Brocade Unveils Unified Network Architecture and Strategy

By Steve Wexler  |  Print this article Print

The list of vendors with new data-center visions just got longer as Brocade joins Cisco, Dell, HP and Juniper with its Brocade One Unified Network Architecture and Strategy, as well as announcing some new products and partner certifications.

NEW YORK -- Brocade used its annual Technology Day event to unveil a new network architecture and strategy intended to help customers simplify the complexity of virtualizing their applications. In addition to Brocade One, the company announced new solutions and technologies to optimize data center networks to support virtual servers, applications and data, as well as previewed upcoming changes to its partner program.

The networking company's vision is based on the premise that IT infrastructures will eventually evolve to a highly virtualized, services-on-demand state enabled through the cloud. Unlike its competitors, including Cisco, Dell, HP and Juniper, which offer proprietary or partial solutions, Brocade – whose key partners include Dell and HP – says its vision is built on a deep understanding of data center networking intricacies and the rejection of rip-and-replace deployment scenarios with vertically integrated stacks sourced from a single vendor.

Offering a variation on the former Sun Microsystems motto "the network is the computer", Brocade CMO John McHugh says the entire network is your data center. Speaking to hundreds of financial and industry analysts, media and thousands of others via a live Webcast, he said "Data center is not the big issue, not the big opportunity. We're moving to a world where the app can be anywhere in the cloud, this world where your entire network is your data center."

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McHugh later told Channel Insider that his competitors are "trivializing" what's happening in the data center. "Brocade is perfectly positioned where the entire data center is becoming your network. It is a perfect combination of genetics to lead the industry for the next 5 to 10 years as the virtualization of the cloud plays out."

In addition to its data-center vision, Brocade also announced converged fabric-based innovations designed to radically simplify network architectures and enable customers to build large, highly intelligent, converged fabrics based on industry-standard Data Center Bridging (DCB) technology. Due out later this year, Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) will overcome the limitations of conventional Ethernet networking by applying non-stop operations, any-to-any connectivity and the intelligence of fabric switching, says the company. The initial version will support 1000 10GbE ports and 10,000 virtual machines (VMs).