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The Network Matters for Disaster Recovery

By Scott Shimomura posted 10-13-2014 05:00 AM




Brocade launched Gen 5 Fibre Channel platforms back in May 2011, which began a massive wave of innovation within the data center. ClearLink diagnostics and UltraScale Inter Chassis Links were introduced to simplify fabric diagnostics and scalability. Along the way, we developed the most complete portfolio of Gen 5 Fibre Channel directors, switches, and embedded blade server switches. Finally, we revolutionized SAN management with Fabric Vision technology to provide real-time visibility and actionable insights to simplify monitoring, diagnostics, and management.


Today, we announced the next wave of game-changing Gen 5 Fibre Channel innovations that extend our solutions between data centers to address increasingly strict service level requirements and recovery objectives for disaster recovery. The new Brocade 7840 Extension Switch, combined with new Fabric Vision technology capabilities, delivers industry-leading performance, near-zero downtime, and unmatched simplicity for replication and backup between data centers.


Acts of nature or acts of people can lead to disruptions and outages of the storage infrastructure that impact application availability. These days even the slightest disruption in service or expected performance can lead to a Twitter storm that turns an IT problem into a PR and social media nightmare. To address IT challenges around disaster recovery, we focused our development on enabling our customers to build storage extension infrastructure capable of exceeding requirements driven by non-stop data growth, higher SLAs, and faster WAN connections.


We started by extending Fabric Vision technology between data centers to simplify and automate the management, monitoring, and diagnostic capabilities for connectivity between data centers. It’s as simple as a single click to deploy a policy for monitoring extension resources to automatically detect WAN anomalies, ensure performance, and avoid unplanned downtime. The policies, rules, and thresholds are based on Brocade’s more than fifteen years of designing and supporting data center extension customers all over the world.


Key to delivering these new capabilities is the introduction of the Brocade 7840 Extension switch. It’s not a “Swiss Army knife” multiservice or multiprotocol switch; rather it’s a purpose-built, high performance data center extension switch. Pure and simple, the Brocade 7840 Extension switch is built for replication and backup workloads over WAN connections that require near-zero downtime and unprecedented performance.


Downtime is the bane of every IT organization. The Brocade 7840 was designed from the ground up to enable non-stop connectivity for replication and backup workloads. WAN connections between data centers tend to be problematic for replication. Disruptions are frequent, ranging from daily anomalies to complete outages. The Brocade 7840 exclusively supports Extension Trunking over redundant WAN links to overcome link failures through lossless failover and retransmission of packets. To eliminate planned maintenance outages, the Brocade 7840 uniquely provides the ability to perform non-disruptive firmware upgrades.


With stored data doubling nearly every two years, the performance required to replicate data is exceeding the capabilities of most extension infrastructure. More data needs to be moved faster over long distance across all types of WAN connectivity.

To address these challenges, the Brocade 7840 Extension Switch delivers six times the performance compared to other extension solutions. It  and also doubles the performance, at half the cost, compared to WAN optimization appliances that are often mismatched when deployed as a DR alternative.


Additionally, the Brocade 7840 leverages many performance optimization technologies developed over many generations of data center extension switches. These capabilities enable a high-performance and highly reliable network infrastructure for disaster recovery and data protection. Advanced compression and protocol acceleration technologies combine with dedicated hardware to drive the most application throughput (80 Gbps) of any platform in the industry. Line rate, 256-bit IPsec encryption ensures security with no performance penalty. For flexibility, the 7840 can connect over GbE, 10GbE, and the industry’s only 40GbE FCIP links.


Both Aberdeen and Storage Switzerland make clear cases for deploying disaster recovery infrastructure that includes storage extension for replication and backup. Increased performance, continuous availability, and simplified monitoring and diagnostics are all essential to addressing these enterprise class storage replication challenges.


Planning for a worst-case scenario prepares you for the entire spectrum of IT disruptions that can impact a data center. Brocade is leading the way to uniquely address these challenges with extension innovations that will help you be prepared when a disaster occurs and achieve always-on business operations.


Brocade has been and will continue to be the thought and technology leader for data center storage network and storage extension technology adopted by leading enterprises across the globe. If your applications and data are critical to your business, then the network matters for disaster recovery. Say goodbye to legacy DR and say hello to Brocade disaster recovery solutions built with Gen 5 Fibre Channel switches and Fabric Vision technology.