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Cloud: Redefining Where Business Models and Technologies Meet

by John.McHugh on ‎08-30-2011 03:20 AM (599 Views)

Our announcements at VMworld 2011 aim at the heart of what’s driving the evolution of the IT ecosystem, specifically with regards to the new cloud architectures.  I see the evolution of the IT ecosystem being driven by cloud architectures in two fundamental areas–changing business models and changing technology models.


On the technology side, we announced the extension of our Ethernet fabric-based data center solution with the new Brocade VDX 6710 and 6730. We continue to scale out our innovative fabric design with the capabilities to embrace native Fibre Channel, integrated Fibre Channel bridging, Gigabit connections, and enhancements to the existing network architecture and OS to allow tighter integration with virtual machine orchestration solution, such as vCenter and vSphere.


Brocade is also excited to be introducing significant enhancements to our DCX platform and Fibre Channel switches.  These advancements in our Fibre Channel architecture deliver expanded capabilities like inter-chassis links, embedded encryption, and added scalability through new levels of supportability and link diagnostics. As customers start looking at cloud-based storage, this architecture incorporates all of the extension capabilities customers are going to need to extend their storage architecture across multiple data centers.


From a business model transformation perspective, we've announced Brocade Network Subscription, arguably the most significant change to the networking infrastructure acquisition model since the introduction of 10Base-T. What Brocade is allowing customers to do across its product offering is the option to select a monthly subscription model for equipment.  And I stress, this is a subscription, not a lease.  There are no long-term commitments; customers buy exactly the capacity they need on a month-by-month basis with no obligation for multi-year commitment. Since service is part of the package, customers can build a network with no upfront cost and simply pay for the capacity they consume on a monthly basis.


As I noted earlier, cloud architecture is driving fundamental changes to IT technology and economies.  Often, enterprises’ ability to scale is often constrained by its ability to get access to capital, such as the ability to make significant upfront purchases to scale out network capacity.  Financially smart options to add network capacity can often be the governor to how rapidly service providers and enterprises can acquire and activate new customers.  With this model, capital considerations suddenly get taken off the table.


Virtual compute blocks are how one would take technology and business models to transform the acquisition and deployment model for cloud optimized data centers.  The CloudPlex architecture, we announced at Technology Day in May, is a reference architecture which both customers and partners can use to do three things: cloud-enable existing data centers, create integrated stacks with flexible scaling, and scale out to multiple physical data centers. With these three capabilities CloudPlex becomes an attractive reference architecture for individual customers and system integrators to build their cloud architecture.


At VMworld 2011 we're going to show some of these integrated data center solutions; we're going to highlight the ability to scale out capacity at different levels, and we're going to show how this architecture creates new economies because customers are no longer trapped into a pre-configured vertically-integrated architecture.  They can take advantage of best-of-breed solutions for storage and compute and use the technology that meets their economic and performance needs, while providing the feature flexibility they're looking for.