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Data Center

It’s A Fabric Thing: Brocade Hosts Networking Field Day 2

by lcaywood on ‎11-01-2011 01:46 PM (2,371 Views)

Last week, we hosted 10 of the world’s leading independent Bloggers of Networking at Brocade HQ. What qualifies someone to be in this select group, you may ask?

  • Not aligned with any particular vendor, analyst firm or media outlet. Truly independent, and curious about all things networking. Their opinions are strictly their own.
  • High degree of technical knowledge, and a devotion to sharing it with their peers on a regular basis.
  • Several work as independent consultants designing and deploying networks of all sizes, while others work directly within IT departments. They’re hands-on, on the front lines, fighting the fires every day. No ivory tower types in this crowd.

As such, we felt this was a great group to get immersed in fabrics. So much of the industry discussion of Ethernet fabrics tends towards the theoretical, and for good reason: it’s a new technology, much of it based on standards that are still evolving, and with a variety of different architectural approaches available. Several hundred customers have licensed either Brocade VCS Fabric technology or Cisco’s FabricPath (the “oldest” fabrics in-market), and in fact some 85% of VCS licensees are already in production with the technology, but few are yet at a point where they’re able to discuss their experiences publicly. So, we thought, why not get a group of people who are accustomed to speaking purely on their own behalf to play with it and let them tell you about their experience?

Greg cabling NFD2.jpg

Here’s what they said:

  • “I just built a TRILL-based fabric w/ Brocade VDX & a bunch of redundant multipath links. Intuitive, functional, easy CLI.”
  • “Brocade VDX show you a heartbeat during an upgrade so you know things are going okay w/o monitoring the console. I would kill for that.”
  • “Simple. You connected in and it automatically went where you needed to go.”
  • "I haven't been able to break it yet, but I'll keep trying."
  • “It's actually a really good product. It's interesting to watch the fabric trunks being built as soon as the connections are made, very resilient. I like it.”

You can watch the video of the whole session here, and review the Twitter stream #NFD2 to learn more.