Virtualization Plans

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.

The vendor-agnostic Virtual Access Layer (VAL) is a logical layer between Brocade converged fabric and server virtualization hypervisors that will help ensure a consistent interface and set of services for virtual machines (VMs) connected to the network and will support all major hypervisors by utilizing industry-standard technologies, including the emerging Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) and Virtual Ethernet Bridging (VEB) standards.

With the Open Virtual Compute Blocks, Brocade is working with systems and IT infrastructure vendors to build tested and verified data center blueprints for highly scalable and cost-effective deployment of VMs on converged fabrics.  Network Advisor is a best-in-class element management toolset that will help provide industry-standard and customized support for industry-leading network management, storage management, virtualization management and data center orchestration tools.

Brocade also introduced the building blocks for this infrastructure with a new class of converged fabric solutions that provide full interoperability with the Brocade 8000 Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Switch and blade (for the Brocade DCX Backbone), the Brocade NetIron MLX Series and Brocade Converged Network Adapters (CNAs). These solutions are expected to be available in Q1 of the Brocade 2011 fiscal year.

McHugh says that it's a great time to be a part of the company's channel. "Brocade is great at partnerships. If any company has lived through partners the past decade, it's Brocade." McHugh says the company wants to focus on a way that feeds their partners and not give them "more work than they ever signed up for."

There are a number of changes coming to the channel program, confirms Barbara Spicek, VP Global Channel Sales. She says Brocade is currently focused on three partner segments: ABCs, Anything But Cisco; large global and national Sis; and 'converged partners', those selling either data center/storage or networking/IP solutions that want to expand into the other specialty. She says the greatest interest is coming from storage partners who want to get into networking.

Very shortly the company will launch the first of several new certifications. Spicek says convergence will be the first up, followed later this year with one for VCS.