Brocade Unveils Chassis Approach to 10/40G Ethernet Networks

Mike Vizard
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With the rise of 10G and 40G Ethernet switches, Brocade is making the case for the consolidation of network switches across the enterprise.

At the Supercomputing 2013 conference today, Brocade unveiled the Brocade ICX 7750, a switch that can support up to 3,000 1/10GbE ports, or 800 40GbE ports in a single logical device to provide up to 82 terabits per second of aggregate switching capacity.

Siva Valliappan, senior director of product management for Brocade, says the Brocade ICX 7750 is scheduled to be available in 2014. It will allow organizations to consolidate campus network switches and it will also provide the bandwidth needed to drive the deployment of next-generation Big Data and network latency-sensitive applications.

The networking challenge that most IT organizations will soon confront is that campus switches in their current incarnation don’t scale particularly well. Valliappan says the Brocade ICX 7750 is built around a chassis design that allows network managers to add additional capacity in a way that scales out more easily than existing campus switch architectures. Not only does the chassis approach centralize the management of switches, it gives the network administrator more granular control over network resources via support for a range of software-defined networking (SDN) technologies.

Valliappan says the first wave of deployment of 10G and 40G Ethernet switches will probably be driven by the desire to consolidate legacy campus switches. But in time, a major network refresh will be required as servers configured with 10G Ethernet cards coupled with thousands of virtual machines running on those servers inundate the network with traffic. Therefore, the question is not so much whether IT organizations will be moving to 10/40G Ethernet switches, but rather to what degree and how soon.

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