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September 1, 2011

Brocade adapts pricing, switches for cloud era

Subscription-based acquisition option among new announcements

By Jason Stamper

Brocade Network Pricing

Brocade says its subscription-based pricing evens out the ‘lumpiness’ in traditional network fabric spending

Brocade has announced a subscription-based pricing option for network infrastructure that it claims enables organisations to align their network capacity with fluctuating business demands, making it a shoe-in for cloud environments. There are also a number of new switches it says gives more flexibility to customers.

Speaking to CBR ahead of the news, Simon Pamplin, systems engineering manager said the new pricing model was driven by customer demand: "We’ve seen a log jump in the requirements of cloud type environments, where customers want their networks to be just as flexible. Current pricing models mean that customers buy equipment up-front that is usually over-provisioned, and carry that cost until it is needed. Our Brocade Network Subscription is a way to procure the capacity as you need it – it’s a pay as you grow type of thing."

Pamplin said that the pricing model has been available in the US for some time, though he could not say how many customers have adopted it so far. It is now being rolled out to other geographies. The subscription is only available to customers spending a minimum Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $0.5m. Under the terms of the deal customers can flex their networking infrastructure up and down, as long as they give Brocade 30 days notice to flex up and 60 to flex down, and see their subscription increase or decrease as a result.

The data centre networking firm also announced a number of new switches: a VDX 6730 Data Center Switch which is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch that can bridge VCS Ethernet fabrics to Fibre Channel SAN fabrics; and the VDX 6710 high-density, 1/10 GbE switch enabling 1 GbE servers to connect to Ethernet fabric environments as well as classic data center LAN deployments.

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The firm also said these new switches can be managed alongside LAN, SAN and application delivery infrastructures in a single enterprise-class application through Brocade Network Advisor.

Brocade noted that in recent research analyst firm Gartner wrote: "The ongoing cost and growth pressures on the enterprise data center continue to stress the data center network. The data center network is undergoing significant and, in some cases, radical changes, where network planners will have to consider and plan for several network and technology changes. As we see it, these changes will evolve the network from the traditional tiered-tree topology to a flat-meshed Layer 2 network topology architecture."

Finally, Brocade revved its Brocade CloudPlex architecture with some new Virtual Compute Blocks. These bundled solutions consist of integrated, tested and validated multi-vendor server, virtualisation, networking and storage resources. The new offerings are available now, delivered and supported in collaboration with a range of alliance partners, including Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems and VMware.

The latest switches are available now, as is the new subscription model and Virtual Compute Blocks.

Please follow this author on twitter: www.twitter.com/jasonstamper

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