (2,075 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.

 

Business continuity and 24x7 application availability are top requirements for any organization. Advances in virtualization, storage, and networking have made enhanced business continuity possible, so that IT can deal with unplanned outages (disaster recovery) as well as with planned disruptions (disaster avoidance) and eventually take advantage of the flexibility and cost efficiencies offered in the cloud. The disruptive virtualization technologies and products from VMware in working with partners such as EMC and Brocade are bringing down the cost of deploying business continuity solutions.

 

Brocade, EMC, and VMware have collaborated to test and validate a solution that offers IT Operations the capability to dynamically migrate applications live across data centers without business interruption. This demonstration of live application mobility across data centers separated by a latency of up to 10 ms round trip (~550 miles) relies on the industry-proven VMware® Metro vMotion™, with the EMC VPLEX Metro application mobility solution, running on Brocade® IP and storage networking infrastructure for high performance traffic management and DC interconnect. The workflow is automated by the Brocade Application Resource Broker to ensure a non-disruptive end-user experience throughout the vMotion event.

 

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Building the right storage and network infrastructure to enable data and application mobility requires a data center infrastructure that can provide both optimal storage extension capabilities as well as advanced network functionality end-to-end. It is imperative that a complete, comprehensive solution comprising storage, network, and server infrastructure be designed and implemented to facilitate the movement of applications across data centers. These products from Brocade, EMC, and VMware have been validated in the joint solution:

 

  • VMware vSphere 5 with Enterprise Plus licensing to enable Metro vMotion
  • EMC VPLEX Metro to ensure the availability of access to the storage in both data centers
  • Brocade VDX™ switching platforms, built on Brocade VCS technology, to provide a scalable and resilient Ethernet fabric for VMware server attachment at the network edge in a top of rack deployment
  • Brocade MLX and CES platforms for IP network aggregation and core and L2 data center extension with MPLS based VPLS
  • Brocade DCX Directors for storage extension, with FCIP and FastWrite technology
  • Brocade Application Resource Broker (ARB)–working in tandem with the Brocade ADX -- to provide high availability and seamless client access to the application by combining Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) with the automated application mobility capabilities of ARB.
  • Brocade ADX for application high availability and seamless client access to VMs
  • Brocade Converged Network Adaptors (CNAs) and Host Bus Adaptors (HBAs) for ESX/ESXi servers for Ethernet and fiber channel connectivity to the IP and storage networks, respectively
  • Brocade Network Advisor for unified end-to-end solution management, including IP and storage networks

 

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Solution Description:

The solution comprises of four distinct areas of technology integrations. The solution is architected as;

  1. Use of EMC VPLEX Directors to provide Active/Active storage for data availability for vMotion to be successful. The Brocade DCX Director class switch with the extension blades (FX8-24) is used to extend the SAN over FCIP. The vSphere servers with the Brocade 1020 Converged Network Adapters (CNA) are used to provide access to the VMware VMFS data stores.
  2. The vSphere migration network or the network on which the Virtual Machine (VM) is migrated is connected to the Wide Area Network (WAN) using the Brocade Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) technology
  3. The layer 2 extension providing the IP address compatibility for the VMs is enabled by the Brocade Ethernet Fabric provided by the Brocade VDX coupled with the standards-based MPLS VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Switching) technology of the Brocade MLX switches in the two data centers.
  4. The client traffic management which is paramount to ensure that the end user perceives no disruption in service is provided by the use of Brocade ADX integrated with the Brocade Application Resource Broker (ARB).  A vCenter plugin ensures that the clients are redirected automatically to the new location of the application.

 

 

Solution Testing

 

SpecJBB Testing

SPECjbb emulates a 3-tier system, the most common type of server-side Java application today. Business logic and object manipulation, the work of the middle tier, predominate; clients are replaced by user threads, and database storage by Java collections. The benchmark steps through increasing amounts of work, providing a graphical view of scalability. The benchmark is a CLI oriented benchmark used to stress the migration network and migration process within the vSphere servers.

