Brocade Weaves New Virtual Networking Fabric

New multitenancy capabilities come to virtual fabric as Brocade ramps up its virtual switch portfolio.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Sep 18, 2013
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Brocade updates its virtualization capabilities today with an update to its fabric and switching products.

Brocade's new Multitenancy Blueprint forms one of the key updates to its portfolio. Sanjib HomChaudhuri, principal director of product management at Brocade, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that users need multiple tools to provide end-to-end multitenancy. The new multitenant blueprint aims to bring together all the tools needed to provide network multitenancy. 

As part of an end-to-end virtual network fabric, Brocade is also introducing its VCS Virtual Fabric capability. HomChaudhuri explained that VCS Virtual Fabric is a multitenancy solution built on top of VCS Fabric. "In the past, with Brocade VCS Fabric, we could provide as much as 4000 slices of the fabric. Now, with the Virtual Fabric feature, we can provide thousands to millions of slices,"  HomChaudhuri said.

The new VCS Virtual Fabric is not necessarily competitive with VMware's recently announced NSX solution, which provides virtualized networking capabilities for servers.

"Virtual Fabric appeals to the network team by providing native multitenant capability within the network," HomChaudhuri explained. "Also, it's hypervisor agnostic, while NSX is tightly tied with VMware deployments."

He added that Brocade supports both multitenancy models - on the server and also natively in the network.   

Vyatta

Brocade's new vRouter 5600 release advances its Vyatta vRouter technology. Brocade acquired Vyatta in November of 2012 and has been pushing the technology forward ever since as the foundation of its On-Demand Data Center strategy.

Kelly Herrell, vice president of software networking at Brocade, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the major difference between the Vyatta 5600 vRouter and its predecessors is the separation of the control and forwarding plane. The 5600 vRouter uses a new forwarding plane, the Brocade vPlane technology.

"The vPlane leverages advancements of Intel’s Data Plane Developer Kit (DPDK)," Herrell explained. "With this technology, Vyatta 5600 customers can assign the control plane to a single or small number of cores and place forwarding planes (vPlanes) on other cores to scale the performance linearly."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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