Brocade has been a market leader in driving 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) to the masses, helping to ensure performance and throughput, delivering value-added capabilities on top of 10GbE to enable a broad based adoption in many industries including telecom, R&D, education, weather forecasting, oil and gas exploration and entertainment, and most importantly, dramatically lowering cost per port. We expect the same will be true for future high-throughput standards, including the upcoming 100GbE standard.
While 10GbE has been around for five years, and has been very well received by early adopters, the fact that its price, with ports ranging from around $1,000 to upwards of $5,000, compared to Gigabit Ethernet was still fairly high has prevented it from becoming a mass market. Brocade’s announcement at this year’s Interop trade show at Vegas once again demonstrated Brocade’s technology leadership. The new TurboIron 10GbE data center switch delivers wire-speed 10GbE port at an end-user price substantially below $500/port. With Brocade’s leadership and such disruptive 10GbE pricing, network managers can now migrate their networks en masse to 10GbE where appropriate.
What it means for the data center is that application users will enjoy a 10x improvement in performance, a significant improvement application and services throughput and experience, and simplification of managing aggregated links (LAGs). Ultimately the availability of low cost, wire-speed 10GbE connections, virtualization technology, coupled with switching technique which is loop-free, lossless and fast converging, will transform next generation data center design.
Another technology driver for 10GbE is the dramatic improvement of server performance due to multi-core technology. Servers are now capable of driving 10GbE of data. With the emergence of Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE), Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and cut-through switching technologies, 10GbE will be the dominant fabric in the data center. While this is a great opportunity for customers of data center solution leaders like Brocade, it will be unfair and counterproductive for any vendor to require or dictate such transformation to its customers.
Brocade is all about providing choice. We give choices to our customers and we are also not forcing the customer to adopt a particular technology on a given timeline. As a result, we are driving high speed converged enhanced 10GbE at a lower price point and at the same time we are also doing the same for fibre channel. Our customers can go with GbE or with high bandwidth 10GbE. They can go with 4Gb or 8Gb fibre channel. And you can expect Brocade to continue to drive from 8Gb to 16Gb fibre channel and also to continue to drive the price point of fibre channel down at the same time.
Brocade Ethernet IP products are purpose-built to span the technology of 10GbE, 40GbE, and 100GbE. What it means is that from day one, we anticipated that 40GbE and 100GbE will follow 10GbE. Because of that, our architecture, our system design, and our backplane are all built with the ability to support wire-speed 40GbE and 100 GbE interfaces. Customers who own the Brocade Ethernet portfolio of products, they can be assured that these products are future-looking in the sense that they run Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE today. They will be able to run 40GbE and 100GbE tomorrow.
Classic Ethernet is now a commodity, resulting in very attractive economic price curve. It is also pervasive technology. This means a lot of people are very familiar with Ethernet. They know how to run applications on top of it, they can troubleshoot it and they can manage it. They are interested in the promise of a CEE and they are definitely interested in the convergence in the data center between fibre channel and Ethernet. They are very interested in FCoE. Brocade will continue its culture of innovation on both fronts.