 

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SwingBench Testing

SwingBench is a load generator used to stress test the network IP management between data centers. The benchmark is primarily used to stress the working of the Application Resource Broker (ARB) and the Application Delivery Controller (ADX) of IP traffic management between data centers.  As you can see from the graph below, there is no appreciable effect on the benchmark during the migration.

 

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DVD Store Application Mobility Testing

This set of tests measured the orders per minute (OPM) for the DVD store application with different simulated WAN delay values. The VM was configured to move from the primary data center to the remote data center while clients were accessing the application. Delays of 3 and 5 ms were introduced and OPM was measured at 19,500 and 18,500, respectively. The 5 ms round trip time (RTT) was introduced to emulate latency between the two data centers, which is the currently supported value for VPLEX Metro.

 

Additional proof of concept tests were performed to go beyond the 5 ms value with an RTT of 7.5 ms and 10 ms; the results showed 16,500 OPM and 13,869 OPM, respectively, with no application disruption. The latency of 10 ms approximately translates into 1000 kilometers between the vSphere servers. With the assumption that the data center LAN network has 500 ms latency within the data center, it is then safe to assume a latency of 9 ms or a distance of 900 kilometers or 562.5 miles between data centers.

 

The VM was able to complete the full migration without any traffic disruption. Clients connected to the application did not see any interruption. The Brocade ADX redirected client sessions to the new VM in the remote data centers. The ADX, with the global server load balancing and ARB capabilities, ensured that new clients were able to transparently connect directly to the remote data center.

 

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Measurements Performance Data

The Brocade FastWrite feature is designed to overcome the latency effects for write operations, without compromising data integrity and security. FastWrite allows the entire data sequence of a write operation to be transported across a link, without the inefficiencies of waiting for the “transfer ready” to travel back across the high-latency environment. Brocade FastWrite is available with either FC-based or FCIP extension.

 

In addition to the tests for application performance and migration time, additional tests were performed to show the positive effects of the Brocade FastWrite capability available on the DCX backbone directors. Sequential write operations at different block sizes and different delay values between the two data centers were performed using IOmeter. Tests results showed that response time and IOPS were improved more than 2.5 times compared to not using FastWrite.

 

Remember to watch the video demo of above solution at Brocade booth #710 in VMworld 2011 and discuss about the solution in-depth with our solution engineers.

 

I would like to thank Ravindra Neelkant of VMware for helping folks at Brocade in architecting and testing this solution.

 

Enjoy your time at VMworld 2011 and Vegas !!!

 

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 ‎10-28-2013 01:15 PM by bcm1 (1,856 Views)

 

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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. A lossless Ethernet transport can improve performance when network congestion occurs. TCP relies on the TCP sliding window for flow control. But, if congestion causes frame loss, then TCP recovery can severely restrict bandwidth as thetransmit window size shrinks and then slowly increases again. Enter Brocade’sVCS Fabric technology and VDX switch family (VDX 6710VDX 6720VDX 6730and the newest VDX 8770 switch). By handling congestion at layer 2 with lossless Ethernet, a VCS Fabric can avoid TCP frame loss and the time consuming recovery of full TCP transmit window size.

 

For the same reasons SAN fabrics are the best practice for high performance, resiliency and lossless block IO with Fibre Channel, VCS Fabrics bring these same qualities to Ethernet making a VCS Fabric ideal to transport NAS storage traffic.

 

Scale-out NAS Publications

The Strategic Solutions Lab recently posted several design guides and a Scale-out NAS primer showing how to cost-effectively use VCS Fabrics with NAS storage pools.

 

 

Demonstration of VCS Fabric Resiliency with NAS

 

 

Wayne Tull, a Principal Systems Architect at Brocade, put together a very nice demonstration video showing how VCS Fabric resiliency overcomes link, path and device failures with NAS storage traffic and VMware server virtualization. What’s very cool in this video is seeing how virtual server IO to NAS storage never stops no matter what kind of failure occurs in the data path. Take a look at the last demonstration where he fails the primary IO path while a live VM migration is going on. There is no detectable pause in migration and no loss of application processing. Imagine what could have happened in a less robust network if this kind of failure caused a corruption to a database taking many hours to recover.

