April 10th, 2018 by Adam Armstrong
Broadcom Announces New NVMe & Automation For Brocade Switches
Today Broadcom Limited announced new capabilities for NVMe and automation in its Brocade Gen 6 switch and port blade, Brocade G630 switch and Brocade FC32-64 port blade for the Brocade X6 director. The new high-density switches are purpose-built for flash storage. The company states that the switches can accelerate business operations, respond to dynamic demands, and eliminate complexity all the while increasing scalability, drive storage innovation, and simplifying operations.
Over the last few years, the industry has watched as flash has went form caching to accelerating to tier0 to primary storage to primary and secondary storage. With its advancements in performance and density flash, and the NVMe interface, flash continues to make a compelling case for improving and consolidating data centers. The embracing of this technology shifts the bottleneck from storage to networking. This is where the new Brocade switches with NVMe and automation come in to address the issue.
For NVMe technology, low latency is the name of the game. The new Brocade Gen 6 Fibre are purpose built for low-latency and to monitor the requirements of NVMe storage. Broadcom claims that through the use of software optimization they were able to reduce latency by nearly 20% while enhancing integrated network sensors provide new insight into network health and performance of NVMe traffic.
On the automation side, the technology can be used in so many ways but in particular to reduce time on deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting as well as time spent maintaining SLAs. The Brocade switches will be leveraging Ansible on this end for automation and orchestration. The Brocade switch also introduces REST APIs directly broadening the range of choices for management solutions. Brocade states that its automation solutions are based off of:
- REST APIs available directly from the switch automates repetitive daily tasks, such as fabric inventory, provisioning, and operational state monitoring
- Open source PyFOS, a Python scripting language simplifies common SAN management practices
- Ansible integration enables automation and orchestration across the entire infrastructure
For the hardware itself, there are two new products to the Brocade Gen 6 family: the Brocade G630 switch and the Brocade FC32-64 blade. The G630 is touted as the industry’s highest density fixed port switch with up to 128 ports in its 2U form factor. The FC32-64 also comes as an industry’s highest density for a blade with 64 32 Gbps ports and scales the Brocade X6 Director up to 512 ports. Both of the new switches feature capabilities around NVMe and automation laid out above. Along with this, both extend IO Insight monitoring for NVMe over Fibre Channel. This new insight will help address potential issues while maintaining service levels.