Brocade VCS Fabric technology helps organizations create efficient data center networks that just work. Ethernet fabrics built on Brocade VCS Fabric technology provide unmatched VM awareness and automation 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 data centers.
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 errors.
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 to appear as a single switch to the rest of the network. This significantly reduces complexity in the management layer, which in turn simplifies troubleshooting.
Brocade 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.
An Evolutionary Approach for Investment Protection
Brocade VCS fabrics operate seamlessly within traditional Ethernet architectures in access or aggregation tiers, allowing non-disruptive implementation within existing network environments.
Increasing VM density means increasing I/O at the access point. By eliminating STP within the access layer, VCS fabrics immediately double the available links and bandwidth to the servers, without multiplying the capital and facilities costs of twice as many switches. In environments with significant “east-west” traffic within server clusters, it also greatly helps improve latency.
VCS fabrics can flatten the network and simplify the access and aggregation layers, which can immediately reduce TCO by 15 to 20 percent, taking into account capital costs and reduced management overhead, as well as power, cooling, and space needs.
Core switches are typically the most expensive part of a data center network. By implementing Ethernet fabrics at the access and/or aggregation tiers rather than in the core, VCS fabrics provide a low cost of adoption while preserving existing core network investments.
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.
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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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.
Setting a New Standard for Network Efficiency with VCS Fabric Multilayer, Multipathing Capabilities.