Brocade is pushing the innovation envelope in the campus LAN market with the introduction of what it calls The Effortless Network.
The vision is based on the new Brocade HyperEdge technology, which aims to automate and simplify the campus LAN lifecycle and drive cost savings and investment protection. Brocade also rolled out two additions to its ICS switch family to support the advancements in campus LAN Tech.
Can HyperEdge technology enhance current campus LAN-based applications, such as unified communications and security, while paving the way for emerging applications such as "bring your own device" enterprise mobility, rich video and virtual desktop infrastructure ? Industry watchers think so.
Managing the Lifecycle
"Stackable technology has been used pretty broadly in the enterprise. The problem is you really have to standardize on each particular switch," said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research. "Brocade's solution gives you the ability to centrally manage. You can take one virtual switch and then mix and match devices. So it allows you to add capacity as needed."
Kerravala is talking about the single-point management that lets users manage their entire access switching layer as if it were a single device, from initial deployment to ongoing configuration, software upgrades and monitoring. The goal is to reduce the cost and time required to manage the campus network lifecycle. Brocade said it also
improves compliance by ensuring consistent policy among all access layer ports, and increases network availability by reducing human error.
"Networks are now mission critical and IT resources are putting a premium on uptime and performance. The single biggest cause of downtime today, 37 percent in fact, is due to human error, in direct correlation with the increasingly large number of manual processes," Kerravala said. "Brocade's HyperEdge technology will greatly simplify the management of campus LAN switches, significantly reducing errors and improving uptime."
A Cutting-Edge Innovation
Kerravala also mentioned mix-and-match stacking. That allows users to build a stack of edge switches that Brocade said delivers both basic connectivity and premium services. Practically speaking, that means users can mix and match premium and entry-level switches within a single stack. And that means entry-level switches inherit all of the feature richness of the premium switches in the stack.
Brocade's latest innovations also got a nod from Microsoft .
"Organizations today are increasingly relying on advanced enterprise communications solutions -- such as video, real-time collaboration and unified communications -- to increase productivity and reduce costs," said Warren Barkley, general manager for Lync at Microsoft. "These applications require a solid networking foundation to deliver the seamless user experience that consumers expect."
The Brocade ICX 6430 and 6450 are available directly through Brocade and its channel partners with a starting list price of $1,295. Multi-Chassis Trunking capabilities are also available for the Brocade FastIron SX switches.
HyperEdge technology is planned to be available for purchase in the first half of 2013. All Brocade ICX and Brocade FCX switches are HyperEdge technology-ready.