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Storage Networks

Why Fibre Channel is Everywhere — and Staying There

by Scott Shimomura on ‎03-29-2016 12:50 PM (14,440 Views)

Fibre Channel is the storage network of choice for these heavy-hitters of the enterprise world, for good reason. Actually, for many goods reasons. These four top the list...




Demystifying IP SAN

by AJ Casamento on ‎03-16-2016 04:03 PM - last edited on ‎03-18-2016 11:43 AM by ShelbyKhan (27,267 Views)

Do you ever run into one of those situations where people are using a term in a context different from the one you think of? Many times I find that happens in a situation where something has been around for so long that "everybody knows" what it is. But what "everybody knows" is different based on their personal history or experience. For me, IP SAN is one of those terms. Networked storage of one form or another; presented by one protocol or another has been part of my professional life since the early 1980s. But times and terms change and it can be confusing to people as to what is meant by the term. So lets see if we can't shed some light on this.


The exploding number of virtualized applications and increasing use of All Flash Arrays (AFAs) have catapulted storage networking requirements to new heights. Storage administrators now need a foundational business architecture that can support the massive data demands of virtualized applications and stunningly high storage media performance, while providing the visibility and insights needed to manage the entire storage infrastructure as a cohesive resource.


The Matrix or Reality? The Network Matters for Storage Innovation

by Scott Shimomura ‎03-01-2016 05:00 AM - edited ‎03-01-2016 08:57 AM (20,018 Views)

So do you take the blue pill or the red pill? You take the blue pill and the story ends, you wake up in the data center believing in the fantasy where FCoE and Infiniband take over the world, hyperconverged solves all your problems, and hardware is irrelevant. You take the red pill, you stay in reality where data matters, storage matters, and most importantly, where the network matters. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.


red pill blue pill.png


Welcome to the reality of today’s and tomorrow’s data center. This isn’t about solving every IT problem with a single solution. It isn’t about future-proofing against change. There isn’t instant ROI. This is about real problems that enterprise customers face every day with their storage infrastructure. How do you keep your business up and running non-stop? How do you keep up with the demands from your customers? How do you manage growth? How do you protect your digital assets from malicious breaches?


The VMAX All Flash is designed to support the most mission-critical systems and applications with six-nines availability and unprecedented performance...


Bigger Isn’t Always Better

by Scott Shimomura on ‎02-04-2016 01:52 PM (30,815 Views)

Does size matter in the data center? With Cisco’s launch of the 9718, I am reminded of what it’s like to shop at Costco. You are surrounded by enormous versions of products that you don’t necessarily want or need. Who needs a jar of mayonnaise when you can get a gallon vat of mayonnaise?  Why buy the king-sized bag of Cheetos when you can buy the jumbo seven pound sack? Or why buy six or even twelve rolls of toilet paper when you can buy thirty?


The problem is when you get home, where are you going to put this stuff? Will you ever use it? Buying bigger seemed right at first, but then you have the inevitable regrets that you didn’t buy smarter.


Costco… I mean Cisco added the MDS 9718 to its director product family to address a requirement that we don’t hear from storage customers. They aren’t asking us to build a larger chassis or massively increase port density. They are asking for technology that enables operation stability, predictable performance, and simple scalability. Cisco didn’t build that… they launched a monolithic chassis (based on a Nexus 7718 IP switch) designed to address high port density that comes at the expense of massive size and unbelievable energy consumption. Fun fact: a fully populated 9718 draws more energy than 11 average US homes. 


INFINIDAT Guest Post: Teaming Up to Stop Legacy Infrastructure Band-Aids

by ene ‎01-20-2016 02:23 PM - edited ‎03-10-2016 04:25 PM (11,066 Views)

Clients should not have to make choices between availability, scalability, and performance manageability. Enterprise Storage should be easy-to-deploy and seamless to manage. At INFINIDAT we believe in the importance of storage without compromise. To do so, we recommend pairing our revolutionary InfiniBox with a strong partner ecosystem to deliver best-in-class datacenter solutions for our clients.


The Network Matters for NVMe, Wait What?

by Scott Shimomura on ‎12-07-2015 06:00 AM (14,671 Views)

While all-flash and hybrid arrays are finally becoming mainstream in the data center, there is a new wave of innovation on the horizon that will enable even better application performance. Server-side storage isn’t new, however Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is emerging as a new storage platform that will drive massive performance gains.




