Wingspan

New Campus Grand Opening - IT's Time to Celebrate

by Tim.Graumann on ‎09-29-2010 10:03 AM (308 Views)

September marks the official grand opening of Brocade’s new Bay Area campus and with it an exciting new chapter in the company’s history. After years of hard, focused work, the new campus recently earned Brocade a place among the most innovative users of business technology. We have a lot of reasons to celebrate.

Our official grand opening happened on September 9. A week later Brocade was included on the 2010 InformationWeek 500 list of top technology innovators, largely on the basis of our new state-of-the-art data center and engineering labs. The 75,000-square-foot space at our new San Jose headquarters incorporates key elements of flexibility, energy efficiency, sustainable design and technology innovation. We designed the labs and data center to the highest standards, collapsing the access and aggregation networking layers for a flat Layer 2 network that results in more available bandwidth and simplified operations.

The grand opening celebrations were the culmination of three plus years of planning and dedicated effort. Accomplishments on this scale aren’t achieved in a vacuum, or with teams operating in silos. In this case, IT, Facilities, Engineering, Real Estate, Product Management and Global Services worked closely together to make it happen. What is especially remarkable is that everyone who worked on the new campus did so in addition to their day jobs. The project was managed and delivered end-to-end within Brocade. Not only did that save money, it provided a unique opportunity for the individuals involved to gain knowledge and to now carry their knowledge forward within the business. The experience will pay dividends for years to come.  Ultimately, it’s a testament to the caliber of Brocade's staff and to the creativity that an energized and disciplined team can bring to a project.

On our way to delivering the world class campus IT had the opportunity to achieve several landmark successes. Each of the 1300 system and 80 application migrations was carefully planned. We minimized risk and downtime by installing seed equipment at the new campus. We then migrated critical business applications and services to this equipment in waves, and fully tested it before moving it into production. It’s a strategy that allowed us to consolidate three San Jose data centers into one 5,000-square-foot facility at the new campus with minimal disruption to employees and the business. We also decreased our physical footprint requirement by 30 percent and reduced energy consumption by 37 percent -- so we could decommission over 133 kilowatts’ worth of equipment, translating into $200,000 in yearly savings.

An innovative network team leveraged available dark fiber and regional proximity to vendor neutral collocation facilities to design and implement our own linear path-protected transport ring. We are able to connect in each co-lo to the necessary services, including WAN and Internet. Consequently, most business-critical applications are now running on the newest, highest bandwidth systems. Not only is this solution cost effective and highly available, it also allows for rapid delivery of new services in the future.

The potential business payback from the new campus’ network infrastructure is enormous and will continue to evolve over time. It is served by a world-class converged network that provides a secure and robust voice and data platform; one that delivers  functionality, performance, scalability and cost savings to support Brocade’s growth and business goals. Of particular note is that Brocade is the first of the major IP network equipment vendors to be running IPv6 for Internet-facing services.

With technology and technology innovation impacting every facet of how Brocade operates and delivers, the strategic role of IT within the business will only increase. As we close this chapter, I look forward to IT’s role in the next. I know that the infrastructure we now have in place will be central to the story.