Brocade unveils vision for the virtual enterprise

Brocade Introduces Brocade CloudPlex™, an Open, Extensible Architecture for Virtualisation and Cloud-Optimised Networks

Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) today introduced a new technology architecture that outlines the company’s vision and the technology investments it will make to help its customers evolve their data centres and IT resources and migrate them to the “Virtual Enterprise”.  

Brocade intends to deliver on this vision through the Brocade CloudPlex™ architecture, an open, extensible framework intended to enable customers to build the next generation of distributed and virtualised data centres in a simple, evolutionary way that preserves their ability to dictate all aspects of the migration. What is unique about the Brocade Cloudplex architecture is that it is both the foundation for integrated compute blocks, but it also embraces a customer’s existing multi-vendor infrastructure to unify all of their assets into a single compute and storage domain.

Brocade CloudPlex meets the goal of the Brocade One™ strategy, designed to help companies transition smoothly to a world where information and applications can reside anywhere by delivering solutions that deliver unmatched simplicity, non-stop performance, application optimisation and investment protection.

“Virtualisation has fundamentally changed the nature of applications by detaching them from their underlying IT infrastructure and introducing a high degree of application mobility across the entire enterprise,” said Dave Stevens, chief technology officer at Brocade. “This is the concept of the ‘Virtual Enterprise’ that we feel unleashes the true potential of cloud computing in all its forms – private, hybrid and public.”

Through the CloudPlex architecture, Brocade will help its customers scale their IT environments from managing hundreds of virtual machines (VMs) in certain classes of servers to tens of thousands of VMs that are distributed and mobilised across their entire enterprise and throughout the cloud. According to Gartner, the expansion of VMs not only improves automation and reduces operational expenses, it is the primary requirement for IT organisations to migrate to cloud architectures.(1)

Gartner advises that “IT organisations pursuing virtualisation should have an overall strategic plan for cloud computing and a roadmap for the future, and should plan proactively. Further, these organisations must focus on management and process change to manage virtual resources, and to manage the speed that virtualisation enables, to avoid virtualisation sprawl.”

CloudPlex Components

The Brocade Cloudplex architecture will define the stages and the components from Brocade and its partners that are required to get to the Virtual Enterprise. The stages comprise three main categories – fabrics, globalisation and open technologies – with some of these components being available today while others are in development or on the roadmap of Brocade’s engineering priorities.

The currently available components are:

  •  Networks comprised of Ethernet fabrics and Fibre Channel fabrics as the flat, fast and simple foundation designed to scale to highly virtualised IT environments;
  • Multiprotocol fabric adapters for simplified server I/O consolidation;
  • High-performance application delivery products necessary for load balancing network traffic across distributed data centres;

The components on the roadmap are:

  • Integrated, tested and validated solution bundles of server, virtualisation, networking and storage resources called Brocade Virtual Compute Blocks. An integral element of the Brocade CloudPlex architecture, Brocade will enable its systems partners and integrators to deliver Virtual Compute Block solutions comprising servers, hypervisors, storage, and cloud-optimised networking in pre-bundled, pre-racked configurations with unified support;
  • Powerful and universal fabric and network extension delivered through a new platform capable of supporting a number of IP, SAN and mainframe extension technologies including virtual private LAN services (VPLS), Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) and FICON;
  • An advancement of Brocade Fabric ID technology called “Cloud IDs” that enables simple and secure isolation and mobility of VMs for native multi-tenancy cloud environments;
  • An open framework for management, provisioning and integration designed to promote multi-vendor and system-to-sytem interoperability specifically for cloud environments. These include Brocade products supporting OpenStack software for storage, compute and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) capabilities enabled through OpenFlow;
  • Unified education, support and services delivered through Brocade and partners to help customers manage this highly distributed “Virtual Enterprise” environment.


    Brocade Partner Endorsements

    “We are excited to be working with Brocade to develop highly-scalable virtualised computing and storage configurations, providing superior cost-performance solutions today for our customers while at the same time establishing a clear path to cloud IT architectures in the future. Specifically, Brocade switches coupled with Dell PowerEdge servers and EqualLogic or Dell Compellent storage provide the scalability, flexibility and efficiency our customers demand in the virtual era.”

    -- Dario Zamarian, Vice President and General Manager, Dell Networking

    “Fujitsu’s global cloud strategy is built on our real experience in working with customers on the delivery of both Services and Infrastructures for Cloud computing across the world. We believe that common processes, holistic management of infrastructure elements and the use of industry standards are fundamentally helping customers to ease the transition and to migrate their largest and most complex IT environments smoothly to join ‘any mode’ of the cloud consumption of their choosing. Brocade shares these views and has laid out a compelling vision through its CloudPlex architecture that Fujitsu Technology Solutions fully endorses and will support. This architecture provides compelling added value to Fujitsu’s Cloud offerings by defined standards and holistic management.”

     -- Jens-Peter Seick, Senior Vice President, Data Centre Systems, Fujitsu

    “Hitachi is helping customers deliver IT services through the cloud by using open, standards-based technologies that let them build and scale their virtualised data centres at their own pace. With Brocade’s CloudPlex architecture, both Hitachi and Brocade address our mutual customers’ IT needs and protect their existing IT investments by migrating their legacy devices to cloud deployments – preventing cloud from becoming just another IT silo.”

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

    "Recent advancements in cloud and virtualisation are making it possible for enterprises to deploy an intelligent infrastructure that enables workloads to move around the enterprise and around the world in a transparent, fluid way. We believe that enabling flexible application deployment is imperative to mainstream adoption of cloud computing. VMware and Brocade share a common vision of offering customers the ability to accelerate IT by reducing complexity while significantly lowering costs and enabling more flexible, agile services delivery.”

    -- Parag Patel, Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances, VMware

    Unveiling at Brocade Technology Day Summit

    Brocade CTO Dave Stevens will discuss more details about the CloudPlex architecture at the annual Brocade Technology Day Summit taking place on its San Jose campus on May 3 and 4. To participate in the event via a live webcast, please visit the following page on Brocade’s Facebook page or simply register for the event at:


    About Brocade

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

    (1)     Source: “The Road Map From Virtualisation to Cloud Computing” (Gartner, March 2011)


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