Turnkey rack with Avaya’s unified communications platform is now out, while Brocade is about to deliver ability to flatten campus networks

Avaya, Brocade release promised products

 Two communications and networking companies said Tuesday they are delivering products or architectures which were first announced months ago.

Avaya Inc. said the first of its Collaboration Pods, a server-storage-networking rack for delivering a virtualized version of its Aura unified communications suite, is now available for purchase.

Meanwhile, Brocade Communications Systems said firmware upgrades to its ICX switches to enable campus networks to be chopped from three to two layers will be out by the end of the month.

The Collaboration Pod concept was announced last August by Avaya as a turnkey solution to allow enterprises and service providers to speed up deployment of Aura.

“With the pod we’ve put it all together, testing it in advance, so you know what you’re getting,” Amir Hameed, Avaya’s vice-president of technical sales for the Americas, said in an interview.

The rack, which is list priced at between US$400,000 and $500,00, includes a server with an Intel Xeon E52600 CPU with 16 cores,  128 GB of memory, Aura Virtualized Environment and Pod Orchestration suite, VMware’s vSphere ESXi 5.0, an EMC VNX 5300 storage array with two 320 GB hard drives, Avaya’s VSP 7000 top-of-rack switch and an Avaya G450 Gateway for connectivity to a telecom system.

Coming later this year are videoconferencing and virtual desktop pods.

Hameed said this first pod can support up to 12,000 telephony users. The pods can also be chained together.

The pod can be bought direct from Avaya or through its systems integrators with a unified communications certification.

Almost exactly a year ago Brocade announced what it calls its HyperEdge architecture for mixing stackable switches to flatten campus networks. Now it’s about to release firmware upgrades to enable it to happen.

According to Siva Valliappan, the company’s senior director of product management, said the upgrade allows network managers to use an ICX 6610 10 GB stackable switch to manage a group of lower-cost ICX 6450 switches. “If you group these switches together they act and feel and look like a chassis,” he said.

The result is IT departments can merge aggregation and access layers a few wiring closest at a time on a  campus or small branch.

Valliappan said Brocade’s multi-chassis trunking technology, implemented from the data centre, also lets IT flatten campus networks by eliminating the need for the Spanning Tree Protocol.

A third existing technology, called distributed access point forwarding, is part of the HyperEdge architecture, can also be used in the campus to direct and secure wireless traffic instead of tunneling it back to a central controller.

Brocade also announced new products for the campus.

These include:

* The ICX 6430-C compact switch, with 12 downlink and four dedicated uplink ports – two of which are copper and two fibre;

* Three new wireless access points: the entry-level AP1220, entry level;  the 1240, with 3x3x3 antennas; and the upcoming AP1250 with 802.11ac in the third quarter of the year.

 

 

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