Advancements in Data Centre Automation and Network Visibility Combined with New Brocade SLX Switches Enable Business Agility at Cloud Speed
Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) today announced an expanded Brocade® SLX® family with new innovative switches that feature unparalleled network visibility and the addition of Brocade Workflow Composer™ Automation Suites for turnkey automation. This is the industry’s first data centre networking portfolio to deliver agility at all layers of the data centre stack, while being open to provide customers with choice. With Brocade, organisations can build networks that allow them to quickly adapt to technology transitions, deliver new services at cloud speed and accelerate digital transformation.
Building on the Brocade SLX 9850 routing solution that Brocade introduced in September, the new Brocade SLX 9140, SLX 9240 and SLX 9540 data centre switches deliver flexible leaf, spine and edge connectivity while leveraging the Brocade SLX Insight Architecture™. By embedding network visibility on every router and switch, organisations can achieve pervasive visibility throughout the network to quickly identify problems, accelerate mean-time-to-remediation and improve overall service levels. The Brocade SLX 9140 and 9240 extend these capabilities with a programmable ASIC that provides Visibility Services from the physical wire to virtual networks and workloads.
New automation suites, including Network Essentials, Data Centre Fabrics and Internet Exchange Points for the Brocade Workflow Composer platform, powered by StackStorm, provide automated network provisioning, validation, troubleshooting and remediation workflows. These automation suites are ideal for customers who want to jumpstart their automation journey with pre-built workflows to accelerate time-to-value. Introduced earlier this year, Brocade Workflow Composer is a server-based, DevOps-style network automation platform that integrates across IT domains for end-to-end workflow automation.
According to IDC, two-thirds of CEOs at Global 2000 companies will place digital transformation at the centre of their corporate strategies by the end of 2017. CEOs recognise they must become a digital organisation to accelerate the pace of innovation and drive competitive advantage or risk being displaced by more nimble competitors. Fast innovation can only happen with an agile IT foundation where automation works seamlessly with network visibility while digitally connecting all IT domains and functions together to eliminate silos and deliver end-to-end automation.
“Organisations that are going through digital transformation need networks that are extremely agile, extensively automated and highly visible,” said Phillip Coates, systems engineer manager for ANZ, Brocade. “Brocade is delivering the breadth and depth of flexibility and agility that sets us apart from other network providers. We do so vertically across the data centre stack, and horizontally across domains within the data centre—while being open at every layer.”
Brocade SLX Family Advancements
- The new Brocade SLX 9140 leaf switch provides native 48x25 GbE server-facing ports and 6x100 GbE ports in a 1U fixed form factor. It also features flexible 1/10/25/40/100 GbE configuration options.
- The new Brocade SLX 9240 spine switch delivers high density 32x100 GbE ports in a 1U fixed form factor.
- Both the Brocade SLX 9140 and SLX 9240 switches feature the first programmable ASIC in their class of switch enabling Brocade to rapidly deliver new capabilities via software. This eliminates expensive forklift upgrades for customers when new technologies and protocols are introduced into the environment. The ASIC builds on the Brocade SLX Insight Architecture, an open kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) environment to run third-party and customer-specific monitoring, troubleshooting and analytics applications, by adding Visibility Services to provide insight into virtual networks and workloads. Actions can be taken within the switch or through applications and tools outside of the switch, such as Splunk or Brocade Workflow Composer.
- The Brocade SLX 9540 switch delivers carrier-class features in a cost-effective 1 RU fixed form factor optimised for data centre interconnect, WAN edge and Internet exchange point deployments. It offers 48x10 GbE ports and 6x100 GbE ports.
Brocade Workflow Composer Automation Suites
Designed to run with the Brocade Workflow Composer platform, Brocade automation suites are ideal for IT organisations seeking to embrace automation but have limited automation development skills and resources. The suites provide out-of-box network lifecycle automation for commonly performed tasks and are packaged to address major use cases. Each automation suite includes documentation and a collection of turnkey, yet customisable workflows, services, sensors, actions, and rules. Customers can use Brocade automation suites as is or as starter kits for building or customising workflows specific to their data centre requirements to reduce time-to-value.
- “Enterprises want to build datacentre networks that emulate those of the web-scale giants, but they frequently lack the in-house expertise and resources required to implement such networks and to operate them effectively. As such, they turn to trusted vendors as key partners that can provide them with technologies that are easy to consume, deploy, and manage. Brocade’s approach to embedding visibility into their switches, combined with enhanced automation and programmability, can help organisations transform their networks to align with their digital-transformation initiatives.” – Brad Casemore, research director, Datacenter Networks, IDC
- “Brocade’s new data centre product portfolio will give us enhanced network visibility from our infrastructure to applications and provide the agility we need to support our customers’ evolving expectations in our dynamic environment.” – Luke Norris, CEO, Faction, Inc.
- “At SwissIX Internet Exchange, we need to be able to quickly provide increasing bandwidth and new interconnection services at a very low price. We are excited to start testing the Brocade SLX 9540 and the prospect it holds with Brocade Workflow Composer automation suites to cost effectively scale bandwidth and service capability while helping our network operations to support service agility.” – Matthias Cramer, board member, SwissIX
The Brocade SLX 9140 and SLX 9240 are currently planned to be orderable in January 2017. The Brocade SLX 9540 is orderable today. All switches are planned to be generally available in April 2017. Brocade Workflow Composer is generally available today. The new automation suites will be available for preview in December 2016 with general availability planned for February 2017.
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Brocade SLX Family
Brocade® (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organisations turn their networks into platforms for business innovation. With solutions spanning public and private data centres to the network edge, Brocade is leading the industry in its transition to the New IP network infrastructures required for today’s era of digital business. (www.brocade.com)
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 IDC Analyst Connection, “Modernizing Data Center Networks for Digital Transformation,” Sept. 2016.