Ethernet Switches & Routers

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎08-09-2013

Product line differences between ICX and VDX

Hello,

  We are looking at potentially replacing some of our ToR switches. As I am new to the Brocade product lines, I was wondering if someone in the community could express their perspectives on the differences between ICX and VDX (apart from the VCS technology) before I contact the Brocade sales team.

  From what I can tell, I am assuming the VDX series have a lower over subscription ratio (better per-port efficiency) and the VCS technology.

Thank-you kindly for your input.

Respectfully,

~C

Super Contributor
Posts: 1,087
Registered: ‎12-13-2009

Re: Product line differences between ICX and VDX

Neither are over subscribed if used as stand alone switches.

Depending on what modal of icx when stacked will give you different OS rate.

VDX through VCS use ISL's to form the fabric. so you could make it OS or not.

ICS use Fastiron code

VDX use NOS

OS is newer but lacks done of the normal features found on the ICX's. But comes down to what you want to do. If ToR then layer 2 or 3, how much east west traffic etc.

Thanks Michael.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-03-2013

Re: Product line differences between ICX and VDX


             it is not about the subscription ,most of the ICX series are Gigabit switchs,ausually used in the campus situation,they support the stacking,layer 2 or layer 3 switchs.but  the VDX series are TenGigbit switchs,usually used in the date center.and also you know ,the VDX support the VCS .so ccording to your network to chose the best .

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎08-09-2013

Re: Product line differences between ICX and VDX

Hello, I feel I need to clarify. When speaking in terms of oversubscription, most people conclude that you are referring to total logical bandwidth availability. Service providers use an oversubcription formula much like some airlines and hotels when dealing with high volume of customers.

When I mention oversubcription I do mean bandwidth but I am referring from the switchports back to the switch fabric. Typically you'll have an ASIC carrying that load. Most commonly you'll see an 8:1  In some carrier grade switches you'll see 4:1, 2:1 and I've heard claims that both Juniper and Brocade have some that are 1:1 Though these are anecdotal and I have no evidence to support those claims, empirically or otherwise. The "quality" of your ASIC is in essence what would determine your ability to run wireline speeds.

Thus, when I was referring to the oversubcription ratio I should have been more specific and asked, how do the switchports that are connected to a daughter card connect back to the port ASIC? I've attached a logical drawing referring to a CISCO 6904 for the purpose of a visual reference.

, I didnt' think about asking the question regarding the operating system. I'm assuming that FastIron is the old foundry stuff? Or does it just reuse the code? Are you saying then that ICX is rebranded Foundry equipment and VDX is Brocade-original?

As for traffic.. well, the purpose right now for ToR is gaining port density. The core switch here is also used as a distribution switch and has little to no port availability. Our intent is to either a. slowly remove the cat5/6 connections and replace RJ45 modules with fibre modules to distribute to ToR switches OR b. increase port density with ToR and let the HP switch reach EOL and buy something else. this network has no Netflow/Sflow/Cflow type of analysis or anykind of graphing to illustrate conversations. So east <-> west traffic is basically licking my thumb and sticing it in the air!

, it seemed to me that the ICX were more of an access type of switch (you called it gigabit in campus scenario) whereas the VDX seemed more like a distribution switch. Your pespective matches mine which is encouraging

ASIC CISCO 6904.jpg

Super Contributor
Posts: 1,087
Registered: ‎12-13-2009

Re: Product line differences between ICX and VDX

Hi mate,

"I didnt' think about asking the question regarding the operating system. I'm assuming that FastIron is the old foundry stuff? Or does it just reuse the code? Are you saying then that ICX is rebranded Foundry equipment and VDX is Brocade-original?"

So the ICX hardware range was designed and made by Brocade (by MOSTLY Foundry staff that Brocade acquired). The code based was from Foundry days - but has been continually updated by Brocade.

As for ASIC over subscription that really will be by modal (note most of the Foundry / Brocade are indeed wirespeed and not oversubscribed on the ASIC level in the 1 RU range - some of the chassis cards are oversubscribed).  On the VDX where you see port boundaries (the port range that an ISL can be made from), these are due to having multiple ASIC's in a Clos fabric.

So both (ICX and VDX) are Brocade originals as it were.

Marketing material states ICX is campus and VDX is Datacenter.   However this does not mean they will not work in either environment. In fact a ICX as ToR when in a stack of 8 units for a 8 rack pod maybe be all you need.  However if we need higher scale and what to start transitioning to Lossless Ethernet and TRILL, the VDX's are much better suited.

Also remember the VDX's do not require you to turn on VCS (TRILL, FCoE etc) from the start.

So what I am saying is if you are after a recommendation on one vs the other then we would need more info on size (port count and types) and growth and how much $$$ you are willing to spend

Thanks

Michael.

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