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Brocade gives SAN FAN a one-two

Blades, appliances and software — oh my

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Brocade left the product announcement spigot on over the Memorial Day break, churning a flood of new and upgraded software and hardware. This week's broad launch covers performance boosts, data protection and virtualization for the company's SAN (storage area network) and FAN (file area network) lineup. Grab a bucket.

Brocade announced a new blade for its Fibre Channel director switches to support 10Gb/s connections. The fresh Brocade FC10-6 blade upgrades the Brocade 48000 Director with a previous limit of 4 Gbit/s connection to better tap bandwidth available to Fibre.

The company is also souping up its block storage virtualization line with the Brocade 7600 Application Platform and FA4-18 application blade.

The 7600 — an upgrade from the 7240 — is a 1U rack-mountable appliance. Both the 7600 and FA4-18 have 16 Fibre Channel ports pulling 1 million IOPS and 64 Gbit/s of throughput. They also feature fast write acceleration, which the company claims can double performance in disk mirroring or remote disaster recovery options. Two blades can be used per 48000 chassis.

Entry-level Brocade 200E switches will now offer virtualization software that lets classic Brocade switches and legacy McDATA switches connect. The software, Brocade Access Gateway, was previously only offered in higher-tier hardware.

Brocade Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager (EFCM) will now include Advanced Call Home. This allows the equipment to contact the right OEM if things get sticky.

Brocade Fabric Manager has added real-time performance monitoring tools. The company said the manager helps users identify and isolate network trouble.

SAN products will be available through OEM distributors beginning around this summer. Brocade said FAN products will be available in June.

On the software side, the company announced Brocade Branch File Management Solutions, a package that contains file management software StorageX and file consolidation software Branch File Manager. The package allows organizations to consolidate or replicate branch office data to a main data center, and provide remote CIFS and TCP/IP access.

The latest version of StorageX has tighter links with Windows Server 2003 R2 and now supports the Unix/Linux Network File System. While NFS users will be able to replicate data with StorageX using the package, Branch File Manager continues to support only Windows file traffic. BFM starts at $7,000 per branch location and StorageX starts at $2,000 per node in the branch bundle. StorageX for data centers begin at $8,000 per terabyte.

Brocade's File Lifecycle Manager software is also getting an upgrade. FLM manages the lifecycle of file data on NetApp storage systems by placing data on the appropriate storage device based on its relative value and age. Version 4.0 lets NetApp systems overwrite policies and manually migrate files between devices. The company also claims the latest version makes automating file migration and restoration without system downtime easier. ®

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