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Data Center

Big Talk in the Cloud: Network Products to Scale Microsoft Unified Communications

by Patric.Chang on ‎09-12-2012 01:04 PM (3,184 Views)

Every company is rushing to run more of their applications in the cloud.  In his opening Brocade 2012 Tech Day session, Dave Stevens indicated that the average enterprise already use 10 or more cloud-based applications. According to Holger Kisker of Forrestor, one of his top cloud predictions is that: “Collaboration will emerge as a key business benefit for cloud computing”.

As the trend for mobile workers accelerates and the need for collaboration increases, this will give rise to two concerns. First, is the need for to make it easier for a worker to use and managed different methods of communications on an integrated platform. Second, is the need to optimize and manage the different types of traffic delivered by these new applications designed for the cloud.

Microsoft’s Unified Communications is an example of an integrated application which incorporates telephony and voice Mail, e-mail and calendaring, IM and conferencing.  By hosting UC in the cloud, customers have access to Unified Communications as a Service. In fact, hosted UC can be any combinations of Lync, Exchange and/or SharePoint running in the cloud.

A concern of replacing the chunky desk phones with UC running from devices is that employees will expect reliable and relatively jitter-free service for their voice and video. To meet this expectation, organizations will have to ensure that their networks in the data center and the access networks have the bandwidth, scalability and low latency to deliver a quality service during peak hours and as the user population grows.  As a result, UC is a worthy application to test if your network is ready for cloud computing.

In this regard, Brocade can be the best friend in your network. How? Brocade has already demonstrated the ability to run UC in the enterprise (see technical paper) and with service providers with several Microsoft partners (see the multi-tenant reference architecture). Here is an example of hosted UC and the required data center and campus networks from Brocade.

Brocade has been innovating and delivering products to deliver optimized networks to run the new applications designed to fully exploit the scalability and agility provided by cloud computing.  Brocade VCS Ethernet Fabrics (used here in the data center) provides the most capable infrastructure for dynamic and yet simplified network provisioning and management.

Brocade launched our newest VCS fabric switch, the VDX 8770 at Brocade’s Annual Tech Day in San Jose.  This new product delivers massive scale illustrated by its ability to support 384,000 virtual machines in a single fabric. In addition, Brocade announces the industry’s highest density 10 GbE density MLX-e core routers. More information can be found in the VDX announcement here and on the microsite.

The VDX 8770 is a fitting platform for data centers or service providers who need a cloud-optimized network platform that can start as a small fabric and quickly grow with business requirements to any scale. Moreover, VDX 8770 is designed with software-defined networking in mind and has the ability to support emerging network virtualization protocols such as VXLAN and NVGRE.

OBT, one of Microsoft’s hosters is in San Jose to help demonstrate how to host Lync and Exchange business on a Windows Server platform with Brocade networks.  The following picture summarizes the benefits of running Hosted Lync with Mercury and Microsoft’s latest Windows Server.

Mike Schutz, General Manager of Windows Server Product Marketing highlights the benefits delivered to customers via the collaboration between Microsoft and Brocade in this video.