Brocade Gives IT More Granular Network Control

Mike Vizard
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More applications running on top of virtual machines are all trying to share the same physical network, so IT organizations need more granular control over what traffic gets prioritized on the network.

Aiming to provide that capability, Brocade today unveiled a 100 Gigabit Ethernet VDX switch that makes it easier to segment the network while giving priority to latency-sensitive, data storage traffic.

In addition, Brocade also announced a new addition to its Vyatta vRouter software lineup that can now provide access to up to 10 Gigabits of Ethernet bandwidth to each processor core on a server.

According to Kelly Herrell, vice president and general manager for the software networking business unit at Brocade, network managers are being asked to raise their sights in terms of providing more application-centric capabilities that optimize the performance of the overall IT environment. That means not only being able to provide more bandwidth to support IT environments that are denser in terms of the number of virtual servers attached to the network, it also means being able to provide more granular control over the quality of service each one of the virtual servers receives.

That’s more than ever, adds Herrell, now that physical servers are being routinely equipped with 10 Gigabit Ethernet cards that are capable of saturating the existing network with traffic that is being generated by tens of virtual machines per server.

As the age of the cloud begins to blur the line between the network and the rest of the data center environment, the days when the network could be managed in isolation are coming to a close. Each new application running on a virtual machine not only generates more traffic via its own virtual switch, the traffic has an impact on every other application attached to that network.

By embedding many of the management functions at Layer 2 of the network to create a network fabric that provide that level of control, Brocade is providing a heterogeneous approach to unifying the management of network traffic in a way doesn’t require organizations to depend on a particular network virtualization overlay or standardize on a particular type of virtual machine environment to accomplish.

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