Applications will see better random and sequential performance by reducing latency and enabling much more parallelism through an optimized PCI Express (PCIe) interface purpose-built for solid state storage.


So why does networking matter for host-based storage? On the surface, it would seem counterintuitive. However, what do you do when you want to share storage or want high availability functionality such as failover? Simple, you connect the storage over a fabric. The NVM Express over Fabrics initiative was started to begin to address these needs. While there are Ethernet with RDMA, Infiniband-based and Intel Omni-Path fabrics, they leverage networking technologies that are not widely deployed for enterprise storage. This means potential NVMe customers would have to deploy additional networks to support their storage.


Building the Edgeless Data Lake with EMC IsilonSD, Connectrix VDX, and the New IP

by jbleess ‎11-16-2015 09:45 AM - edited ‎11-18-2015 09:20 AM (13,096 Views)

The combination of a New IP architecture along with the launch of the Datalake 2.0 strategy by EMC, has added new tools to extend the traditional boundries of the datalake. Combining IsilonSD for remote or temporary locations with our VCS Fabric based Isilon core, allowed a reanalysis of the unstructured data we manage. 




Strategic partnership between Brocade and QLogic has resulted in co-developing a set of advanced features designed to streamline and reduce time for provisioning, increase the reliability of data transfers, and add resiliency and improved management visibility. The features leverage Fabric Vision and extend management functionality and simplicity for joint customer and further differentiates Brocades products in the storage market.


Brocade and Emulex Advance Gen 5 End-to-End Across The Network

by Tim Lustig ‎10-28-2015 05:01 AM - edited ‎10-28-2015 07:40 AM (27,964 Views)

Technology has been an enabler since the first hand tools and cultivation of agriculture begun. Continually improving life and increasing human productivity based on skills learned and passed down over generations and tens of thousands of years. The accumulation of knowledge and the ability to progress technology by sharing information accelerated with Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. The launch of the Internet in 1991 further facilitated the sharing of information and smart phones made accessing information much easier by placing it right in an individual’s palm. Due to this, we have seen an accelerated speed at which communication occurs and subsequently, over the years, an increase in technology development.


In 2014 Brocade and Emulex entered into a strategic relationship with a focus on advancing Fibre Channel technology.


We recently recorded a series of videos at VMworld US 2015 with a few of our partners to talk about why the network is important when it comes to storage. When going back and watching these videos one statement stands out. Jerimiah Dooley, Principal Architect for SolidFire, says “Of all the customers that use SolidFire today, how many of the end users, ones that are using the applications, know what switch vendor is providing connectivity? The answer is none of them.” He goes on to say they should never know because when everything is working properly they don’t care. However, as soon as something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to everyone will know which vendor is to blame. This is one of the most important reasons programs like Brocade’s Solid State Ready program (SSR) are in place to make sure the integration between the storage and the network infrastructure is as seamless as possible and has been validated by both companies.


Recently a new infographic titled “What Happens in an Internet Minute? caught my attention, not because of the facts, but rather the questions it provoked. What is happening within my applications in the data center?


Today, flash technology and high-performance storage networks have changed the way we think about applications and their performance. The diagram below can easily be substituted with enterprise’s mixed mission-critical and non-critical applications.


Avoid Outages and Re-syncs with Extension Trunking

by Scott Shimomura on ‎08-24-2015 07:00 AM (7,292 Views)

In storage environments, reliable and resilient networks — to the point of no frame loss and in-order frame delivery — is necessary for error-free operation, high performance, and operational ease. This improves availability, reduces operating expenses and, most of all reduces the risk of data loss. Brocade addresses today’s important trends and requirements with the Brocade Extension Switches with Brocade Extension Trunking.


Extension Trunking is an advanced feature of the Brocade Extension platforms for both Fibre Channel and IP extension, enabling bandwidth aggregation and lossless failover for increased resiliency over IP WANs. It provides load balancing and network resilience to increase WAN utilization and protect against WAN link failures. This video details the operation and advantages of this technology in extended storage applications.


