Brocade Links Data Centers, Remote Offices

Brocade this week continued its move from storage switch vendor to data management company with a slew of new product announcements and upgrades.

The new products, aimed at managing block- and file-based data in data centers and remote offices, address performance issues, virtualization and data protection across the company’s storage area network (SAN) and file area network (FAN) product lines and professional services.

Also this week, Brocade will report its first quarterly results since merging with McData three months ago. The earnings report, due out late Thursday, will be scrutinized by analysts for clues to the business prospects of the combined company, which commands a two-thirds share of the Fibre Channel switch market, with Cisco Systems a distant second.

Truls Myklebust, Brocade’s senior director of FAN product marketing, said Brocade’s data management ambitions have grown as organizations seek to extend their data centers to serve the growing number of remote workers and branch office data needs.

The new SAN offerings include:

  • 10 Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity for the Brocade 48000 Director;
  • Enhancements such as Advanced Call Home and performance monitoring for the Brocade Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager (EFCM) and Brocade Fabric Manager for managing and securing SAN infrastructures;
  • Fast Write acceleration capabilities for the Brocade 48000 router blade (the Brocade FR4-18i) and the Brocade 7500 routing platform, improving performance for many remote disaster recovery applications, such as disk mirroring, by as much as 200 percent;
  • Brocade Access Gateway, a virtualization technology that enables interoperability between classic Brocade switches and legacy McData switches, now available on the entry-level Brocade 200E Switch; and
  • Next-generation Brocade application platforms, the Brocade FA4-18 application blade for the Brocade 48000 and the Brocade 7600 Application Platform, for performance and scalability for storage virtualization and data protection applications.

The new FAN solutions include:

  • Improved data protection and replication capabilities in Brocade StorageX 6.0, which provides branch office replication and namespace management for file data in branch offices and failover of file services for business continuity;
  • Brocade File Lifecycle Manager (FLM) 4.0, which lets administrators automate file migration and restoration without system downtime and create tiers of storage in NetApp NAS environments; and
  • Brocade Branch File Manager 2.0, which facilitates migration of all physical file resources to a central data center, provides fast remote access to centralized files through Brocade Wide Area File Services (WAFS) technology, offers namespace management for presenting file data in the branch office, and provides failover of file services for business continuity.

Tony Asaro, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said Brocade’s products offer “real value to the needs of a wide range of end user requirements.”

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