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Brocade Unveils Vision for Converged Data Center Networks

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Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) yesterday outlined its vision for converged Ethernet and storage networks in virtual data centers, hoping to set itself apart from storage networking rival Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO).

The new Brocade One vision combines Brocade's core storage networking switches with the Ethernet router line acquired from Foundry and optimizes them for converged fabrics in virtual server environments.

Bob Braham, Brocade's vice president of integrated marketing, said the company is "moving from integration to innovation." Brocade even has a slogan for the new initiative: The network is the data center.

At the heart of the Brocade One vision stands two software products that will run on the company's switches: Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) and Virtual Access Layer (VAL).

VCS allows a group of switches to be managed as one, while VAL allows virtual machine mobility and creates VM-aware fabrics. The products will be available around the end of the year.

Brocade is also merging its storage and IP management into the Brocade Network Advisor, and the company even has an answer for the integrated data center stacks coming from the likes of Cisco and HP (NYSE: HPQ), dubbed Brocade Open Virtual Compute Blocks, where Brocade will work with "leading systems and IT infrastructure vendors to build tested and verified data center blueprints for highly scalable and cost-effective deployment of VMs on converged fabrics."

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