 

lcaywood

1100 Customers Can't Be Wrong

by lcaywood on ‎10-26-2013 05:11 AM (1,553 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...

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nsomayaj

Bridging Virtual World to Physical World...

by nsomayaj on ‎10-13-2013 10:10 PM - last edited on ‎10-28-2013 01:17 PM by bcm1 (823 Views)

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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.

 

Challenge is getting to that “Nirvana”. This shift, especially to Network Virtualization need to be more of an evolutionary than revolutionary change. Here is where “Brocade VCS Gateway for NSX” comes into the picture. While Data centers are trying to virtualize their business critical applications in terms of compute, storage and network, some of the application components such as database server and storage remain non-virtualized. Even if they virtualize some of these components, they end up remaining on physical network. This “Evolutionary approach to application virtualization” is one such use case for the “Brocade VCS Gateway for NSX”.

 

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Another use case is application life cycle where there is need to deploy  application in a “Test & Dev  Environment” to “Production Environment”.  Virtualization technologies together with agile methodologies helps to reduce “time to market”  the IT services as business and market requirements change.  But, this also brings deployment issues to IT when application life cycle shifts from “Test & Dev” to Production where some of these application components are using physical resources. As the networking configuration such as IP address and VLAN change and deviates from tested configuration, possibility of application failure is high. This is where one could use “Brocade VCS Gateway for NSX” to keep the tested network configuration, but still deploy application where some of the components are based on physical infrastructure.

 

Brocade VCS Gateway for NSX combines two great technologies – Brocade VCS and VMware NSX  and provides the following benefits:

  • a high performance option to connect virtual and physical networks
  • agility through orchestrating via NSX for self-service automated network provisioning
  • resiliency that is inherent in Brocade VCS fabric enables a highly available VXLAN gateway

 

You can find more about bridging Virtual and Physical networks in this very well written blog. You can get more  information about “Brocade VCS Gateway for NSX”  by attending the session “Advanced Network Designs for Data Center Transformation” (#NET6091).by Jon Hudson, Principal Engineer at Brocade.


Enjoy VMworld at Barcelona !!!

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 (695 Views)

 

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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.

 

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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).

lcaywood

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 (1,151 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.

 

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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.

lcaywood

Why use VCS fabrics for IP storage?

by lcaywood on ‎10-09-2013 12:30 PM (180 Views)

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

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lcaywood

Why use VCS fabrics for IP storage?

by lcaywood on ‎10-09-2013 04:30 AM (575 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.

 

 

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Patric.Chang

Where the Virtual and Physical Converge

by Patric.Chang on ‎10-07-2013 01:46 PM (177 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

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royg

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

by royg on ‎10-07-2013 09:43 AM (536 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.

 

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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...

 

Patric.Chang

Where the Virtual and Physical Converge

by Patric.Chang on ‎10-07-2013 05:46 AM - last edited on ‎10-28-2013 01:22 PM by bcm1 (639 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 interactive with their live counterparts to demonstrate the benefits that can be realized when virtual and physical resources are utilized together.

 

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      One of the Brocade Booth Presentations – the Virtual Amanda in the Virtual/Physical Infinite Game

 

At the Brocade booth, you can also see how the Brocade VCS Gateway for NSX can help you move smoothly to the new Data Center by allowing workloads to utilize resources running on virtual and physical networks.

 

At this event, Cloud Management will be a big topic. Cloud Management allows organizations to drive greater automation and management leading to higher efficiency.  Brocade has been collaborating with VMware on a SAN Analytics Management Pack for vCenter Operations Management and a Content Pack for Log Insight. Participants can see how to simplify SAN operations management with Brocade Management Pack at the Brocade booth.

 

For participants preferring a more hands-on experience, you can build your own Data Center network in 5 minutes. If you are longing to bust your application out of your private data center into a public cloud, check out how you can use the Vyatta vRouter to connect to public cloud services easily and securely.

