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The Best Treasures in Connectrix B-Series

By AJ Casamento posted 04-18-2017 08:57 AM


Easter egg hunts were a fun memory from my childhood. And that of course, given that I’m a bit of a geek about IT, made me think of t_chest_aJ.jpgthe practice of hiding “Easter eggs” in applications, games and video content. And of course I thought; “In the whole range of technologies and ideas on showcase at DELL EMC World, how will people find the awesome Brocade technology pieces in the Connectrix B-series products?”

Yeah, I know, that sounds a bit pretentious. But to those of you who know Brocade and have interacted with me over the years know that I really do get jazzed about cool technologies. Especially those that I think are going to help my friends and customers. I wrote about a number of these recently, including The Virtues and Benefits of Brocade Gen 6, so I won’t go through the whole list. But do come to the Brocade booth #909 in the expo hall and check out:


  • VM Insight
    In the past 24 months I have asked over 1,200 customers the question: “Do you have an application owner that you can ask the I/O profile of his application and get an answer that you would trust?” 

    They are generally laughing before I can finish the question. (I have only received one positive answer and that was for just 1 of over 600 applications in that environment.)
    Not because they don’t want to know, but because previously one could only see the I/O of the host and not the individual VMs. But what if you could? How cool would it be to be able to have that answer the next time an application owner complains? So stop by the booth and see how the right SAN infrastructure can give you visibility that nothing else can.

  • I/O Insight
    Another very cool element in Brocade Gen 6 is the ability to measure SCSI performance in the SAN fabric. Built into the Connectrix B-Series Gen 6 platform is the ability to look at SCSI Read and Write commands on the fly. Because this is also built into the ASIC, there is no latency incurred for doing this. Imagine the look on the database administrator’s face when you tell him: “Actually, here is the latency of the first read response for your query and here is the latency of the SCSI exchange completion so it’s not the SAN; but thanks for stopping by!” 

    Mind, you’ll have to do your best not to appear too smug over having such detailed performance information.

  • IPEX
    Sadly, I’m old enough to have seen all the variants of Ethernet over the last 40 years. And there have been some incredible changes. But while I am a huge admirer of Vint Cerf and the work he and Bob Kahn did on TCP/IP there are some interesting side effects on storage replication over distance when there is any latency or packet loss in the link. Especially when so many storage platforms include a “low cost” Ethernet port for replication that has virtually no assist built into it. So let me introduce you to Connectrix B-series Gen 6 IP Extension (IPEX) where you can readily achieve as much as 30-50 times the performance of the native hardware. In addition, we even built network analytics into the WAN ports so that you can have REAL conversations with the WAN team.

  • NVMe over Fabric
    Another excellent example of Brocade Gen 6 engineering is the NVMe over Fabric demo running on Fibre Channel. Imagine being able to simply connect this new technology to your existing Connectrix B-series SAN when you need it without having to remake your entire network infrastructure?! Now THAT’S future proofing.

More Detail

So if I’ve piqued your interest at all, and I feel certain at least one of these items did, please drop by the Brocade booth and have a look at these demos on the floor. And think about going to one of the Brocade breakout sessions:


Brocade: The Future of Flash: NVMe Over Fibre Channel Monday 4:30 PM Lando 4201A
Brocade: WAN Optimization For Storage Replication From SRDF To SyncIQ Tuesday 3:00 PM Palazzo I
Brocade: Modernize Your SAN For The All-Flash Data Center Wednesday 3:00 PM Defino 4001A


Have a great time walking through the technology and please make certain to catch me and say hello if you get a chance in your schedule. There are a whole raft of really smart folks who are going to be at the event and we all look forward to helping you find which of the Easter Eggs suits you best!


P.S. You can keep all the licorice jelly beans, I never liked them.