Brocade Builds Converged Switch Module, CNA for IBM BladeCenter

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On the heels of a newly expanded unified networking relationship with Dell, Brocade has announced that it will be offering an embedded 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch module and Converged Network Adapter (CNA) designed specifically to bring unified Fibre Channel (FC) SAN and Ethernet LAN connectivity to IBM BladeCenter servers.

The new 8470 Switch Module and 1007 CNA are the newest additions to Brocade’s (NASDAQ:BRCD) embedded switch and adapter product line for the Data Center Bridging (DCB), Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols used in IBM (NYSE: IBM) BladeCenter environments.

The Brocade 8470 switch module is a converged embedded switch with both DCB and FC ports, providing IBM BladeCenter with multiprotocol support that consolidates IP and FC I/O needs into a single switch. Working in tandem with the Brocade 1007 CAN, the switch module provides the ability to provision SAN and/or LAN connectivity on-demand using a Dynamic Ports on Demand (DPoD) feature, which matches servers and I/O ports to application workloads.

The products have been integrated with IBM Systems Director and IBM BladeCenter Open Fabric Manager (BOFM) for network management.

The Brocade 8470 Switch Module and Brocade 1007 CNA have been qualified and are now available from IBM.

Brocade expanded its relationship with Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) earlier this month when Dell began offering the full complement of Brocade’s 10GbE CNAs and 8Gbps FC HBAs. Dell is also supporting full factory installation of Brocade’s HBAs and CNAs during the Dell server build process.

In related news, Brocade recently pledged its support for the next generation of Fibre Channel industry standard, FC-PI-5, which will offer 16Gbps performance.

Doug Ingraham, vice president of data centre products at Brocade, said, “Brocade serves as the Chair of the INCITS TC T11 committee and is committed to providing standards-based technologies. With the introduction of the new 16Gbps Fibre Channel standard, we are effectively future-proofing the data centre to enable hyper-scale virtualization for emerging workloads and private storage clouds, while protecting billions of dollars in existing infrastructure investments.”

Brocade expects to offer the industry’s first end-to-end 16Gbps Fibre Channel product portfolio in the first half of 2011.

The 16Gbps standard is expected to help customers address ongoing requirements for consolidating existing network infrastructure and accelerating data backup, replication and migration.

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