Brocade advances data centre fabric leadership with innovative private cloud-optimised networking solutions

Industry’s First Complete Portfolio of 16 Gbps Fibre Channel Fabric Solutions Helps Customers Migrate Data Centre Architectures into Flexible Private Clouds

Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD), the leader in fabric-based data centre architectures, today announced innovative solutions that will help enterprise customers migrate smoothly to private cloud architectures. The company is once again leading a fundamental transformation of the networking industry by introducing the world’s first fabric-based, end-to-end networking solutions based on industry-leading 16 gigabits per second (Gbps) Fibre Channel technologies.

Fabric-based networks are a fundamental requirement in supporting highly virtualised data centres and private cloud environments, and they are a critical element of the Brocade One™ strategy for providing low-latency, non-stop and easy-to-operate networks. In support of this key customer need, the new Brocade® 16 Gbps solutions demonstrate continued innovation for the Fibre Channel standard, further extend the company’s market-leading position and provide an instant upgrade path for the installed base of Brocade storage networking customers, which includes 90 percent of Fortune 1000 enterprises.

According to IDC research1, Fibre Channel switching will remain the dominant storage networking architecture over the next five years for continued support of the migration to server virtualisation, which is the single biggest driver for new storage networking ports.

In addition to performance increases enabled by the migration to the 16 Gbps standard, Brocade is delivering other advancements such as in-flight data compression for improved bandwidth utilisation, in-flight high-speed encryption for enhanced security and enhanced diagnostics for improved network visibility and management. For unmatched investment protection, the new portfolio seamlessly integrates with the estimated 30 million Fibre Channel SAN ports that have already been deployed globally.

“The storage area network (SAN) is the nucleus of our business, serving the needs of more than 75,000 global users,” said Vincent Stenhouse, SAN Specialist, Unilever. “The Brocade DCX 8510 Backbone offers us the performance and flexibility required to scale out operations as needed, drive virtualisation across the fabric, while delivering a foundation for growth over the next five years and beyond. By deploying 16 Gbps technology, we will be able to further enhance the fabric with intelligent diagnostic capabilities and resilience, and be able to plan for the future safe in the knowledge that the environment can more than meet our expectations.”

Brocade is also a pioneer in the development of Ethernet fabrics, a new category of networking technology that is purpose-built for virtualisation and cloud-optimised data centres. The Brocade Ethernet fabric solution is powered by Brocade VCS™ technology and available through the award-winning Brocade VDX™ 6720 Data Centre Switch. Brocade was the industry’s first company to deliver Ethernet fabric products to market, and it continues to drive innovation and open industry standards.

Today Brocade announced strong customer adoption for its Ethernet fabric solutions, which are helping customers to simplify their data centre network architectures and improve business agility by enabling greater resource mobility and increased resiliency throughout the fabric.

“As a leader in fabric-based data centre architectures with more than 15 years of experience in building mission-critical networks for many of the world’s most demanding IT environments, Brocade is helping customers move to highly virtualised and cloud models,” said Jason Nolet, Vice President, Data Centre and Enterprise Networking, Brocade. “Fibre Channel fabric technology continues to be the top customer choice for creating the most reliable and high-performance virtualised server and storage environments. In addition, Ethernet fabrics have the potential to define data centre network architectures for the next decade. Both technologies demonstrate the highly integral and strategic nature that networks play in support of virtualisation and the migration to the private cloud.”

The New Brocade 16 Gbps Fibre Channel Portfolio

The new end-to-end 16 Gbps Fibre Channel portfolio from Brocade includes the Brocade DCX® 8510 Backbone, the Brocade 6510 Switch, the Brocade 1860 Fabric Adapter, Brocade Network Advisor 11.1 management software and the Brocade Fabric OS® 7.0 operating system. These products are based on the next-generation Fibre Channel industry standard, FC-PI-5, offering 16 Gbps performance, which doubles the performance of solutions that Brocade first pioneered in 2008. The complete Brocade 16 Gbps portfolio includes:

