Storage Fabrics Technology

Fibre Channel fabrics are the most trusted and widely deployed purpose-built network infrastructure for storage. They are the universal thread that connects businesses to their most critical applications and data, and as such play a vital role in the world’s economies. In fact, Fibre Channel has been an integral part of every wave of storage advancement in the data center. And throughout that evolution, Brocade has helped customers deliver more value from their applications and infrastructure by driving Fibre Channel innovation.

One of the most exciting storage advancements today is SSD based flash storage. The unprecedented speed and cost-effectiveness of flash storage is dramatically accelerating data center transformation. As companies redefine application performance with flash technology, they require networks that deliver low-latency, high capacity bandwidth and reliability. Today, 70 to 80 percent of flash array storage systems are deployed with Fibre Channel. Gen 6 32 Gbps Fibre Channel technology is purpose-built for next-generation NVMe flash storage, delivering seamless integration in the datacenter.

The rapid pace of innovation in the data center is increasing the complexity of managing the infrastructure. More time is spent on deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting tasks to maintain service-level agreements and keep up with demands. IT organizations spend nearly half of their time performing repetitive daily management tasks, such as zoning, inventory reporting, and operational validation checks. In order for IT organizations to modernize their data center quickly, they must be able to simplify operations and free up resources to focus on business optimization and revenue opportunities. With Brocade automation, organizations can reliably perform resource-intensive tasks, such as provisioning, and operationalize the continuous monitoring of the network, so that tasks can be completed in a fraction of the time, while eliminating human error.

Brocade Fibre Channel Technology

As companies move to digitize and adapt to new workloads, they need a modern storage network that supports business agility and the increasing value of real-time data. Brocade Fibre Channel delivers the non-stop availability and exceptional performance required for tomorrow’s all-flash data centers. Brocade Fibre Channel products deliver the performance, reliability, and scalability requirements of hyperscale virtualization, new data center architectures, and next-generation storage technologies.

Brocade and its partner ecosystem offer a growing portfolio of Fibre Channel products that are already redefining enterprise storage, including Brocade X6 Directors, Brocade G630 SwitchBrocade G620 Switch, Brocade G610 Switch and Brocade SX6 Extension Blade. The Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel portfolio combines innovative hardware and Brocade Fabric Vision technology, which features ground-breaking integrated monitoring for storage I/O performance and VM Insight for unparalleled visibility into the performance of individual VMs. Brocade is leading partnerships at all levels of the ecosystem to drive results in storage networking innovations.

Together, these offerings provide the industry’s highest level of network visibility and performance. Leading-edge innovations in Brocade Fibre Channel drive the industry’s highest standard in operational stability, while redefining application performance for hyper-scale, mission-critical storage.

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What about software-defined and cloud-based technologies that are also positioned to re-invent storage? These innovative technologies clearly have a role in the data center. Brocade Fibre Channel complements them all by providing the unmatched reliability, performance, scalability, and security needed to deliver always-on business operations. For more than 20 years, Fibre Channel has proven to be the only infrastructure that can deliver these capabilities.

Brocade Fibre Channel Innovations

An extension of Brocade’s Fibre Channel technology, Brocade Fabric Vision increases visibility into the network and supports highly automated management functions. These functions dramatically reduce operational costs by simplifying management, so you can preempt potential problems and accelerate application deployments. Fabric Vision combines capabilities from Brocade hardware and Brocade Fabric OS. The newly updated Brocade Network Advisor management software automates tasks with an integrated dashboard that displays a view of the overall SAN health. With IO Insight, Fabric Vision technology provides organizations with even deeper visibility into the performance of their environment. This enhanced visibility reduces time-to-resolution by enabling quick identification of degraded application performance at the host and storage tiers. VM Insight seamlessly monitors Virtual Machine (VM) performance throughout a storage fabric with standards-based, end-to-end VM tagging. VM Insight allows administrators to quickly determine the source of VM and application performance anomalies to provision and fine-tune the infrastructure.

Automation — Gen 6 Fibre Channel’s automation technology transforms SAN management by simplifying operations and freeing up resources, allowing organizations to focus on business optimization and revenue opportunities. This technology enables DevOps resources to quickly automate and orchestrate SAN resources through open APIs and the Ansible automation engine. IT organizations that combine Brocade’s automation with orchestration tools (such as Ansible) gain the ability to automate configuration tasks and to monitor and detect any performance or health changes. In turn, these automation tools dramatically increase the amount of infrastructure that any single administrator can manage, thus freeing up resources for higher-value tasks.

Extension  — Brocade purpose-built extension solutions help you address the growing replication and backup needs driven by increasing traffic between data centers, virtualized application workloads, and business continuity requirements. Our solutions maximize replication and backup throughput over distance, using data compression, disk and tape protocol acceleration, and WAN-optimized TCP. Brocade Extension solutions include the Brocade 7840 Extension Switch, the Brocade 7800 Extension Switch, Brocade SX6 Extension Blade and the Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade for the Brocade DCX 8510.

Mainframe—Brocade FICON-qualified directors and switches provide flexible FICON infrastructures for designing, building, and transforming enterprise data centers into strategic business assets. Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel DCX 8510 FICON directors and Brocade 6510, 7840, and 7800 FICON switches with Brocade Fabric Vision technology provide industry-leading performance, scalability, and investment protection, so you can leverage the full capabilities of your IBM z System solutions.

NVMe over Fibre Channel —The simplicity and efficiency of NVMe enables significant performance gains for flash storage. Organizations can seamlessly integrate Brocade Gen 6 or Gen 5 Fibre Channel networks with next-generation NVMe at their own pace. Leveraging the efficiency of NVMe, combined with the high performance and low latency of Brocade Fibre Channel, organizations can accelerate IOPS to deliver the performance, application response time, and scalability needed for next-generation data centers.

Standards Leadership

Brocade works with industry-leading organizations to develop standards, technologies, products, and services that simplify data center infrastructure management and implementation. Our long history of contributions to standards development ranges from Fibre Channel communication technology to storage network interoperability and management.