Brocade To Partners: New HyperEdge Technology Will Change The Conversation


Brocade Tuesday took the wraps off its HyperEdge Architecture, targeted at the automation and simpler management of campus LAN networking products.

The new technology, which was first teased by Brocade in March, is being touted by the company as the cornerstone of its broader Effortless Network initiative to boost the manageability of campus LAN operations.

The aim of HyperEdge is to apply the same "flattening" concept to enterprise or campus networks that has been applied to data center networks through fabric technologies. This flattened or converged campus network would arm IT teams with a single pane of glass from which they can manage both their wired and wireless infrastructures.

[Related: Brocade Fabric Vision Maximizes Move To 16-Gbps Fibre Channel]

"We can take a look at what we have learned in the data center and apply it to the campus in order to provide a more seamless end-user experience," said Siva Valliappan, direct of product management, Campus Networking at Brocade.

HyperEdge achieves this by leveraging what Brocade calls mix-and-match stacking, a next-generation stacking technology that lets users manage a mix of Layer 2 or Layer 3 switches from a single stack. The idea behind mix-and-match stacking, Brocade said, is to allow users to manage an entire access switching layer as if it were a single device.

Another benefit of this stacking method is that new campus products, even those with advanced services and other new features, can be added to existing stacks without having to replace or upgrade the other switches in the stack. The result, Brocade said, is a campus network that can quickly and easily scale to accommodate more mobile devices, unified communications solutions, video applications or other items that traditionally dragged down network performance.

Brocade's HyperEdge Architecture consists of three key features. The first is distributed services, which lets the advanced features and services found in premium or higher-end campus switches be extended to entry-level switches within a single HyperEdge Domain. Brocade said its premium ICX line of campus switches, for instance, can now be added to existing Brocade ICX stacks at any time to upgrade the service level of a campus infrastructure.

The second key ingredient of HyperEdge is consolidated management, or the collapsing of network management touch points to simplify and automate tasks such as maintenance updates or switch configurations. The third feature is distributed access point forwarding, which enables mobile traffic to be secured and directed at the network edge itself, rather than being tunneled back to a central controller. Brocade said this third feature prevents controller bottlenecks, and eliminates a single point of failure for networks supporting heavy mobile traffic.

Brocade's new HyperEdge technology will arm solution providers with a next-generation campus networking technology that will help differentiate them from competitors, and more fully meet the changing needs of their end customers, according to Valliappan.

"I think the main thing this gives the channel is a way to change the conversation," Valliappan said. "We are giving our partners a differentiated solution that they can go in and have a conversation about. They can show end customers how to save money and get better value through a network uplift."

Brocade Tuesday also unveiled the ICX 6430-C Compact Switch, a low-power, compact design of its 12-port ICX 6430 switch, and the ICX 6650, which touts high-density 10 GbE and 40 GbE port configurations. Brocade also rolled out three wireless access points, the Brocade Mobility 1220, 1240 and 1250.

PUBLISHED APRIL 9, 2013