By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated April 04, 2013.
San-Jose, California-based Brocade is positioning itself for the future with its latest advanced storage area networking (SAN) solutions, data center innovations, and ongoing R&D. As part of the effort, the company has recently rolled out its "Fabric Vision" and the new Brocade 6520 Switch.
Fabric Vision technology is a SAN hardware and software solution that promises to maximize uptime, simplify SAN deployment and management, and provide visibility and insight into the storage network. Brocade's newest technology is a collection of features and tools that aim to enhance the company's purpose-built Gen 5 Fibre Channel portfolio with 16-Gbps performance.
"Increasing infrastructure complexity continues to drive requirements for ongoing consolidation and simplification of IT resources," said Dan Iacono, research director of Storage Systems at IDC. "SAN management software, such as Brocade Fabric Vision technology, can improve the administrator's ability to better monitor, manage and operate their storage networks, which can allow more time for the administrator to provide value back to the business."
Major OEM Support
Brocade is billing its new 6520 Switch as the industry's highest-density fixed-configuration SAN switch. The Brocade 6520 Switch beefs up the company's portfolio of Gen 5 Fibre Channel modular, fixed port and embedded solutions. Brocade sees this as a major competitive differentiator and it is getting a nod from major OEMs, including Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard and Nimbus Data.
"The Brocade 6520 SAN Switch rounds out Dell's Fibre Channel ecosystem, helping to improve the resilience, agility, availability and performance of our leading-edge, end-to-end 16 Gbps solution from server to switch to storage," said Jeff Baher, director of product marketing for Dell Enterprise Solution Group. "This high-density switch is a perfect complement to our recent Compellent Storage Center 6.3 update, providing additional levels of scalability for larger SAN deployments."
Preparing for an Open Future
Brocade said efforts are under way by the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) T11 Technical Committee to finalize the standards for Gen 6 Fibre Channel (32 Gbps) by the end of 2013. Brocade has already initiated research and development for Gen 6 Fibre Channel technology to address the evolving storage networking needs of enterprise data centers.
Brocade is also working with the OpenStack Foundation to develop open-source software that will simplify management of Fibre Channel fabrics in cloud architectures. Next month, Brocade and its OEM partners will be proposing the Fibre Channel SAN Zone Manager blueprint at the OpenStack Summit. Brocade was also involved in the Fibre Channel Volume Manager blueprint proposal that will be included in the new OpenStack Grizzly software, also scheduled for release next month.
"According to ESG's 2013 IT Spending Survey, increasing use of server virtualization technology continues to be a top priority. These highly virtualized and dynamic environments require greater levels of reliability and performance due to the increased impact that system failures can have on both revenue and productivity," said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
"However, leveraging the integrated, advanced diagnostic and monitoring capabilities of Brocade Fabric Vision technology will enable organizations to retain control, simplify SAN management and improve availability for these mission-critical environments."
Brocade will be showcasing its fabric vision, its network routers and switches, as well as its strategy for the "On-Demand Data Center" at the Interop Las Vegas IT Expo and Conference, May 6-10.