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Breaking the Status Quo, It’s Not About Speed

By Scott Shimomura posted 03-24-2013 09:45 PM


In my blog last Wednesday, I wrote about why Brocade is changing the way we talk about Fibre Channel, moving from a speed-based naming convention to a new generation-based name—Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel.




When we introduced our Gen 5 Fibre Channel product line in 2011, there weren’t Gen 5 Fibre Channel adapters from Emulex or QLogic or targets from our storage partners, yet customers bought these new platforms. During our most recent earnings call, we reported that 42% of our SAN shipments were Gen 5 Fibre Channel products. So why are customers adopting Gen 5 Fibre Channel?


It’s not about speed. It’s about the innovative technology and unique capabilities that solve customer challenges. High density virtualization requires unprecedented reliability and performance due to the increased impact of down time and outages. Infrastructure complexity is driving requirements for consolidation and  simplification of network resources. Adoption of SSD storage will outpace the I/O demands of legacy SAN infrastructure.


We addressed these challenges with the introduction of the Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel portfolio. We introduced ClearLink diagnostic ports to simplify deployment and support of fabrics through advanced cable and optics diagnostics capabilities. The Brocade DCX 8510 launched with UltraScale inter-chassis link (ICL) technology to simplify scale-out network designs by reducing the number of chassis, ports, and cables required for large fabrics.


Today, Brocade is again raising the bar for Gen 5 Fibre Channel superiority with several innovations that include Brocade Fabric Vision technology and the Brocade 6520, the industry’s highest density fixed-port switch.




Brocade Fabric Vision technology—advanced monitoring, management, and diagnostic tools integrated into a Gen 5 Fibre Channel fabric that helps customers maximize infrastructure availability, dramatically reduce operational and capital equipment costs, and optimize application performance. Fabric vision leverages the capabilities of Brocade’s Gen 5 Fibre Channel switching ASICs, Brocade Fabric Operating System (FOS), and Brocade Network Advisor.


Fabric Vision technology introduces the following new capabilities:

  • Customizable health and performance dashboards that provides simplified proactive management and predictive monitoring
  • Policy-based fabric wide threshold configuration and monitoring that simplifies and automates administrative tasks
  • Integrated data flow-based visualization, monitoring and analytics that eliminates the need for expensive third-party tools


Brocade also announced the Brocade 6520 Switch, expanding our comprehensive Gen 5 Fibre Channel solution portfolio. The Brocade 6520 offers industry-leading port density in a fixed-port switch, offering up to 96 ports in a 2U form factor--helping customers consolidate their switch infrastructure and reduce costs.


In addition, Brocade demonstrated its industry leadership by announcing a commitment to develop new Gen 6 Fibre Channel SAN solutions based on the FC-PI-6 industry standard. Brocade is working with the Fibre Channel Industry Association to drive the adoption of these new solutions. Our engineers and developers are already working hard to design the Gen 6 Fibre Channel ASICs and software that will power the next generation of switches.





Brocade is also leading an industry consortium within the OpenStack community to develop open source software that simplifies the orchestration of Fibre Channel resources in cloud architectures. We have been leading an industry consortium of Fibre Channel vendors to ensure that our cloud-based customers have a path for orchestration of Fibre Channel resources in an OpenStack infrastructure.


I have spent the last few weeks in seemingly non-stop briefings to industry analysts and press and training sessions with our field sales and partners. I couldn’t ask for more positive feedback.  The market continues to grow and customers continue to buy Brocade Fibre Channel because it is the best infrastructure for enterprise storage.


Good bye status quo, hello Brocade!


Follow Brocade as we chart a new and exciting path for data center networking technology.

Follow Brocade on Twitter @BRCDcomm

Follow me on Twitter @scottshimo

1 comment



03-26-2014 10:35 AM

Is your network ready for tomorrow



03-26-2014 10:35 AM

Is your network ready for tomorrow