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Brocade VCS Fabric Technology

Brocade VCS Fabric technology helps organizations create efficient data center networks that just work. Ethernet fabrics built on Brocade VCS Fabric technology provide unmatched automation, efficiency, and VM awareness compared to traditional network architectures and competitive fabric offerings. In addition, they increase flexibility and IT agility, enabling organizations to transition smoothly to elastic, mission-critical networks in highly virtualized cloud data centers.

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Simplified, Automated Networks
Brocade VCS fabrics are designed to make it easier to automate the network itself as well as provide zero-touch virtualization support. The fabric is automatically aware of all devices (servers, switches, appliances) within its domain. Organizations can add and remove switches from a VCS fabric without any manual configuration, and physical and virtual servers can be located upon connection without manual reconfiguration. Brocade VCS fabrics are designed with logically centralized management and appear as a single switch to the rest of the network. This significantly reduces complexity in the management layer, which in turn simplifies troubleshooting.

rocade VCS Fabric technology is hypervisor-agnostic, providing VM alignment capabilities that match the reality of most data centers. The Brocade Automatic Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP) and VM-Aware Network Automation features are intrinsic to the fabric. These features enable organizations to automatically align virtual server and network infrastructure resources, and realize the full benefits of server virtualization without additional management overhead.

Network Efficiency
Brocade VCS fabrics are self-forming, self-healing, and highly resilient. By eliminating Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), they provide active-active connections originating from the server, which doubles the utilization of the entire network while improving resilience. Featuring a high level of resiliency, Brocade VCS fabrics provide rapid failover and fabric reconvergence, and links can be added or modified quickly and non-disruptively.

Unlike other Ethernet fabric architectures, Brocade VCS fabrics are masterless and can be designed in full mesh, partial mesh, leaf-spine, and various other topologies, and they are easily modified or fine-tuned as application demands change over time.

Only Brocade VCS-enabled fabric switches provide very elastic Layer 2 and Layer 3 domains with multiple active-active Layer 3 gateways and highly efficient load balancing at Layers 1-3. In addition, fabric-embedded VM-Aware Network Automation provides secure connectivity and full visibility to virtualized resources with dynamic learning and activation of port profiles. This helps ensure consistency across all physical and logical fabric elements, and minimizes downtime due to human error.

Built for the Cloud
Public and private cloud providers need to deploy and support distributed virtualized workloads quickly, securely, and in a scalable manner on a per-tenant basis. Traditional VLANs can be used for this purpose up to a point, but limitations on VLAN ID scale and the complexity of configuring large numbers of VLANs restrict their usefulness in larger data centers. The Virtual Fabric feature of VCS Fabric technology is designed to address the scalability restrictions of traditional VLANs used for multi-tenant segmentation. It provides native secure multi-tenant support for both physical and virtual application deployments. Managed centrally through Brocade VCS Logical Chassis, the Virtual Fabric feature simplifies and accelerates application deployment and ensures policy consistency for each tenant, regardless of how application components are distributed across the data center. VXLAN and VRF Lite are other options for network segmentation.

Increasingly, SDN is seen as a means to achieve control and customization of specific flows within multi-tenant data centers, and ultimately to improve service quality and agility. VCS fabrics provide a first level of abstraction with their distributed control plane and the management abstraction paradigm of Logical Chassis. VCS fabrics also readily support overlay networks deployed in a variety of configurations.

Brocade enables programmatic control of specific flows through its leadership in industry initiatives, including Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and Open Daylight Project, as well as integration with the VMware NSX platform and the NEC SDN controller. VCS Logical Chassis helps simplify and scale SDN deployments by presenting a single interface to the SDN controller and offloading policy execution within the fabric. Similarly, Brocade VCS Fabric technology provides OpenStack Neutron with a single logical view to a cluster of physical switches-by leveraging the service-level abstractions defined in Logical Chassis mode. This offloads the orchestration of individual network elements from the orchestration platform, allowing it to achieve larger scale yet less complex deployments.

VCS Technology Resources

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Brocade Network Advisor maximizes Brocade VCS Fabric technology investments by providing advanced management of Brocade VCS Fabrics and Brocade VDX switches.

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Brocade VDX switches allow VCS fabric deployments to start small and scale up or down with additional switches and PoD licensing. Both fixed-configuration and modular switches enable automated, reliable, and evolutionary VCS fabrics that meet organizations’ most challenging application requirements.

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This document describes a Red hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 configured to use the Brocade VCS plugin.

