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Brocade Exec Offers Sneak Peak at HyperEdge Technology

Brocade Exec Offers Sneak Peak at HyperEdge Technology
March 9, 2012 10:49AM

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HyperEdge will help IT extend the life of its infrastructure, through a unique architectural approach -- mix-and-match stacking of switches, like the newly announced ICX 6430 and 6450 access switches, shown here. This capability allows IT to gracefully upgrade their access switch infrastructure, without requiring a forklift upgrade.

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There's already plenty of buzz around Brocade's HyperEdge Technology, even though it won't hit the market until the first half of next year.

HyperEdge Technology is the heartbeat of Brocade's vision for "The Effortless Network." The idea, says Brocade, is to drive automation to new heights, simplify operation, and cut costs -- all in one fell swoop.

Brocade is clearly meeting a need. Analysts are applauding the innovation. Microsoft has given the technology a nod, and customers like M Resort and Trusted Network Solutions are looking forward to the new technology's debut.

We caught up with Lissa Hollinger, director product marketing for Brocade, to get the inside scoop on HyperEdge technology, how it benefits customers, and how its current products fit into the mix.

Q: Why is Brocade announcing this HyperEdge technology?

There's been very little innovation in the campus LAN space for more than a decade. This has led to networks that are complex, operationally intensive, and expensive to manage. Additionally, the campus LAN is beginning to stretch at the seams due to the impact of some mega trends such as BYOD [Bring Your Own Device], as well as video and virtualization that will drive and dramatically change campus LAN requirements for the next decade and beyond.

To address these trends and pain points, Brocade has announced a game-changing approach to the campus LAN called The Effortless Network. The foundation for the Effortless Network is Brocade's innovative new HyperEdge technology which will reduce the time and cost associated with managing the campus LAN lifecycle by up to 50 percent.

HyperEdge will help IT extend the life of its infrastructure, supporting trends and requirements for the next decade, through a unique architectural approach -- mix-and-match stacking. This capability allows IT to gracefully upgrade their access-switch infrastructure to satisfy new, unforeseen requirements, without requiring a forklift upgrade. And, it can be implemented be at a tremendous cost savings relative to incumbent vendors.

Q: Could you provide an example of how a customer would benefit from single point management?

Within a university, you have an abundance of end users who need access to the network, ranging from students to faculty and administrators, and security is key. Today, in order to deploy a new security policy, an IT staff member must manually push the policy to each device or each stack of switches.

This is extremely time consuming, and error prone, not to mention labor intensive. This last point is a particularly acute pain point for universities, given their limited IT budgets and in many cases, unsophisticated IT staff.

With Brocade's innovation in singe-point management, all of this changes. IT has a single access port configuration to deploy, and can use a single management IP address to deploy it to thousands of access ports simultaneously. This significantly reduces the time to rollout the new service, decreases administrative costs and dramatically reduces the possibility of a misconfiguration caused by human error, which continues to be the single biggest cause for network downtime.

Q: How do the new switches extend Brocade's the campus LAN portfolio?

The ICX 6430 and 6450 access switches Brocade just announced complement the recently introduced ICX 6610 and the FCX series, delivering a complete range of access solutions that should meet the needs and budget of every customer.

These switches in particular are designed to deliver enterprise-class, stackable switching at an entry-level price. They're geared for small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs), branch offices, and distributed campuses.

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