  • Brocade DCX 8510 Backbone: The industry’s most powerful SAN backbone increases business agility with the proven scalability, performance and reliability to support private cloud storage. It is available in 8-slot or 4-slot chassis models supporting up to 384 16 Gbps ports at line-rate speeds and 8.2 terabits per second (Tbps) of chassis bandwidth. It simplifies scale-out network design to reduce complexity, simplify management and reduce overall costs. Energy consumption is 0.27 watts/Gbps, which is over 10 times more efficient than competitive solutions
  • Brocade 6510 Switch: Delivering exceptional price/performance value, the Brocade 6510 features a flexible design that is purpose-built to enhance server virtualisation, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and solid state disk (SSD) deployments in an efficient 1U form factor. It can be expanded from 24 ports to 48 ports, delivering up to 768 Gbps aggregate throughput, while offering the industry’s lowest power consumption rates at just 0.14 watts/Gbps. Each port delivers 40 percent greater performance than 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports at a comparable cost.
  • Brocade 1860 Fabric Adapter: A new class of server adapter that supports Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Ethernet connectivity needs on a single adapter for flexible server I/O consolidation, the Brocade 1860 is ideally suited for private cloud-optimised data centre networks. It also delivers wire-speed performance for both 16 Gbps Fibre Channel and 10 GbE, and more than 1 million IOPS for storage applications. It unifies the management of adapter, SAN and LAN resources via a single interface with Brocade Network Advisor.
  • Brocade Network Advisor 11.1: The unified management software solution for Brocade Fibre Channel, wired Ethernet and wireless Ethernet as well as converged network environments, Brocade Network Advisor provides greater insight for end-to-end network management to help reduce costs and simplify operations. It delivers a wide range of powerful management features as well as advanced server adapter and virtual machine management capabilities. To simplify management, it integrates seamlessly with third-party storage resource management and data centre orchestration tools such as the EMC Resource Management Suite and the HP Virtual Connect Enterprise and Storage Provisioning Managers.
  • Brocade Fabric OS 7.0: The Brocade Fibre Channel hardware runs on the latest generation of Brocade Fabric OS, which is now available in version 7.0. This latest release offers several unique features designed for virtualisation and cloud architectures, including Bottleneck Detection, Advanced Performance Monitoring and Adaptive Networking to help optimise fabric behavior and application performance.

Availability and Pricing

The Brocade 16 Gbps Fibre Channel solutions will be available beginning in calendar Q2 2011. For pricing information, please contact your local Brocade channel partner or OEM.

About Brocade

Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organisations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (


1Worldwide Enterprise Network Infrastructure 2011 – 2015 Forecast, Lucinda Borovick, Rich Costello, Petr Jirovsky, Rohit Mehra, IDC, March 2011, Pg. 29, #227416

Brocade, the B-wing symbol, BigIron, DCFM, DCX, Fabric OS, FastIron, IronView, NetIron, SAN Health, ServerIron, TurboIron, and Wingspan are registered trademarks, and Brocade Assurance, Brocade NET Health, Brocade One, Extraordinary Networks, MyBrocade, VCS, and VDX are trademarks of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. Other brands, products, or service names mentioned are or may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

© 2011 Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Partner Quotes

“With thousands of joint customers worldwide, EMC and Brocade are making data centres more efficient and agile through cloud computing,” said EMC’s Josh Kahn, Vice President, Solutions Marketing.  “Brocade’s new 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel solution suite strengthens our joint fabric-based solutions and is further proof of our shared commitment to deliver performance advantages required to support  advanced data centre technologies, including solid state disks, virtual desktop infrastructure and deduplication.  Together, EMC and Brocade are helping organisations accelerate their journey to the cloud.”

Josh Kahn, Vice President, Solutions Marketing, EMC

“Over the years, Brocade networking solutions have become an integral component in improving the scalability, efficiency and agility of our customers’ Hitachi storage environments for mission-critical data and applications,” said Sean Moser, vice president, Storage Software Product Management, Hitachi Data Systems. “We are excited about Brocade’s next generation Fibre Channel solutions, which promise to help our customers to more easily on-board our industry-leading storage solutions and achieve improved performance, centralised management and faster connectivity between data centres.”

Sean Moser, Vice President, Storage Software Product Management, Hitachi Data Systems.

“Due to increasing pressures to respond quickly to business changes and deliver greater operational efficiency, organisations are looking to deploy a reliable, high-performing, virtualised environment,” said David Scott, senior vice president and general manager for HP Storage. “HP and Brocade provide mission-critical storage as well as data networking requirements for its clients, and we expect Brocade’s 16Gb Fibre Channel switching products will further optimise the connection of virtual servers to network storage.”

David Scott, Senior Vice President and General Manager, HP Storage

“Microsoft is committed to providing enterprise customers the benefits of private cloud environments, including self-service, scalability and elasticity, that collectively are transforming how IT services are delivered,” said Mike Shutz, Senior Director for Windows Server, at Microsoft.  “Microsoft shares Brocade’s vision for helping customers support new and distributed applications that provide new levels of uptime through open, multi-vendor architectures that protect their existing and new IT investments. Brocade’s next generation Fibre Channel products, along with the company’s advancements in Ethernet fabrics, will better enable mission-critical SQL Server and Windows Server deployments in highly virtualised environments and large-scale data centres that need the highest levels of scalability.”

Mike Shutz, Senior Director for Windows Server, Microsoft