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Brocade releases Gen 6 Fibre Channel

Brocade has recently announced the Gen 6 Fibre Channel directors for mission-critical storage connectivity and business resiliency solutions designed for the all-flash data centre.

According to Brocade, the new X6 director family and the Brocade SX6 extension blade for Fibre Channel, Fibre Connection (FICON) and IP storage replication, combined with Brocade Fabric Vision technology, enables customers to drive always-on business operations, eliminate performance bottlenecks and adapt to the requirements of digital organisations.

“Legacy networks will bottleneck flash storage minimizing the performance and economic benefits of this game-changing technology,” said Jack Rondoni, vice president, Storage Networking, Brocade.  “Brocade’s Gen 6 Fibre Channel solutions unleash the full value of today’s flash technology and enable tomorrow’s next-generation flash storage based on Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe).  NVMe will be the next disruptive storage technology in the data center and customers will be able to seamlessly integrate NVMe over fabrics with Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel.”

Industry experts have noted that network automation is key to modernising data centres.  According to a global CIO survey, 75 percent of respondents stated that the network is impacting their organisations ability to achieve business goals. The lack of network automation and integration of the network with other IT operations is the single biggest inhibitor to capitalizing on digitisation.

Brocade aims to address such issues through automating storage networks with the implementation of RESTful API support in Brocade Network Advisor.  This network-lifecycle solution, according to the company, brings an organisation’s information together into one simple, easy-to-use command-and-control application.  It provides a programmable web-based interface through standard REST APIs to automate operational tasks such as zoning, scripting and reporting.  In addition, standard REST APIs enable customers to use Brocade Fabric Vision technology to easily analyse fabric-wide health and performance.  Brocade is also a key supporter of the OpenStack storage community, contributing Fibre Channel zone management to the OpenStack Cinder project.

The company highlighted that its Gen 6 Fibre Channel portfolio combines innovative hardware, Brocade Fabric Vision technology and ground-breaking integrated monitoring for storage IO and virtual machine (VM) performance.

Hitachi Data Systems is shipping the Brocade Gen 6 directors, blades and switch today.  “Digital transformation enables businesses to deliver superior customer experiences.  That cannot be accomplished without a modern and agile IT infrastructure that delivers information to customers faster than ever before,” said Bob Madaio, vice president of infrastructure solutions marketing, Hitachi Data Systems.  “The combination of the Hitachi flash portfolio with Brocade’s Gen 6 directors, blades and switch enables businesses to transform operations and serve data to customers radically faster so they get what they want, when they want it.”

Brocade X6 directors and Brocade SX6 extension blade are available now through Brocade and its channel partners.  Other Brocade OEM partners will start shipping them in the second half of 2016.  Brocade Network Advisor and IO Insight are available today.  VM Insight will be included as part of Fabric Vision technology in the first half of 2017.

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