RealTime IT News

A Busy Week for Brocade

Brocade has unveiled a number of initiatives at its Brocade Conference 2003 in Las Vegas this week, including a next-generation Fabric Operating Environment for Storage Area Networks (SANs), an intelligent infrastructure software partnership with EMC, and a SAN solution for Microsoft Exchange with Hitachi Data Systems.

Brocade announced OEM availability of the Brocade Fabric Operating Environment, which includes new features and capabilities for the Brocade Fabric Operating System (Fabric OS) and fabric management tools. With the software release, Brocade contends it now offers the first fabric-based SAN security to go along with enhanced SAN management tools and new high-availability and connectivity features.

Brocade partners Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, Network Appliance, StorageTek, and Sun Microsystems will offer the Brocade Fabric Operating Environment.

"SANs are becoming a critical IT infrastructure element for delivering improved security, manageability, and enhanced data availability," says John McArthur, group vice president for Worldwide Storage Research at IDC. "Brocade's announcement is in line with the importance that customers place on these capabilities for their mission-critical and business-critical applications. IDC expects continued market demand for these types of enhancements."

Among the highlights of the new Fabric Operating Environment is the addition of Secure Fabric OS, now available for 2 Gigabit per second SilkWorm fabric switches. Brocade claims Secure Fabric OS combines the security features of IP networking with the unique security requirements of SANs, and is "the only security product that offers centralized management of SAN security policies for management and device access."

A Brocade SAN fabric with Secure Fabric OS assures that only authorized users can take management actions on the fabric, and that only authorized servers, storage, or switches can be added to the fabric.

Management enhancements include SilkWorm fabric switches that can proactively discover Host Bus Adaptor (HBA) asset information without the use of agents, deliver "single-keystroke" firmware downloads to Emulex HBAs through the fabric, and extend Brocade fabric security to the HBA. This capability, based on the Fabric Device Management Interface (FDMI) standard, simplifies SAN fabric administration by reducing the number of management touch points within the SAN, according to Brocade.

The user interface to WEBTOOLS, Brocade's web-based management tool, has been enhanced as well and now offers new features such as high availability management, congestion detection, and security metric reporting.

Page 2: Development Environment Also Receives Enhancements