Brocade Boost: New Storage Networking Products, Broader Channel Program


Brocade Communications Tuesday expanded the capabilities of its storage networking family to improve performance and include Fibre Channel over Ethernet capabilities. Brocade also added professional services and delivery services to its channel program.

The storage and IP networking vendor is adding two new blades to its DCX Backbone switch family.

The first, the Brocade FX8-24, offers 12 8-Gbit Fibre Channel ports, 10 1-Gbit Ethernet ports and up to two optional 10-Gbit Ethernet ports. The extra bandwidth improves Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) performance over WAN links, said Bill Dunmire, product marketing manager at the company.

Up to two Brocade FX8-24 blades can be installed in a Brocade DCX or DCX-4S backbone switch. With two blades and the four optional 10-GbE ports activated, customers can get an aggregated bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps, Dunmire said.

The second new blade is the new Brocade FCoE 10-24 blade, which adds 24 10-Gbps Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) ports to consolidate both IP and Fibre Channel traffic onto a single FCoE network, Dunmire said.

Brocade Tuesday also introduced new top-of-rack switches which, like the FX8-24 blade, are aimed at increasing the bandwidth available for IP and FCIP purposes.

The first is the Brocade 7800 16/6, which offers 16 8-Gbps Fibre Channel and six GbE ports. The second is the Brocade 7800 4/2, which provides four 8-Gbps Fibre Channel and two GbE ports.

Also new is the Brocade 8000 switch with FCoE capabilities. The Brocade 8000 switch comes in a 1U rack-mount form factor and routes Ethernet data through its 24 10-Gbps CEE ports and Fibre Channel data through its 8 1-Gbps Fibre Channel ports.

Both the FX8-24 blades and the Brocade 7800 switches are available via a reseller arrangement with EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard.

The Brocade FCoE 10-24 blade is available through EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP and NetApp.

On the channel side, Brocade expanded its Alliance Partner Network channel program to include professional services and to support the delivery of Brocade products, said Barbara Spicek, vice president of global channel sales for the vendor.

The moves are aimed at Brocade's recently introduced IP networking line of products, which primarily go through distribution. The company's storage networking products go to channel partners mainly through storage vendor OEM partners such as EMC, HP and HDS, Spicek said.

While partners have always been able to offer professional services and delivery for Brocade's products, it was not through the company's Alliance Partner Network.

With the change, partners get the channel program's benefits for their Brocade-related professional services and delivery services, she said. "We want to make sure we officially uplift our partners through this new partner authorization," she said.

Brocade also added Westcon to its list of authorized distributors for its IP networking products. The company works with Tech Data and Avnet as well, Spicek said.

In addition, Brocade now offers a lifetime warranty for its FastIron WS series entry-level enterprise campus switches; its FastIron CX Series high-performance, scalable enterprise campus switches; and its TurboIron 24X high-performance, high-availability 10/1 GbE dual-speed switch for high-performance cluster computing.