Brocade Wants to Usher In the 'Solid State Ready' Data Center Era

By Pedro Hernandez

Data storage networking specialist Brocade announced today a major expansion of its Solid State Ready program.

First launched on Feb. 11, the free program promotes interoperability between Brocade storage area network (SAN) fabrics and storage vendors that have flash arrays with Fibre Channel connectivity. According to Jack Rondoni, vice president of Brocade Storage Networking, flash storage systems and Fibre Channel (FC) simply go together.

"As our customer base increasingly moves to deploy solid state storage in their SAN environments, they are demanding Fibre Channel as a requirement to meet increased application performance levels," said Rondoni in a statement. The program helps ensure that customers "enjoy optimum performance and seamless deployment [of solid-state storage system] into their existing SAN fabrics," he added. The "vast majority" of storage networks are powered, at least in part, by Brocade, boasted the company.

Solid State Ready allows flash storage vendors to test their offerings against heterogeneous servers, multiple fabrics, network interface cards and host bus adapters in "large port-count Brocade environments," according to the company. Validation assures that their systems are suitable for Brocade-powered FC SANs.

Now, Brocade is turning its attention to Ethernet-based storage networks.

The company announced that it had extended the scope of the Solid State Ready program "to include Ethernet fabrics." Solutions testing and "market development investments" are among the other new perks.

To date, the program has attracted the likes of Fujitsu America, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), HP and NetApp. Participants also include flash storage upstarts Nimble Storage, Pure Storage, and Tegile Systems, which have completed solutions testing, revealed Brocade.

With VMware's annual VMworld conference as a backdrop, Rondoni remarked in a statement that his company is "now making it easier for enterprises to deploy high-performance, flash-enhanced storage as complete solutions to support highly virtualized cloud environments."

Solid State Ready arrives at a critical time for the data storage industry, according to HP's Craig Nunes, vice president of marketing for HP Storage. He said in in prepared remarks that "all-flash arrays at a tipping point for mainstream adoption within data centers."

His company's participation helps Brocade's and HP's "joint customers realize the performance, affordability and enterprise-class advantages of the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 All-Flash storage system," which the company started shipping last year for $99,000. Last week, the company announced an entry-level all-flash array called 3PAR StoreServ 7200 All-Flash Starter Kit with a starting price of $35,000.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on August 25, 2014