Brocade releases new family of switches

Brocade brought out a new switch family on Monday as part of its Brocade One converged datacentre strategy.First announced in June, the new VDX switches come in two variants and combine 10Gb Fibre-channel over Ethernet (FCoE) networking technology with a Brocade-developed software layer called Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS).

Brocade brought out a new switch family on Monday as part of its Brocade One converged datacentre strategy.

First announced in June, the new VDX switches come in two variants and combine 10Gb Fibre-channel over Ethernet (FCoE) networking technology with a Brocade-developed software layer called Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS). The software allows up to ten switches to be clustered together to function as a single, virtual switch, according to Brocade.

The VDX 6720 switches come in two variants; a one rack unit (1U) 24-port version and a two rack unit (2U) 60-port version.

The switches are "predominantly aimed at the datacentre," Alex Nichol, a senior systems engineer for Brocade UK told ZDNet UK. He said they are targeted at datacentres with a large virtualisation and cloud component.

The VDX switches use VCS software to automate and reduce the operational cost of managing virtual machines, Nichol said. The switches can, via VCS, support up to 600 ports and can manage up to 8,000 virtual machines. Automatic Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP) technology means that the switches can be used to automatically migrate a virtual machine's network identification characteristics — its Media Access Control (MAC) address and Internet Protocol (IP) address — when it is being shifted to a new piece of hardware, instead of this being done by hand.

"In the old world you could only move those [virtual machines] to another server, possibly in the same rack or the rack next to it, so [using VCS] you can move them to any other server anywhere in your datacentre," Nichol said.

The switches are available from today with a starting price of $10,700 (£6,661). They will begin shipping in January, according to Brocade.

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