Best-In-Class Vendors Partner to Build A Best-In-Class VDI Solution

by Nanjunda Somyaji ‎08-18-2015 09:00 AM - edited ‎08-18-2016 04:29 PM (19,591 Views)

Few years back, enterprises were evaluating Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to see whether VDI is a viable technology while reducing cost of operations. As proof-of-concept, they deployed VDI in a selected group to evaluate and understand the issues. During this time, VDI was still expensive, hard to manage and Enterprises did not see expected ROI.


Fast forward and VDI technologies have matured thanks to technologies that include: Virtual SAN, vRealize Operations and LogInsight, better networks and low-cost flash storage. These developments are pushing enterprises to deploy VDI across the organization’s infrastructure.


Today’s organizations depend on fast, reliable access to data wherever and whenever needed, regardless of location. The ramifications and potential business impact of an unreliable disaster recovery and data protection infrastructure are greater than ever.


The Brocade 7840 Extension Switch provides a suite of features — from pre-deployment validation to advanced network failure recovery technologies — to ensure a continuously available storage extension infrastructure. One unique feature is Adaptive Rate Limiting which dynamically adjusts bandwidth sharing between minimum and maximum rate limits to optimize bandwidth utilization and maintain maximum WAN performance during disruptions.


Sharing Isn’t Always a Good Thing

by Spencer Lail on ‎08-11-2015 05:00 AM (10,872 Views)

For many of us, preschool and kindergarten were all about learning how to share. But in the IT world, sharing isn’t always a good thing. You need to carefully identify when and where it makes sense to share if you want to operate as efficiently as possible.


Consider that just a few years ago IP storage was considered a departmental or “non-critical” storage solution—primarily for workloads that weren’t considered core elements to business success. The general lack of Tier 1 tools, performance, reliability, and scalability kept IP storage from being a truly “production-ready” solution for most organizations.


How to Drive High-Throughput Over Distance

by Scott Shimomura on ‎08-10-2015 07:00 AM (11,113 Views)

The advanced performance and network optimization features of the Brocade 7840 Extension Switch enable replication and backup applications to send more data over metro and WAN links in less time, and optimize available WAN bandwidth. Supporting up to 250ms Round-Trip Time (RTT) latency, the Brocade Extension Switch enables cost-effective extension solutions over distances up to 37,500 kilometers (23,400 miles).


Never Disrupt Your Replication Again with Firmware Updates

by Scott Shimomura ‎08-03-2015 07:00 AM - edited ‎08-03-2015 01:50 PM (9,919 Views)

Hot Code Load (HCL), also known as Non-Disruptive Firmware Upgrades, have been available for Fibre Channel platforms for a long time, but not for the extension platforms. With the recently announced Brocade 7840 Extension Switch, HCL is now available for extension switches. This feature is critical for replication in mission critical environments where companies cannot afford to take their infrastructure down while they upgrade. With the higher data rates everyone is dealing with, even a short window of disruption can cause you to fall behind and open yourself up for risk.


Private Clouds Can Propel Your Business … if Your Network Doesn’t Hold You Back

by Anonymous on ‎05-11-2015 12:01 AM (16,067 Views)

Unexpected consequences. They’re everywhere in life. All the time, all over the world, someone is making a plan to solve a problem. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for most of us to envision the full impact or range of tradeoffs associated with that plan.


For example, think about a family moving to a bigger house. With a home twice the size of their old one, they now have more room for the kids, additional space to grow, and a solution to key problems (like not having enough bathrooms). But did the parents properly plan for all the costs this new home entails? Are they ready for double the cost of heating and cooling bills? Have they braced for the higher taxes and additional maintenance work?


Move over Godzilla. There is a new sheriff in town.


EMC unleashed “The Beast” this week at EMC World, which is their new aptly named software upgrade for XtremIO 3.X all-flash storage that more than doubles supported all-flash capacity to 40TB, with the ability to cluster eight of these monsters together with consistent and predictable sub-millisecond performance.


EMC World 2015: More About IP Extension

by mdetrick ‎05-06-2015 08:00 AM - edited ‎05-06-2015 11:55 AM (15,443 Views)

IPEX is based on 5 pillars. These tenants are distinctly different, crucial to many environments, and made up the design criteria for Brocade Extension Engineering. To review, they are:


  • High Performance (covered in part 2 of 3 in this series)
  • Operational Excellence
  • Superior Availability
  • Strong Security
  • Easy Deployment 

Today, we will discuss the remaining four pillars.


