08 Apr 2015
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Brocade tackles campus data demand with new offerings

By Heather Wright

Brocade has expanded its campus Lan offerings, with new switches, support for new software defined network features and the ability to mix different switches in a stack and manage via a single IP address.

Andy Miller, Brocade New Zealand country manager, says the new offerings should hit a sweet spot for resellers wanting to add value for customers.

“Today’s organisations require a high-performance, scalable campus Lan infrastructure to address the proliferation of mobile devices, rich media and insatiable user expectations,” Miller says.

“In addition, customers are seeking networking solutions that will help to increase IT agility and lower expenses through automation and management consolidation.”

The new ICX 7250 switch delivers what Brocade claims is the industry’s highest 10 Gigabit Ethernet port density for any switch in its class, to address the onslaught of user video and wireless traffic currently taxing campus networks.

The vendor also unveiled Switch Port Extender, a new HyperEdge Architecture technology, designed to simplify network deployment and ongoing maintenance. Through added automation, it enables shared network services and management between ICX 7250, 7450 and 7750 switches distributed across the campus.

OpenFlow 1.3 support has also been extended to the ICX 7450 and 7750 swtiches to enable SDN solutions in Lan architectures.

Miller says the offerings highlight the increasing need for solutions to be scalable.

“We’re no longer talking about buying big racks or chassis, instead it’s about expanding and growing as customers need.”

Miller says with the Switch Port Extender Brocade is extending the trend to stack switches into vertical stacks and manage as one device – this time moving horizontally and enabling ‘100 switches as one domain or IP address’.

The offering allows up to 10km between devices, something Miller says makes it an ideal offering for Auckland, where many companies are spread across two or three offices within the CBD.

Miller says the switches are easy for resellers to deploy ‘very, very quickly’, enabling them to then spend time with the customer on other things, potentially adding cross-sell opportunities.

“If you are only selling the Ethernet switch you make one sale and that’s not the business model anymore,” he says.

Instead resellers should then look to talk to their customers about where they’re going with SDN, and other potential up- or cross-sell opportunities.

“The days of resellers going in and connecting cables, or doing patches and so on and then walking away are gone.

“This enables resellers to make sure their customers’ campus infrastructure is ready for the next five, seven or even 10 years time.

“There’s lots of scale, they’re easy to manage with one IP address across every Ethernet switch. That’s very, very powerful for resellers. Software upgrades are done as though it’s just one device so it’s a very, very simple process.”

Miller says the switches are perfectly legitimate standalone Ethernet switches, meaning they offer ‘a very valid option even at the smaller end of New Zealand’.

“You could have a customer start with a 24-port switch in one location and then add in another and put together further down the track. And you’re also future proofing them.

“A lot of customers will start small and grow.”

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