Brocade adds new FC management tools


Let’s face it: running a storage area network isn’t the glory side of IT. But with a few tools it can be easier.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. hopes it has done that with the latest release of Brocade Network Advisor and its Fabric OS operating system for Fibre Channel switches.

The company said Monday that Network Advisor 12.0 now has new monitoring and visualization capabilities to make Brocade fabrics more reliable and solving problems quicker.

At the same time the company also released a new 96-port 2U-sized switch.

The new are dashboard views let administrators view the health of the network and drill down into details.

(Dasboard lets administrators see at a glace what’s going on)
A Monitoring and Alerting Policy Suite is a set of tools that lets administrators set threshold policies for Brocade network elements, while another set of tools called Flow Vision, show data is flowing through the network. Flow Vision also lets managers generate traffic to stress test the fabric.

Together Brocade dubs these capabilities FabricVision.

“What used to be a very labor-intensive process of setting up thresholds and monitors in a fabric is very now easy,” Scott Shimomura, Brocade’s director of product marketing, said in an interview.

Brocade also said that it is giving its FC line a new name: Gen 5 Fibre Channel encompasses the current four and eight slot directors, fixed prot switches from 24 to 96 ports, embedded switches for IBM and Dell blade servers, and a line of adapter cards for rack servers and mezzanine cards for IBM chassis switches

Until now the products have been known by their network speeds (ie: the 16 GBps line)

Shimomura said the name change was made because customers chose Fibre Channel for its characteristics, not speeds.

Brocade is now working on Gen 6 switches, which will operate at 32 GBps.

Can Fibre Channel survive Ethernet’s assault?

The newest switch is the 96-port 6520, aimed at or larger implementations that need an end of row switch, or those with smaller data centres looking for a core FC switch.

The new switch is available now through Brocade channel partners as well as through Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard and NetApp. Later this year it will be carried by other OEM partners including Dell, EMC and HDS.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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