Brocade pushes SDN strategy with new products

It launches Ethernet switch and new enhancements to meet rising trend toward software-defined networks and expects service producers to lead adoption--though, those in Asia-pacific will largely adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Networking vendor Brocade has launched a new Ethernet fabric switch aimed at meeting what it expects to be an inevitable movement toward software-defined networks.

The VDX 8770 switch allows greater scalability in data centers, and enables customers to expand a single VCS Fabric up to 8,000 switch ports and support up to 384,000 virtual machines, said John McHugh, vice president and CMO of Brocade, at a briefing here on Thursday.

With today's virtualized and cloud-centric data center architectures, application performance is highly dependent on the efficiency and utilization of the network infrastructure, McHugh said. To support this, customers will need to be able to scale out on demand, he added.

He said the new switch comes with a backplane that can handle 4TB of data per slot, and is aimed at supporting future technologies and increasing performance capacity.

This, he noted, was part of Brocade's wider strategy to help its customers move toward software-defined networking (SDN), touted to allow customers to be more agile and have better IT asset utilization.

McHugh pointed out that SDN adoption is set to pick up and expected to be a market worth US$2 billion by 2016.

"SDN is not going to commoditize the networking industry, in fact, it will place an larger emphasis on having a more secure mission-critical infrastructure," he said, playing down talk from critics that SDN would make the underlying infrastructure less important.

Adoption in the Asia-Pacific region, however, was still patchy, he said.

McHugh said service providers would lead the charge for SDN adoption in this region, but many organizations were "waiting for somebody else to adopt it first".

"Still, Japan has been particularly aggressive in SDN adoption," he said.

According to Rajnish Arora, director of enterprise server research at IDC Asia-Pacific, one reason for Japan's lead here could be the country's rapid shift toward offering rich-media content.

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