Brocade switch extends SDN, campus automation

SDN, automation and 10G scale for video and wireless mark switch, software release

Brocade this week unveiled a campus switch and other enhancements to better support video and wireless traffic, improve management and extend software defined networking.

The new switch is the ICX 7250. It supports up to eight 10G Ethernet ports for uplinks or stacking, and can be stacked 12-high into a virtual chassis supporting 576 Gigabit Ethernet and 96 10G ports.

Brocade says this density will enable campus networks to better support bandwidth-intensive video and wireless traffic.

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Brocade also unveiled Switch Port Extender, software designed to enable shared network services and management between ICX 7250, 7450, and 7750 switches distributed across the campus. The centrally managed Switch Port Extender will enable the entry-level ICX 7250 and mid-range 7450 switches to inherit ICX 7750 features and capabilities, thereby collapsing network access, aggregation, and core layers into a single domain, Brocade says.

This domain is designed to share network services while reducing management touch points and network hops through a single-layer design spanning the campus network. This design is aimed at replacing modular chassis systems, while reducing cost and power requirements.

ICX switches in a distributed chassis can be up to 80 km apart, Brocade says.

Brocade also extended OpenFlow 1.3 support to the ICX 7450 and 7750 switches to enable SDN in the campus LAN. Combined with Brocade’s Vyatta Controller, these switches can support automated flow control for rapid adaptability and flexibility.

OpenFlow 1.3 is supported in Brocade ICX switches whether they are deployed individually, in mixed stacks, or in distributed stacks, Brocade says. And in addition to its own Vyatta Controller, ICX switches will work with other OpenDaylight-compliant controllers, the company says.

Version 1.3 extends the OpenFlow SDN protocol by including capabilities finely tuned for commercial and enterprise networks, such as quality-of-service, Q-in-Q VLAN tunneling, group tables, active-standby controller, and IPv6. Brocade also supports OpenFlow 1.3 on its VDX data center switches.

General availability for the ICX 7250 begins this month with a list price starting at $2,000. The initial release of Switch Port Extender is planned for late 2015 and will support ICX 7750 and 7450 mixed domains. Future releases will support the ICX 7250.

 The ICX 7450 and 7750 OpenFlow 1.3 implementations are available this month and will support standalone mode initially, with full stacking support to follow in a future software release.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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