 

Participants seeking to gain an in-depth knowledge of Brocade Data Center Networking for Data Transformation using NSX should join Jon Hudson’s breakout session #NET6091.

 

To learn how to perform Health, Risk and Efficiency Assessment of SAN Infrastructure with vCenter Operations Management Suite, Didier Stople’s session #STO6123 is a smart choice.

 

Check out the latest blogs for VMworld Europe on the Brocade Management Pack and the VCS Gateway for NSX.

 

So, whether you feel optimal with physical or partial to virtual or simply game to learn more about software-defined networking (SDN) for the new data center - Booth P202 is the place to converge - to find the virtual / physical balance that is just right for your data center requirements.

 

mschiff

On-Demand Data Center Validation: What to Do with All that East-West Traffic

by mschiff on ‎09-26-2013 10:57 AM - last edited on ‎10-28-2013 01:23 PM by bcm1 (574 Views)

Ok, now to start getting into the meat behind the On-Demand Data Center.  Over the course of this series I am going to break down several of the challenges which data center operators continually tell us keep them up at night. And then, more importantly, describe the validated real-world solutions that can make them rest a little easier. So what challenge are we looking at today?  How about one caused by server virtualization?

 

“Wait, but, I thought server virtualization was supposed to solve my problems, not be the cause?  It’s the building block of the cloud!”

 

Yes, sure it is. Virtualization is great. It increases resource utilization, improves efficiency, reduces provisioning time… yadda yadda yadda…you have your cloud.  But if Seinfeld taught me anything it’s that there’s a lot that can happen in the yadda.  In particular, there are several challenges that server virtualization places on your data center network.  The focus of this entry will be how to deal with the massive increase in east-west traffic that it is causing.  So today, let’s go east-west, young man (or woman).

 

The traditional access/aggregation/core topologies have been around for a long time and are widely implemented in data centers everywhere.  However, with the rise in east-west traffic (~80% of traffic will be east-west by 20141, and about half of that is going across VLAN boundaries), the current model does not efficiently manage server to server routing. Due to P2V migration, VMs are being increasingly spun up, consolidating the amount of physical servers (~82% of server workloads will run in virtual environments in 20162).  This presents an opportunity to significantly reduce core bound traffic that was being routed within the data center to other servers or in some cases to the same server! The additional hops needed for a VM to communicate with another VM in a different subnet can be greatly reduced by adding a router into the virtual environment with the VMs.

 

Let’s take a look at an example. The diagram below shows the traditional traffic pattern used for routing between VMs.  The green flow would be greatly enhanced with a virtual routing solution allowing intra-server routing, eliminating hops and reducing latency caused by sending the traffic to the core.

 

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Now let’s say the traffic needs to cross server boundaries.  To fully optimize the traffic in this case, you will want to have a very efficient ToR solution with full Layer 1 multi-pathing capabilities because you are doing the routing within the server layer. In the below diagram you can see both intra-server traffic flow with virtual routing (red) and inter-server traffic flow with virtual routing and multi-pathing at the ToR (blue).

 

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Brocade is the only vendor that can deliver this complete solution for your data center today. The Vyatta vRouter delivers dynamic routing, Policy-Based Routing (PBR), stateful firewall, VPN support, and traffic management in a single package that is optimized to perform in virtualized environments. The Brocade VDX Series with VCS Fabric Technology supports 100% multi-pathing at all layers of the network: Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3. Layer 1 multi-pathing is achieved via Brocade ISL Trunking, providing the industry’s best load balancing across a trunk group.  By leveraging these technologies, we were able to reduce core bound traffic by 40%.

 

Oh, just last week we announced even more advancements for these solutions in support of the On-Demand Data Center. Check it out!

 

Next entry we will stay on the virtualization theme, but look at ways to deal with congestion that it causes on the rest of the network, specifically in the core and aggregation.

 

1 Gartner—Your Data Center Network is Heading Toward Traffic Chaos (April 2011)

2Gartner Forecast Analysis: x86 Server Virtualization, Worldwide, 3Q12 Update (November 2012)