Brocade's Cloud Computing Offerings Updates (Network Subscription, VCS Fabric, Virtual Compute Blocks)

Brocade Network Subscription is not an Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering, rather it is about rental of Brocade's product on subscription basis.

Target market:
  1. Service providers
  2. Cloud providers
  3. Government
  4. Large enterprises
The purpose of such model is to offer potential customers with an alternative of adopting Brocade's technologies, particularly cloud optimized products.

To qualify for such facility, applications from potential customers must be approved by Brocade's sales. Each subscription comes with technical support, however, professional consultation is not included.

Such offering is crucial in lieu with current trend of cloud computing adoption where end users get to 'scale' their existing infrastructure by taping on Brocade's technology. It also offers customers with the option to perform trial and error before committing on acquiring the actual assets.

Anything to do with subscription will be more expensive in the long haul, however, given the scenario where technology obsolete almost at the same speed as depreciation (financial), such differences can be easily offset.

This is a new way of selling hardware and it is timely for customers in the abovementioned four categories to get on to the bandwagon of cloud computing quickly (to meet business demands) without having to 'rip and replace' their existing infrastructure. The logic behind this is because Brocade's products are designed to work with legacy Ethernet networks and the Ethernet fabrics.

For instance, Brocade VDX 6720 Data Center Switch is an Ethernet fabric switch which supports Brocade VCS technology and conventional ethernet switches. When deployed, it will form a bridge between conventional network and fabric network (Ethernet) fabric. Brocade's VCS fabric technology, the first Ethernet fabric technology in the industry is actually a platform to support virtualization of the Ethernet network. The VCS technology consists of three components namely: Etherenet Fabric, Distributed Intelligence and Logical Chasis.

The term fabric is thus so because it describes a scenario where all nodes are potentially interconnected and nodes are possible non physical nodes. It also meant to describe the concept of platforms, intelligence and automated, ubiquitous and scalability. It short fabric is the description for dynamism as opposed to rigid.

To understand this further in terms of it architecture, here is a snapshot.

"Brocade VCS fabrics are self-forming, self-healing, and highly resilient. By eliminating Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), they provide active-active connections originating from the server, which doubles the utilization of the entire network while improving resilience. Featuring a high level of resiliency, Brocade VCS fabrics provide rapid failover and fabric reconvergence, and links can be added or modified quickly and non-disruptively.

Unlike other Ethernet fabric architectures, Brocade VCS fabrics are masterless and can be designed in full mesh, partial mesh, leaf-spine, and various other topologies, and they are easily modified or fine-tuned as application demands change over time.

Only Brocade VCS-enabled fabric switches provide a full fabric-wide view of Layer 2 address tables as well as QoS, security, and VLAN-related information."

With commitment to Brocade One's CloudPlex Architecture; an open standard architecture for cloud optimized computer network architecture. (The CloudPlex supports open standards such as OpenFlow and OpenStack.), Brocade has now made further enhancements to its VCS fabric technology by introducing more new features such as:
  1. VM awareness (detection) and automation (configuration) which include integration with VMWare's vSphere.
  2. Network advisor provides a software based management console which caters for management of all physical and virtualized assets (which include SAN, virtual machines, switches, routers and etc) in the Ethernet fabric (powered by VCS fabric).
  3. Multi-Vendor Virtual Compute Blocks
Multi-Vendor Virtual Compute Blocks

Multi-Vendor Virtual Compute Blocks is a concept which is referring to a scenario where the VCS fabric now supports multi-vendor integration for server, virtualization, networking and storage resources; up to protocol level.

For example:

1.) Dell - Brocade and Dell have partnered to develop a reference architecture that includes Dell Compellent Fibre Channel storage, Dell PowerEdge servers, Brocade data center and SAN switches and the VMware hypervisor

2.) EMC - EMC and Brocade have joined forces with several partners to deliver Virtual Compute Blocks, which combine VMware virtualization software and management tools, EMC® VNXe™ unified storage, servers and integrated Brocade Fibre Channel and Ethernet fabric networking technologies.

3.) Fujitsu - Fujitsu and Brocade have partnered to create automated pools of computing resources made up of server, storage, network and virtualization technology.

4.) Hitachi converged data center solutions combine storage, compute and networking, with software management, automation and optimization to automate, accelerate and simplify cloud adoption.

5.) VMWare - VMware and Brocade have developed a reference architecture solution that enables organizations to create a scalable virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment.

6.) Avnet - Brocade and Avnet announced the joint development of marketing and enablement support for a new set of multi-vendor, pre-tested and configured virtualization solutions.


Unknown said…
Thank you for sharing these updates on cloud computing.
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