Brocade adds to data centre lineup


Brocade Communications Systems continues to hone its data centre portfolio by announcing a series of hardware and virtual appliance enhancements.

The company said this week it will release next month a virtual version of its ADX Application Delivery Switch, a load balancer that works as a virtual machine to help in cloud deployments.

Like its hardware-based brother, the Virtual ADX is aimed at large enterprises and service providers for maximizing application performance by monitoring server connection load, server resources such as CPU and memory, and application response time.

It also offers Layer 7 network features including health checking, content switching, content transformation and application scripting.

Brocade also announced version 6.6 of its Vyatta vRouter, which now supports multicast routing, (which allowing one to many communications for apps like video feeds) and dynamic multipoint VPN (which can span VPN out to many points).

The vRouter came from Brocade’s purchase in November, 2012 of Vyatta.

“As you move in this on-demand data centre need and this virtualized networking space, the concept of software infrastructure plays an increasingly important part,” said Kelly Herrell, vice-president and general manager of Brocade’s networking business unit.

“Just a few years ago software and networking weren’t used in the same sentence, now what you’re seeing a vendor portfolio that’s building out a very strong software complement to its hardware offerings.”

Also new is a 40 Gigabit Ethernet card for Brocade’s MLXe core router. Now customers have a choice of 10, 40 100GbE connectivity.
(Brocade’s MLXe-16)

Customers can have up to 128 wire-speed ports per chassis with the modules.

Because Brocade’s Ethernet Fabric runs at 40GbE customers can have an end to end hardware environment at that speed, Herrell said.

The company also said new models of its CER Compact Routers are coming that will offer four-port 10GbE with 24-port 1 GbE copper or fibre connectivity. The models support OpenFlow for those looking to build software-defined networks (SDN).

Herrell said Brocade’s strategy is to combine physical and virtual networking to scale virtualization in data centres.

In step with announcements from other vendors that are on the SDN bandwagon, he said Brocade’s strategy also will support organizations that want to transition to software defined networking in the future by supporting protocols like OpenFlow in its equipment – including the MLXe.

It also announced a plug-in for its VCS network fabric with the latest release of the OpenStack cloud computing platform. The plug-in means the fabric can leverage environments that use OpenStack.

Separately, Brocade [Nasdaq: BRCD] said it anticipates that will report lower than expected revenue when it reports its fiscal second quarter results for the period ending April 27.

“In Q2, we saw lower-than-expected revenue in SAN (storage area networking products) due to softness in the overall storage market,” CEO Lloyd Carney said in a statement. “However, customers continued to increase their purchases of our Gen 5 Fibre Channel SAN portfolio and we made good progress on our IP Networking growth initiatives including solid growth in Ethernet fabrics during the quarter.”

The company believes it will report networking revenue of around US$164 million, up about 14 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, but down about four per cent compared to Q1.

Storage revenue is expected to be around US$374 million for Q2, down about 6 per cent from the same period a year ago and down about 10 per cent compared to Q1.

Details will be released May 16.

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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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