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'More than just a box'- Brocade unveils innovative routing solution

By Sam Worthington
Wed 14 Sep 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Digital transformation has made it crucial for most organisations to insure their current networking infrastructure can support future traffic growth.

Enter Brocade’s latest innovation.

The Brocade SLX 9850 is the company's next generation data routing product that comes with a portfolio of solutions. This portfolio includes the use of Brocades WorkFlow composer, putting a ton of emphasis on automation and orchestration.

For Phill Coates, systems engineer manager at Brocade ANZ, the innovation that’s been created around the solution is a huge point of interest.

“There is a capability that is embedded inside that hardware that is being referred to as the Brocade SLX insight architecture,” he says.

“Effectively what this does is it allows us to provide an analytics/diagnostics path that has an S86 processor on it,” explains Coates.

Brocade positions its data center routing solution as the highest density platform of its kind, but Coates says it’s all about the diagnostics and the visibility that it can provide.

“It is absolutely a point of difference. I know no other product that has the ability for me to provide this analytics path and for me to be able to load up third party software to do whatever it is I want to do,” he says.

“The point is that this is a new way of looking at developing switching and routing platforms.”

Coates explains that for organisations going through a digital transformation, this solution could help them to further undertand things like application performance.

“They’re trying to understand things like growth and service level agreements. But more importantly too, is that they’re trying to integrate those applications with other things in their environment,” he says.

“From a networking point of view, if you were trying to diagnose what’s happening at the networking layer, then typically what you want to be able to see is visibility of what’s going on - on the wire,” adds Coates.

For organisations, he explains that there are applications they can load up that allow you to “sniff” the traffic that is sitting on the network.

“The challenge of course is to get access to that information on the wir, but there are various ways that you can do that,” says Coates.

“This is where Brocade has changed things. We provide that analytics support that allows us to get that information and understand what that information is.”

While the platform isn’t yet generally available, early access testing is currently happening worldwide, including Australia.

“There are organisations like the Amsterdam internet exchange that carry a massive amount of data,” says Coates.

“They’ve come back and given some glowing reviews on what we’re able to do. There is currently discussions about them deploying this in there infrastructure,” he explains.

“There’s quite a lot of excitement in our customer base and what this means for them,” he adds.

Coates also highlights the point that it’s future ready and that the architecture is particularly interesting.

“It’s all about the automation and the orchestration that we can do - and the fact that we are integrating things like our DevOps capabilities into this hardware,” he says. 

“This is more than just a box.”

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