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SAN Fabrics Development Environment Receives Enhancements, Too
Brocade is also expanding the development environment for Brocade SAN fabrics. Brocade is expanding the Brocade Fabric Access API to include an API Scripting Developer's Kit that will allow end user customers to customize SAN management scripts and create applications using the Brocade API and industry standard scripting languages such as PERL. This enables end users to integrate fabric management tasks into their existing operational scripts, bridging gaps in management automation offered by today's tools, Brocade contends.
"The Brocade API scripting tools allow us to create our own SAN management applications and customize our SAN management solution to our environment," asserts Michelle Butler, technical program manager for Storage Enabling Technologies at the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA). "In addition, at NCSA, data security is a key issue. The advanced security features we get from Brocade are extremely important, especially the ability to lock down ports and implement security authentication levels."
To improve application uptime and simplify change management, this software release also includes expanded Reliability/Availability/Serviceability (RAS) features such as enhanced diagnostics, health monitoring, and the ability to download and activate new switch firmware with no disruption to applications. Additionally, Secure Fabric OS enforces configuration integrity by preventing accidental device connection or configuration errors.
To extend connectivity options, the Fabric Operating Environment also includes support for FICON with the SilkWorm 12000 Core Fabric Switch. Support for FICON will enable Brocade end users to connect IBM mainframes to Brocade-based SAN environments. Brocade's FICON implementation also supports new capabilities such as FICON cascading, mainframe and open systems intermix mode, and 2 Gbit/sec speeds.
"This is the most comprehensive software release in Brocade's history," proclaimed Brocade Chairman and CEO Greg Reyes during his keynote at Brocade Conference 2003. "We have boosted the intelligence of the Fabric Operating Environment to empower customers to protect their SAN from intruders, keep the system running when they are making upgrades, and enable proactive fabric management."