SAN JOSE: Brocade has added a new switch to its fabric approach to datacentre technology.
The VDX 8770 grows the company's VCS fabric technology line of products. Brocade is heralding the 8770 and fabric technology as the future of the datacentre.
"The VDX 8770 is a key milestone for our entire fabric strategy," Brocade vice president of service provider and application delivery products Ken Chang told V3.
The VDX 8770 comes as either a four- or eight-slot chassis switch. Brocade's latest switch is made with an industry-leading 4Tbit/s backplane. The 8770 can handle forthcoming technologies like 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), the company claimed.
Among the 8770 features includes its use of so-called fabric technology, which allows for servers to communicate directly with each other without the need to go up and out of a datacentre. The technology is said to be simpler, more efficient, and easier to implement than previous hardware creations.
"[Web] traffic is traditionally north-south but over the last five years the traffic [movement] within the datacentre has changed dramatically," said Chang.
"The old architecture doesn't work if a server has to talk to a server right next to it, it has to go up all the way to north-south and then come back down to communicate with other servers. The modern data centre is about east-west. The servers are talking [directly] among themselves."
Chang uses the example of an end-user looking up a webpage on Amazon.com as an example of the paradigm shift to east-west traffic.
He notes that five years ago an end-user only wanted to go to a webpage, something that only requires north-south data travel. However, users now want to see things like other products they may like and explore other avenues of a site from a single page.
Those sorts of actions require servers to communicate with each other. Fabric technology allows for servers to be able to that.
"Fabric is a flat network that is optimised for east-west traffic," said Chang.
Brocade's VDX 8770 switch allows datacentres to take advantage of fabric technology at a much larger scale. The switch is made to support much larger datacentres than its predecessors.
Brocade's slow roll out to bigger switches was all part of the company's fabric strategy.
"The analogy I like to use is Apple. Instead of building the iPad first, Steve Jobs built the iPhone first," said Cheng when comparing Brocade's strategy.
The company started out slow as a means to build consumer confidence in fabric technology. Brocade released its first fabric enabled switch the VDX 6720 in 2010.
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