Network firm Brocade has announced a new virtualisation technology for network connections in a move to offer yet more control of infrastructure elements to cloud service providers and larger enterprises.
The Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) Virtual Fabric offering mimics virtualisation technology more often found in servers to allow firms to apportion a certain part of a network connection to specific customers or business units.
Jason Nolet, vice president of data centre switching and routing at Brocade, told V3 the tool would enable firms providing cloud services to give customers greater peace of mind when using cloud services.
“Offering traffic isolation on the Virtual Fabric platform will allow cloud service providers to show a customer exactly what traffic they are being offered, and will also allow for clearer quality of service level agreements and bandwidth usage,“ he said.
“This means customers can be assured their data is not being mixed with other customers' [data] when it’s being sent over the network, and instead it is self contained.”
The capability would also be useful for larger enterprises with disparate office locations, or firms that often make acquisitions and so have numerous different architectures they need to manage, Nolet added.
He noted that while the technology appeared similar in some ways to the concept of Virtual LANs (VLAN), it offers far more flexibility in both the management and ability for scaling to host numerous tenants.
Nolet said the product would also appeal to administrators who want to retain control over their networks, rather than giving away control to hypervisors. This is a reference to VMware’s tool that uses technology from its acquisition of Nicira last year.
Nolet added that while Brocade’s VCS tool does support VMware’s offering, the Virtual Fabric service is designed to give greater control as it operates "natively" within the network, rather than over the top as another layer that requires additional management.
The service is currently under trial with some customers and will be available more widely from January next year.
The firm has also upgraded technology it acquired from its purchase of Vyatta last year. The first update sees the 5600 vRouter technology offered by the firm in a virtualised form now able to handle throughput of 10Gbps, up from 1Gbps.
This will allow firms who want to boost their routing capabilities for a period of time to request an increase in the throughput they are receiving, if they are expecting a spike in traffic for example, Nolet explained.
Finally, the firm has also announced new hardware kit in the form of new top-of-rack switches, the VDX 6740 and 6740-T. These start from $15,995 and offer a series of capabilities, such as between 40 and 160 Gigabit Ethernet capacity and 32 port connections.
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