Brocade: “Innovation can only take place quickly with an agile IT foundation”

At a time when enterprise as well as telecoms communities are looking forward to incorporating agile IT infrastructure – Innovations in Data Center fabric can deliver huge benefits.

George Chacko, Principal Systems Engineer & Lead Technical Consultant, Brocade India speaks with Zia Askari from about the next generation data center focused innovations from Brocade.

Why is agility so important for organizations today?

Organizations need to realise that a significant upgrade from existing network infrastructure to agile network is important to adopt new technologies like cloud, big data, IOT, mobility etc. Organizations that are going through digital transformation need networks that are extremely agile, extensively automated and highly visible.

Today’s emerging technologies are reliant on outdated networking technologies and these systems simply cannot cope with the pressure exerted by the exponential increase in data traffic. In order to deploy new technologies, organizations first need to ensure that their networks are able to cope with the massive increase in traffic that these new technologies will inevitably bring, by investing in more agile network infrastructures.

Innovation can only take place quickly with an agile IT foundation where automation works seamlessly with network visibility while digitally connecting all IT domains that function together to eliminate silos and deliver end-to-end automation.

Can you elaborate on the Next gen data center product portfolio by Brocade?

Brocade has launched an expanded Brocade SLX family with new innovative switches that feature unparalleled network visibility and the addition of Brocade Workflow Composer Automation Suites for turnkey automation. This is the industry’s first data center networking portfolio to deliver agility at all layers of the data center stack, while being open to provide customers with choice.

Brocade’s flexible SLX fixed switches deliver high performance and adaptable operation for demanding digital workloads traversing data center leaf, spine, border, and internet exchange points. Leveraging embedded visibility and DevOps-inspired automation, they enable cost-effective scale for port density, bandwidth, and network services to meet digital era SLAs.

New automation suites, including Network Essentials, Data Center Fabrics and Internet Exchange Points for the Brocade Workflow Composer platform, powered by StackStorm, provide automated network provisioning, validation, troubleshooting and remediation workflows. These automation suites are ideal for customers who want to jumpstart their automation journey with pre-built workflows to accelerate time-to-value.

What kind of traction did the Brocade SLX see after its launch in September?
Brocade SLX 9850 trials are happening in different parts of the world. ISPs and CSPs are the target customers for Brocade SLX 9850. We have started discussions with CSPs. This is something that we would do directly and in some cases through tier I partners.

How does Brocade plan to target the market with an upcoming product and what is the expected uptake of this solution?

The next gen data center product portfolio trails are happening in different parts of the world. The target customers are large enterprises and banks who have large data centers.

This is the industry’s first data center networking portfolio to deliver agility at all layers of the data center stack, while being open to provide customers with choice. By embedding network visibility on every router and switch, organizations can achieve pervasive visibility throughout the network to quickly identify problems, accelerate mean-time-to-remediation and improve overall service levels. Customers can use Brocade automation suites as is or as starter kits for building or customizing workflows specific to their data center requirements to reduce time-to-value.

What are some of the big trends that you believe will rule the tech sector in 2017?

Below are some the tech predictions for 2017:
• Network Ubiquity: 2017 is expected to see continued disaggregation of hardware and software leading to more cost-effective networks, at increased capacity, offering more flexible service models across an expanding footprint. There will be advancement in wireless network technology, as well as a subtle shift in security postures of enterprise endpoints. Users will be more connected, more often, to the networked resources they need to be most effective.

• SDN and NFV Come of Age: 2017 is expected to see complete software-defined network infrastructure solutions that are commercially available, multi-vendor, based on a viable ecosystem of SDN and NFV components. Proprietary platforms will begin to feel uncomfortably closed as users realize the extent of their lock-in. And adoption will rise, beyond the early adopter service providers, as enterprises and private datacenters begin to see a manageable path to achieve the value of a flexible infrastructure.

• Normalization of Internet of Things: The IoT market will begin to develop standards that make their platforms more secure, as well as more open and sustainable in 2017. In addition to easing consumers’ minds, these standards will enable an IoT ecosystem that increasingly appeals to enterprises, allows service providers to create innovative services, and enables advanced use cases that one can only imagine today.

• Shadow IT vs. Security: In the past, enterprises have faced challenges with “Shadow IT” in which their users bring their own devices, manage their own apps and data, and use their own personal collaboration tools to perform their job. Despite potential dangers, Shadow IT continues to grow as enterprise IT is unable to compete with features, ease of use, and reliability of consumer services. In the face of Shadow IT behavior, corporate info-sec teams will continue to struggle. While some organizations will attempt to legislate security via corporate policy, in 2017 the most enlightened companies will recognize the implicit threat of sub-par IT services. The most successful IT and info-sec teams will collaborate on simultaneously modernizing and securing their infrastructure with SDN, orchestrated NFV security services, advanced encryption and identity management, integration of cloud services, and compartmentalization of local apps.