Network fabric innovation is in our DNA. We’ve been an industry leader in Fibre Channel storage SAN fabrics for more than 15 years, and we established the Ethernet Fabrics network category with the award-winning Brocade VCS Fabric. Our new Brocade IP Fabric brings the same hallmark network automation and agility to web scale data centers. As you’d expect, both of these data center network fabrics provide far higher levels of performance, utilization, availability, and simplicity than traditional networks. But that’s just the beginning of our fabrics story.

Our data center fabrics are a vital component of the open, innovation-centric, software-enabled approach to networking commonly referred to as the New IP. And critically important, they feature centralized management and automation that streamlines your New IP journey, and a phased implementation approach that lets you transition at a pace that’s aligned with your business goals.

Foundations for the New IP

New IP discussions tend to focus on technologies like server and network virtualization, cloud, and SDN. And these elements do contribute critical flexibility, management simplicity, and cost-savings. But they also fall into a category known as the network overlay. The network overlay is a software-enabled logical topology that is decoupled from the physical wired network. The wired network is the underlay, which is what actually forwards IP packets from one endpoint to another.

Data center fabrics are ideal network underlays for the New IP. That’s because their design inherently takes advantage of the virtual constructs of server virtualization, network virtualization, and SDN. Data center fabrics are agile, automated, easy to scale up or out, and can adapt instantaneously to changes in traffic flows, packet sizes, and protocols. Still, not all data center fabrics are alike.

One switch family, two fabric options

Our experience with network fabrics has taught us how to deliver operational efficiencies that will make your life easier today and enhance your network’s value as you transition to the New IP. It starts with the switch foundation.

Unnecessary network complexity can stop a growing company in its tracks. That is why the simplicity of Brocade fabrics was of key importance.

Tom Whitcomb, Chief Technical Officer, Ajubeo

Brocade VDX data center switches support the Brocade VCS Fabric and the Brocade IP Fabric, so you can standardize on one switch family and implement the fabric that suits your needs. You can use different fabrics for different areas of your business, or start with one fabric and evolve to the other without hardware changes.

Selecting the right fabric depends on your environment. The Brocade VCS Fabric gives you seamless scalability for Layer 2 deployments of up to 10,000 servers. It provides turnkey automation and plug-and-play scalability that let you evolve to a cloud model on your own time and terms, with full investment protection and without the steep cost and learning curve of developing script-based solutions.

The Brocade IP Fabric is an open, automated, programmable solution for large data center deployments of up to 500,000 servers. It’s based on a cloud-proven, BGP-based Layer 3 design that easily integrates with popular data center ecosystem tools, so you can leverage your current investments for a seamless evolution to the cloud.

Turnkey and programmable automation

Both the Brocade VCS Fabric and the Brocade IP Fabric dramatically reduce deployment times and the potential for human error through automated provisioning and maintenance automation. Available Python libraries and pre-packaged Ansible Modules get the network up and running quickly. Automated service and resource upgrades further reduce ongoing maintenance time and costs. Brocade delivers server-based automation with open and programmable components based on popular tools and APIs such as Python, Ansible, Puppet, REST, and Netconf to allow straightforward customization for optimized delivery of current and future cross-domain IT services. In addition, cloud orchestration and control through OpenStack integrations, VMware vRealize plugins, and OpenDaylight-based SDN controller support enable full network integration with compute and storage resource provisioning and management.

Brocade has really great seamless support for OpenStack orchestration. This allows us to offer anything from bare-metal dedicated networking to cloud networking. In the past, provisioning a customer required at least two hours. Today, customers can order from a self-service portal and get exactly what they need within 20 or 30 minutes.

Konstantin Bezruchenko, Chief Technical Officer, Servers.com

Seamless network virtualization underlays

Brocade data center fabrics also support controller-based network virtualization architectures such as VMware NSX, and the Brocade BGP-EVPN Network Virtualization controller-less architecture. The choice of VMware NSX certified Brocade Layer 2 or Layer 3 fabrics lets you select the optimal underlay to address your unique requirements, with the assurance that it’s been tested and validated by VMware. Brocade BGP-EVPN Network Virtualization eliminates the need for an external controller by leveraging open standards-based protocols to enable workload agility, segmentation and security within and across data centers.

What’s next

With fabrics for Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks, open standards support and extensive scalability for massive data centers, time- and cost-saving automation, and a single switch family that supports it all, your data center is ready for innovation. Build massive data centers. Evolve to the cloud. Brocade gives you the tools and the choices to take advantage of any technology or business opportunity, and continue adding value to your network and your business for years to come.

PRODUCT FOCUS

Brocade products turn Possibilities into realities. Through industry transition and technology evolution. For large and small businesses, service providers, and the public sector. Our proven data and storage network fabrics, state-of-the-art virtual devices, management tools, and open approach are ready to support your success.

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