Brocade targets the all-flash data centre with Gen 6 Fibre Channel directors

Digital transformation driven by storage innovation requires a modern storage network

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Brocade targets the all-flash data centre with Gen 6 Fibre Channel directors Rondoni: "NVMe will be the next disruptive storage technology in the data centre."
By  David Ndichu Published  July 24, 2016

Brocade has announced new Gen 6 Fibre Channel directors for mission-critical storage connectivity and business resiliency solutions designed for the all-flash data centre.

This expands the company’s Fibre Channel storage network solutions, building on the Gen 6 Fibre Channel switch that Brocade delivered in March 2016.  The new Brocade X6 director family and the Brocade SX6 extension blade for Fibre Channel, Fibre Connection (FICON) and IP storage replication, combined with Brocade Fabric Vision technology, are designed to help customers drive always-on business operations, eliminate performance bottlenecks and adapt to the requirements of digital organizations.

As organisations continue to digitize and adapt to new workloads, they need a modern storage network that supports business agility.  Fibre Channel fabrics are the common thread that connects organizations to their most critical applications and data.  Ninety-six percent of banks, insurance companies and retailers rely on Fibre Channel as the most trusted network infrastructure for storage.  Gen 6 Fibre Channel provides the digital enterprise with non-stop availability and incredible performance required for tomorrow’s hyperscale data centres.

“Legacy networks will bottleneck flash storage minimizing the performance and economic benefits of this game-changing technology,” said Jack Rondoni, vice president of storage networking at Brocade.  “Brocade’s Gen 6 Fibre Channel solutions unleash the full value of today’s flash technology and enable tomorrow’s next-generation flash storage based on Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe).  NVMe will be the next disruptive storage technology in the data centre and customers will be able to seamlessly integrate NVMe over fabrics with Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel.”

Network automation is key to modernizing data centres.  According to a global CIO survey, 75 percent of respondents stated that the network is impacting their organizations' ability to achieve business goals. The lack of network automation and integration of the network with other IT operations is the single biggest inhibitor to capitalizing on digitization.

Brocade has been at the forefront in automating storage networks, led by its implementation of RESTful API support in Brocade Network Advisor.  This complete network-lifecycle solution brings an organisation’s information together into a single command-and-control application.  It provides a programmable web-based interface through standard REST APIs to automate operational tasks such as zoning, scripting and reporting.  In addition, standard REST APIs enable customers to use Brocade Fabric Vision technology to easily analyse fabric-wide health and performance.  Brocade is also a key supporter of the OpenStack storage community, contributing Fibre Channel zone management to the OpenStack Cinder project.

The Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel portfolio combines innovative hardware, Brocade Fabric Vision technology and integrated monitoring for storage IO and virtual machine (VM) performance.  This delivers a higher level of operational stability while enhancing application performance for hyperscale, mission-critical storage. 

Hitachi Data Systems is shipping the Brocade Gen 6 directors, blades and switch today.  “Digital transformation enables businesses to deliver superior customer experiences.  That cannot be accomplished without a modern and agile IT infrastructure that delivers information to customers faster than ever before,” said Bob Madaio, vice president of infrastructure solutions marketing, Hitachi Data Systems.  “The combination of the Hitachi flash portfolio with Brocade’s Gen 6 directors, blades and switch enables businesses to transform operations and serve data to customers radically faster so they get what they want, when they want it.”

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