Storage Networks

In IP Storage Backup and Recovery the Network Matters

by David Eoff on ‎04-27-2017 05:30 AM (8,079 Views)

Given that data is at the heart of any business, it's crucial to protect it with backup and disaster recovery technologies. Regulatory and competitive pressures, increasingly complex and distributed IT environments, rapid data growth, and shrinking IT budgets have enterprises deploying cost-effective, reliable, and resilient high performance networks and infrastructure that will enable their operations to continue in the face of data loss or a disaster.



A host of Brocade customers in banking, telecom, technology, insurance and other industries are leveraging advanced networking infrastructure for backup, replication and to ensure business continuance.

For example, a major IT solutions provider for heath insurance providers in Germany, recently migrated to a 10G dedicated IP storage network. This was to support several file services and backup devices, Dell Data Domain and EMC Isilon storage connected to high-end servers running SAP HANA. Their networking team, overloaded implementing a Cisco project, turned to their colleagues in the SAN and Server teams for this project.  The Storage group seized the opportunity realizing that this would give them control of their storage LAN and help ensure SLAs. Key to their success was Brocade VCS Fabric technology, given it is highly automated and limits the resources and networking expertise required to set up and manage an IP storage network.

The SAN team, already familiar with Brocade Fibre Channel fabric capabilities could see the benefits of an IP-based VCS fabric and that it would also be easy to deploy and manage. Today they have control of both network and storage and if they need to increase performance they can add switches or links and not have to change the network itself. They did not have to become IP experts to make it successful and the VCS-based fabric solution can be connected to SAN networks, if needed in the future.

Customers with EMC Connectrix or Brocade switches in backup environments are achieving compelling benefits:


  • Smooth deployment, fully integrated with EMC storage
  • Very short learning curve
  • Storage team doesn’t have to become IP experts to achieve a successful deployment
  • Automation and simplified management of network resources, saves time and budget
  • Exceptional performance and control of both network and storage
  • Network simplicity needed for backup, replication and recovery
  • Dedicated IP Storage networks improving performance of EMC storage and applications
  • FCoE support, important for integration with Fibre Channel Storage

Mission-critical applications equal demanding SLAs
The network does matter in your IP storage environments with backup and replication applications. More mission-critical applications with increased corporate mandates for application availability narrow backup windows and increase recovery demands.

Reduced Recovery Time Objectives
Web-based applications, virtual environments and a global work force mean that no network downtime can be tolerated. IT needs to have confidence in the performance and availability of the network to guarantee that data will be restored as quickly as possible after data loss.

Granular Recovery Point Objectives
Increasingly stringent regulatory requirements mean that the tolerance for amount of data loss is plummeting. A backup and recovery solution needs to offer optimized buffering to handle the constant streams of data resulting from the adoption of RPO reduction technologies such as Continuous Data Protection.

EMC Connectrix and Brocade VDX switches offer features that align to tough performance and scale needs:


  • Deep on-chip buffers
  • Consistent network bandwidth and low latency
  • 10/40/100 GbE ports
  • Trunking
  • Highly scalable non-blocking topology
  • Automated provisioning, troubleshooting and management

The EMC Connectrix VDX-6740B and Brocade VDX 6740 are flexible, high port-density fixed IP switches, extremely scalable to accommodate data growth.  That is important given that scalable and robust backup and recovery solutions are required for virtualized environments. It also enables a flatter environment where multiple layers can be collapsed, reducing footprint, cabling, power, and cooling for reduced TCO.  These VDX switches offer the flexibility to grow as the data grows, tighter integration with storage and NAS replication and snapshot technologies—and tighter integration of Ethernet, iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC), and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols. 

Brocade VCS fabric technology allows the network to scale simply. Just plug a new VDX switch into the existing fabric and it is automatically configured. Even adding additional bandwidth between switches requires no configuration. Simply connect new cables, and frame-based Inter-Switch Link trunks form and traffic is automatically redistributed among the trunk members, with no impact to applications.

Logical Chassis functionality in Brocade VCS fabrics extends the simplicity of operation, streamlining fabric management and maintenance. This management allows the use of a single “virtual IP address” to perform all configuration fabric-wide.  The same IP address is used to upload new software and to auto-provision the cluster.  It enables central management from a switch of your choice, while allowing for granular visibility and control. Eliminating repetitive, manual commands reduces opportunities for error and downtime, and the system-wide view facilitates fast, easy troubleshooting. It saves administration time by simplifying network management. 

EMC Connectrix and Brocade VDX Switches and Brocade VCS fabric technology offers advanced features that backup and recovery environments require. With 10/40/100 GbE options for designing oversubscribed or non-oversubscribed networks, line-rate performance, optimized buffer and latency, automated provisioning, troubleshooting and management will shorten backup windows and enable simple management of backup environments.

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