Other vendors are moving toward Ethernet as a common storage and LAN interconnect, with 40G bps and 100G bps generations recently standardized. But while Brocade offers a growing range of Ethernet products, it also plans to continue developing Fibre Channel, a specialized protocol for storage in which the company has a dominant market position.
Brocade's customers like and trust Fibre Channel, CTO Dave Stevens said at a press and analyst event on the Brocade campus on Tuesday, after he was asked why his company is pushing ahead with faster iterations.
Customers tell Brocade that Fibre Channel is tested, cost-efficient and resilient, Stevens said. Earlier in the day, Brocade executives had said that demand for FCOE (Fibre Channel Over Ethernet), which is designed for unified networks across storage and computing, is still very thin. Brocade also offers FCOE. Executives said Brocade believes it is important to give customers choices.
In addition to 16G bps Fibre Channel products, which will be backward compatible to the earlier 8G bps, 4G bps and 2G bps versions of the technology, Brocade announced a variety of products for enterprise and service-provider networks on Tuesday. The company is focused on extending the predictable and solid characteristics of data center networks across entire networks, all the way out to client devices and remote locations.
Brocade also unveiled an architecture called CloudPlex, which will guide the company in developing infrastructure for private, public and hybrid clouds. Ultimately, this architecture will provide a way for enterprises to easily and quickly shift virtual machines between public and private clouds over long distances, Stevens said. The architecture for doing this, called Starlifter, will hit the market in 2012, CEO Mike Klayko said in an interview after the event.