Brocade first to market with Ethernet fabric solutions to enable virtualised data centres and cloud-optimised networks

Brocade VDX 6720 Data Centre Switches Deliver Virtual Cluster Switching Technology that Revolutionises the Way Networks are Built

Brocade® (NASDAQ: BRCD) today announced the industry’s first true Ethernet fabric switching solutions that are purpose-built for highly virtualised and cloud-optimised data centres. As the global leader in data centre fabric innovation and deployment, Brocade now leads the industry in the development and delivery of Ethernet fabrics.

The Brocade VDX™ 6720 Data Centre Switches are a new family of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) offerings that revolutionise Layer 2 Ethernet networking to create the first true Ethernet fabrics. The switches eliminate the need for Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), collapsing the access and aggregation networking layers to create a flat, multipath, deterministic network that is ideal for virtualised environments. This approach provides virtual machines (VMs) a greater sphere of mobility, increases network utilisation, creates more resilient networks and simplifies the management of data centre networks. 

“Over half of all IT workloads will run on virtual machines by the end of this year, with that number climbing to beyond 70 percent by the end of 2013. Brocade has architected a flat, high-performance and highly scalable data centre network solution that promises to help their customers scale their virtual environments,” said Cindy Borovick, Vice President, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure and Datacenter Networks at IDC. “The new Brocade VDX 6720 switches, powered by VCS™ technology, are a natural evolution of Brocade’s trusted status in the data centre – taking the best attributes from Fibre Channel and applying that knowledge to form a comprehensive Ethernet fabric.”

“Today more and more customers are moving toward virtualised cloud infrastructures to significantly reduce IT cost and complexity, increase efficiency and improve agility,” said Parag Patel, Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances, VMware. “Brocade’s new VCS technology and the innovative VDX platform present customers with a tremendous opportunity to simplify, scale and easily manage their virtualised data centre network, offering a next step for customers implementing the IT-as-a-Service model.”

The Brocade VDX 6720 Data Centre Switches are available in one- or two-rack-unit (1U or 2U) form factors and provide the ability to scale from 16 to 60 ports with pay-as-you-grow Ports on Demand (POD) licensing. The switches provide full 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) wire-speed performance from any port to any port, with latency of 600 nanoseconds (ns). The switches are based on low-latency, lossless, 10 Gbps Data Centre Bridging (DCB) technology and are capable of running all types of data and storage traffic –including traditional IP, iSCSI, CIFS, NFS and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). The Brocade VDX 6720 switches protect customers’ existing investments by supporting their current server, hypervisor and storage choices, and by seamlessly interfacing with existing network infrastructures.

The Brocade VDX 6720 switches are the first products to deliver Brocade VCS technology, announced in June 2010. This technology, which includes virtual cluster switching capabilities, transforms data centre networks through innovations that are optimised for highly virtualised and cloud environments. In particular, Brocade VCS technology: 

  1. Enables organisations to build the industry’s first true Ethernet fabrics. These fabrics are inherently multipathing and resilient, utilising the IETF industry standard Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) and eliminating the need for inefficient Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).
  2. Provides a fully distributed control plane so that every switch is aware of the entire network topology. The VM network characteristics and configuration automatically migrate with the VM by using Automatic Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP) technology. The Brocade VDX 6720 switching cluster initially supports a mobility sphere of 600 10 GbE ports and 8000 VMs. 
  3. Dramatically simplifies configuration management by treating the cluster as a single logical switch. This management approach significantly reduces the number of elements being managed in the fabric to reduce operating cost and complexity.

“Today’s infrastructure is not sufficient to handle new applications, and not flexible enough for a world where applications are mobile. It’s clear that data centre networks need to be upgraded to increase performance, reduce latency and eliminate downtime. They also need to be designed specifically to support highly virtualised and cloud-optimised data centres,” said Graham Schultz, Regional Manager Australia & New Zealand. “We are delivering upon our Brocade One™ unified network strategy and vision by dramatically simplifying networks and increasing scalability without adding complexity. Today, the Brocade VDX 6720 switches, featuring Brocade VCS technology, deliver true cloud-optimised networking for the first time.”

New Brocade Services Offer Customised Levels of Support

Brocade understands that every network is unique and requires a different level of technical support to meet critical business requirements. Brocade Global Services offers different levels of technical support to meet each customer’s specific needs. To help customers simplify virtualisation deployments in large environments and maximise the value of their networks, Brocade has invested in enhancements to the Premier and Premier-Plus Support levels to provide more personalised, preferential, and proactive experience. Specifically, the new enhancements to the Premier levels include: 

  • Proactive identification of potential network issues with remote monitoring
  • Response to network problems before they affect the network through fault management
  • Priority access to Brocade expertise 24x7 and accelerated escalation management designed to reduce time to resolution

In addition, to support customers in building end-to-end solutions for their virtualised data centre and transition to Ethernet fabrics, Brocade Global Services has developed a Virtualised Data Centre Practice. This practice offers assessment, design and implementation services for cloud-optimised networks.  

Pricing and Availability

The Brocade VDX 6720 Data Centre switches are available now, starting at $10,700 USD.

More Information

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About Brocade

Brocade(Nasdaq: BRCD) develops extraordinary networking solutions that enable today’s complex, data-intensive businesses to optimise information connectivity and maximise the business value of their data. For more information, visit


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