Saturday’s Fight of the Century in Las Vegas elevated Floyd Mayweather to global prominence as the world’s best welterweight boxer. 48-0; one shy of Rocky Marciano’s undefeated career record. Mayweather turned in a vintage performance as he outboxed Manny Pacquiao in a brilliant display to win a unanimous decision in one of the biggest fights in boxing history.


Like Saturday’s epic event, EMC made history today on the global Las Vegas stage at EMC World by bringing its heavyweight, high-end storage systems to the EMC VSPEX family, further strengthening its position as the undisputed, world champion of reference architectures sold exclusively through channel partners. Brocade is proud to be in the same corner as EMC for this new VSPEX solution, as the storage networking foundation, connecting EMC VMAX3 100K storage with high-performance servers.


EMC World 2015: It’s all about Performance!

by mdetrick on ‎05-05-2015 08:00 AM (14,646 Views)

Welcome back to the second installment on Brocade 7840 IPEX. Today’s blog is all about improving performance of IP storage applications between data centers, a cornerstone of IPEX. There is A LOT to this pillar, so, I’ve devoted today’s entire blog to just to this subject. Here is a list of pertinent Brocade technologies implemented in IPEX that enhance native IP storage performance:


  • Purpose built hardware and software
  • Intolerant IP storage applications
  • WAN Optimized TCP
  • TCP Acceleration
  • End-to-End Flow Control
  • Data batching
  • Jumbo Frames
  • Adaptive Rate Limiting (ARL)
  • QoS (Enforcement and Marking)
  • Compression
  • Scalability

EMC World 2015: Take Control with IP Extension

by mdetrick on ‎05-04-2015 07:30 AM (16,159 Views)

Good morning EMC World 2015! Here we are again in Las Vegas pursuing the latest technological advancements for our storage and cloud environments.


This year EMC and Brocade are proud to present something entirely new: IPEX (IPEX = IP Extension) on the Brocade 7840 (EMC Connectrix MP-7840B). You say, Hummm… Why do I need extension for IP? I’m sure you’re thinking, can’t I just handoff my IP storage flows to the network? Of course, I hope the Network Admins meet their SLAs (Service Level Agreements) so I can meet mine! Who out there wants to have SLA responsibility that in turn relies on the network SLA, of which you have no control? Yep, that’s what I thought… No One!


Don’t Get Caught with Data Security Gaps

by Anonymous on ‎04-27-2015 12:01 AM (14,278 Views)

When important people need protection, how does it usually work? For example, a president, prime minister or other world leader? Typically, if there’s any kind of expected threat, it’s full protection round the clock, everywhere and with no margin for error.


Now imagine that, instead of this kind of protection, a world leader under threat had multiple locations that were very secure but, when they moved between locations, instead of armored cars and lots of bodyguards, they had to run alone through the streets to get to their destination?


Memo from the Future: Ensure Your Data Center is Ready for 2020 Demands

by Anonymous on ‎04-21-2015 12:01 AM (18,151 Views)

(Dateline: A major enterprise data center, in the year 2020) Running an enterprise storage network sure is a lot different than it used to be. Back in the old days (circa 2015) we were mainly concerned with our traditional data center, keeping the big iron storage up and running and ensuring our networks were fast enough to handle regular backup and restore requests.


Now those days look like the stone-age. Software defined? Forget about it. The storage infrastructures of 2020 are way beyond that, pulling in massive amounts of data in real-time, making it constantly accessible to a variety of analytics tools and applications, and doing so across locations and geographies on fast and flexible networks and virtual storage infrastructures.


Businesses have come to recognize that the combination of big data technologies, new data sources and evolving analytic approaches present an opportunity to drive competitive advantage and accelerate innovation. But many are struggling with where to start to begin taking advantage of the business value that these new technologies promise.


Today’s launch of EMC’s Federation Business Data Lake (FBDL) changes that. With the FBDL, IT can quickly and easily clear the path for more timely and informed business decisions. The solution provides a fully engineered, enterprise-grade data lake tuned to the strategic priorities of a business that can help to quickly realize the value of big data analytics.



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