Broadcom updates Fibre Channel with NVMe storage, SAN automation technology to boost scalability, drive storage innovation

Broadcom Inc. announced on Tuesday new NVMe and automation capabilities and high-density Brocade Gen 6 switch and port blade, the Brocade G630 switch and Brocade FC32-64 port blade for the Brocade X6 director. These new Gen 6 Fibre Channel platforms are purpose-built for flash storage to accelerate business operations, respond to dynamic demands, and eliminate complexity.

The all-flash data center is here and the next wave of storage innovation is rapidly approaching. Next-generation NVMe storage will accelerate flash, however it will expose infrastructure limitations. The network will become the new bottleneck and enterprises need to re-evaluate their existing SANs.

Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel is purpose-built to handle the low-latency and monitoring requirements for NVMe storage. New software optimization reduces latency by nearly 15 percent for Gen 6 platforms and enhanced integrated network sensors provide new insight into network health and performance of NVMe traffic.

Broadcom understands the nuances that go into infrastructure management and what tasks can benefit from Brocade automation. By introducing REST APIs directly into Brocade switch and management products, Broadcom offers a broad range of choices to enable any SAN management solution.

IT organizations that couple robust data collecting capabilities with Brocade automation and orchestration tools (such as Ansible) gain the ability to automate configuration tasks and the visibility to monitor and detect any performance or health changes.

Brocade automation solutions are based on REST APIs available directly from the switch automates repetitive daily tasks, such as fabric inventory, provisioning, and operational state monitoring; open source PyFOS, a Python scripting language simplifies common SAN management practices; and Ansible integration enables automation and orchestration across the entire infrastructure.

The rapid pace of innovation in the data center is increasing the complexity of managing the infrastructure. More time is spent on deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting tasks to maintain service-level agreements and keep up with demands. Brocade automation is powerful for DevOps, simple with Ansible, and open for communities. It leverages open-source technology to automate and orchestrate repetitive tasks, enable IT organizations to significantly improve their efficiency, and decrease the risk of operational mistakes.

“Brocade is modernizing Fibre Channel and developing innovative capabilities to enable our customers to take advantage of disruptive storage technology like NVMe and automation,” said Jack Rondoni, senior vice president and general manager, Brocade Storage Networking division at Broadcom. “The all-flash data center is a reality today and NVMe storage is rapidly approaching. Our focus is to innovate and develop industry-leading products and technologies that simplify storage networking and adapt to the evolving IT landscape.”

“As datacenters transition to the latest NVMe-based flash technologies, storage network infrastructure upgrades will be required to maintain scalability growth,” said Eric Burgener, research vice president in Storage at IDC. “High density Gen 6 Fibre Channel technology like Broadcom’s new family of Brocade blade, switch and director products provide that simple growth path for the large installed base of enterprise-class storage networking.”

“When attempting to keep pace with today’s IT challenges, simply increasing budgets is a losing scenario. This is a major reason why, according to our research, automation and orchestration initiatives have become one of the top data center modernization priorities,” says Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at ESG. “Leveraging automation is critical for modern IT and Broadcom is delivering automation across the Fibre Channel network as well as enabling orchestration across the entire infrastructure with tools like Ansible.”

The Brocade Gen 6 product family now includes the Brocade G630 switch and the Brocade FC32-64 blade. The Brocade G630 is the industry’s highest density fixed-port switch, supporting up to 128 ports in a 2U form factor. The FC32-64 is the industry’s highest port density blade that includes 64 32 Gbps ports and scales the Brocade X6 Director up to 512 ports. These scalable, high-density solutions are designed for the all-flash data center to support growth for demanding workloads and data center consolidation.

The high-density switch and blade extends IO Insight advanced monitoring for NVMe over Fibre Channel. IO Insight leverages integrated sensors to provide deep visibility into the IO performance of both SCSI and NVMe flash storage to gain unparalleled insight into potential issues and help maintain service levels. This enhanced visibility enables quick identification of degraded application performance at host and storage tiers reducing time to resolution.


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