Brocade Expands SLX Networking Portfolio

Even as Brocade is in the midst of being acquired by Broadcom, new products are being rolled out.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Dec 7, 2016
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Brocade announced new SLX switches and new Workflow Composer automation products on December 6, providing organizations with new hardware and software to enable a DevOps workflow. The new products come as Brocade is set to be acquired by Broadcom in a $5.9 billion deal announced November 2.

Brocade first announced the SLX product group in September with the launch of the SLX 9850 router. Brocade is now expanding the SLX group with the new SLX9140,9240 and 9540 data center switches.

The SLX 9140 is a fixed top-of-rack (ToR) switch that provides forty-eight 25 GbE ports and six 100 GbE ports. The SLX 9240 is a fixed spine switch that provides 32 x 100/40 GbE ports, while the SLX 9540 provides up to 48 x 1/10 GbE ports. Both the 9140 and 9210 have a programmable ASIC using silicon from Cavium XPliant.

Brocade is also advancing its Workflow Composer platform with new automation suites. In May, Brocade announced the Workflow Composer for network automation, based on technology that Brocade gained from its acquisition of StackStorm in March.

Nabil Bukhari, vice president of product management for switching, routing and automation at Brocade, explained that new Automation Suites for Workflow Composer are pre-packaged components for network lifecycle automation, including initial provisioning and validation to troubleshooting and auto-remediation.

"Each automation suite are assembled, built and validated by Brocade," Bukhari told Enterprise Networking Planet. "It includes documentation and a collection of turnkey, yet customizable workflows, services, sensors, actions, and rules."

There are three automation suites that Brocade is debuting, including one for network essentials, which enables VLAN provisioning and ACL configuration. The Data Center Fabric Automation suite helps Brocade's customers to deploy a network fabric using a combination of Brocade VDX and SLX products. The third suite is for Internet Exchange Points which provides workflows that include provisioning, billing and support.

The pending acquisition of Brocade by Broadcom is not having an impact on Brocade's continued product development. While Broadcom is set to acquire Brocade, Broadcom has indicated that it intends to sell the IP networking business unit to a third party.

"Brocade is supporting Broadcom in its efforts to find a buyer for the IP networking business and both companies are confident that they will find a great home for the business," Bukhar said. "In the meantime, Brocade remains an independent, public company and it's business as usual."

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

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