Brocade connects data centers with FCoE blades

By Kevin Komiega

-- Continuing on its path toward making the DCX Backbone a cornerstone of converged networking, Brocade is now shipping a pair of new Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) blades capable of connecting two or more data centers and consolidating server I/O.

The FX8-24 Extension Blade for the DCX Backbone family offers 12 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports, 10 GbE ports, and up to two optional 10GbE ports. Organizations can install up to two Brocade FX8-24 blades in a DCX or DCX-4S midrange Backbone and can double the aggregate bandwidth to 40Gbps by activating the optional 10GbE ports.

Brocade also introduced FCIP Trunking with the FX8-24 Extension Blade. FCIP Trunking enables the creation of FCIP tunnels with up to 10Gbps bandwidth using 10GbE ports and 4Gbps using 1GbE ports, with full failover and load-balancing capabilities.

Additional new features and enhancements include Adaptive Rate Limiting, FCIP Quality of Service (QoS), and new compression algorithms.

The FX8-24 Extension Blade is joined by the FCoE 10-24 Blade as part of Brocade's converged networking portfolio. The FCoE 10-24 blade is an end-of-row switch that brings FCoE capabilities for server I/O consolidation in the data center. It features 24 10Gbps Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) ports and provides Layer-2 Ethernet functionality for LAN traffic. Storage traffic is delivered to the SAN through 8Gbps Fibre Channel blades in the DCX Backbone chassis

Both the FX8-24 and FCoE 10-24 will be available through EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, and NetApp.

In addition, Brocade is now offering the 7800 Extension Switch, which offers the same functionality as the FX8-24 Extension Blade in a fixed-configuration form factor.

According to Bill Dunmire, Brocade's manager of product marketing, the 7800 lowers the cost of entry for smaller data centers and remote offices implementing point-to-point disk replication in open systems environments.

Brocade is tying its new hardware together with the Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) version 10.3 software. The new release includes FCIP management capabilities for managing new features, such as FCIP trunking, from a single management console.

Related articles:
Brocade ships CEE/FCoE blade
Dell taps Brocade for FCoE, CEE gear
Brocade launches FCoE switch, adapters

This article was originally published on September 23, 2009