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Powering on-demand data centres

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The on-demand data centre is a pipe dream for many, but it’s where IT needs to go if it’s going to meet business needs going forward.
Nick Pateman, territory manager: sub-Saharan Africa of Brocade, points out that there are some key imperatives for IT: they need to reduce cost and consolidate eliminate complexity; speed time to deploy new applications; and transition to service-orientation.

In fact, he says, there is a mindset shift that is taking place within business and IT.

At the same time, public cloud providers have got similar challenges, says Pateman. They have to deal with multi-tenancy; resource flexibility; automation and orchestration; and realtime, massive scalability.
Brocade, he says, is empowering the on-demand data centre, interconnecting the resources to enable it.

Brocade’s key focus areas are Ethernet fabrics, fibre channel fabrics and software-defined networking. The company’s Gen5 and Gen6 fibre channel fabrics are market leaders, offering feature-rich functionality and flexibility.

Pateman believes Brocade is also a leader in software-defined networking. The fibre channel market is seeing consistent market growth, indicating the customer demand continues strong for the technology.

Coupled with that, he says there is a revitalised eco-systems with partners in storage and servers now integrated and other networking vendors now acting as fibre channel proponents.

At the same time, there is accelerating 16Gb adoption, says Pateman. And flash arrays are taking of as the technology of the future – and the network needs to accommodate these new technologies.

“We feel fibre channel offers the ability to scale up massively offering performance and cost savings,” he says.

Brocades’ strategic direction is around accelerating deployments, optimising application performance, avoiding problems and rapid resolution and recovery, all enabled by the Brocade fabric vision.
This involved enabling the flash eco-system and cloud orchestration of fibre channel.

Ethernet fabrics are optimised for server optimisation and cloud architecture. It offers more efficient, higher throughput and lower latency.

Ethernet fabrics advocate scale-out as opposed to scale-out to increase flexibility and reduce costs. In addition, they offer simplified deployment and administration.

“This technology is proven and deployed in more than 1100 organisations worldwide,” Pateman adds.

A classic network has an hierarchical architecture that is inflexible, inefficient, complex and VM-ignorant. An Ethernet fabric is flexible, efficient, simple and VM-aware.

Gartner has listed Brocade highly for its Ethernet architecture. The VCS fabric’s strategic direction is around dynamic services insertion, IP storage, multi-tenancy, networking virtualisation and cloud orchestration interoperability.

Importantly, Brocade offers a single pane of glass for managing all its products, offering complete lifecycle management of all network elements, including SAN and IP/Ethernet. It supports proactive operations to ensure network availability and performance, minimising operational costs. This frees up resources to accelerate the introduction of new services.

“We have a breadth of functionality and rich capability,” Pateman says.