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VCS Fabric Design Guide

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This ESG Lab Validation report documents hands-on testing of the EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure with Brocade networking for supporting 100 virtual machines (VMs). The report is focused on ease of use, performance, and high-availability networking.

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This ESG Lab Validation report documents hands-on testing of an EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure with Brocade networking for supporting 500 virtual desktops.

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Lippis Reports highlights Brocade VCS Fabric value proposition and cloud performance test on the VDX 8770

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Brocade and Trend Micro enable high-performance, improved data protection, and simplified management with a virtualized networking infrastructure and deep security solution.

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Brocade VCS Fabric Technology, the Plug-n-Play Cloud Computing Network for Isilon Scale-out NAS

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Brocade and VMware's unified network provides seamless transition between the physical and virtual architecture.

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Cloud provider supports rapid business growth with a highly scalable Lync solution built on Brocade VCS Fabric technology.

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Government Employee’s Health Association (GEHA) redesigns network with Brocade Ethernet Fabric technology, simplifying management and increasing network scalability and flexibility.

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i3D.net leverages Brocade technology to deliver an exceptional online gaming experience over high-capacity, low-latency, cloud-based networks.

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Leading cloud managed service provider improves network performance and helps clients save money with Brocade VCS Fabric technology.

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Leading cloud services provider meets growing demand for increased network performance and capacity with Brocade Ethernet fabrics.

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Singing River Hospital improves network bandwidth, business continuity, and response times by deploying with Brocade VCS Fabric technology through Brocade VDX switches.

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With a Brocade network in place, SIPCOM can offer high-capacity, scalable hosted UC services to its growing user base.

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Brocade enables leading solar provider to simplify its network infrastructure, improve uptime, reduce power consumption, and better utilize IT staff.

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This document is intended for data center networking and server architects. It describes the technical architecture of Brocade® Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS™), also referred to as VCS technology in this document, and explains how the control, data, and management planes function, and how a VCS Ethernet fabric operates. It also provides a comparison of the VCS Ethernet Fabric with the emerging IEEE Transparent Interconnect of Lots of Links, or TRILL standard.

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Brocade Network Advisor logs events and alerts generated by managed devices and the management server and presents them through the master log and various other views. Event action policies and actions, combined with other monitoring tools in Brocade Network Advisor, help you provide proactive monitoring and effective diagnostics for the managed network.

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Ethernet fabric architectures built on Brocade VCS Fabric technology simplifies network architecture and management and features for supporting future “software-defined” networks, as well as a cost-effective point of entry that enables the transition to mission-critical networks in cloud data centers.

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Brocade VCS Logical Chassis provides a single point of management for fabric-wide configuration, software maintenance, and troubleshooting. Network services become even faster to deploy and simpler to manage, even as the network is scaled out.

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SDN introduces new opportunities to centralize network services more rapidly, but also new forms of complexity. Brocade VCS Fabric technology provides unique automation capabilities and resilience in the physical fabric, as well as integration and hardware support for leading SDN solutions.

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Brocade VCS Fabric technology radically simplifies the configuration, management, and ongoing operation of network infrastructures. Administrators can deploy and expand highly automated, reliable, efficient Brocade VCS fabrics at least five times faster than other fabrics in the market.

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Brocade VCS capabilities enable a small two-switch Top-of-Rack (ToR) deployment and expansion to a large virtualization-optimized Ethernet fabrics, as well as manage these networks as a single logic entity. Furthermore, Brocade VCS-based Ethernet fabrics are convergence ready, enabling one network for storage—Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, NAS—and IP data traffic.

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This paper provides an overview of SDN, its expected role in cloud-optimized networks, and how Brocade is implementing SDN vertically and across its portfolio to provide users with a truly open cloud-optimized network, built on a resilient, automated fabric foundation.

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As cloud environments become the norm, network segmentation is a critical consideration. Brocade VCS Fabric technology provides a variety of means for supporting multitenancy in cloud environments, including hypervisor-based Layer 3 approaches and an innovative native Layer 2 solution.

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Brocade VDX switches with Brocade VCS Fabric technology provide an automated, efficient, scale-out network architecture optimized for today’s scale-out storage and compute environments.

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Setting a New Standard for Network Efficiency with VCS Fabric Multilayer, Multipathing Capabilities.

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As cloud-based services become more prevalent, scalable multitenant network environments become more imperative. The multitenant data center network architecture from Brocade provides a smooth and scalable cloud deployment that simplifies management and orchestration.