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December 1, 2010

Brocade celebrates CERN network win at UK Conference

Brocade MLXe Core Routers to help CERN scientific research handle 15 million gigabytes per year

By Jason Stamper

Networking player Brocade announced that CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) has selected Brocade MLXe Core Routers as part of a network infrastructure upgrade to support its high throughput computing requirements and a data environment that exceeds 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) per year.

The news came on the first day of the firm’s two-day Brocade Conference 2010 in London, which on its first day (December 1st) attracted over 300 people.

Speaking at the event the firm’s Doug Ingraham, VP of product management, told CBR it was thrilled with the CERN deal: "CERN is one of the largest creators of data and it’s using our platform to build out its core infrastructure," he said. "We’ve been the leader in the highest performance at the lowest cost and our recently announced MLXe routers that CERN are deploying is further proof of that."

To share its data with thousands of scientists around the world, tens of thousands of computers distributed worldwide are being harnessed in a distributed computing network called the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) at CERN. The current non-blocking capacity of the core is in the region of 4.2 Terabits per second (Tbps), and has doubled in the last two years. CERN projects that its capacity will reach more than 10 Tbps in 2011.

The organisation said it decided to tackle this capacity challenge head-on and, following a review, selected the full range of Brocade MLXe-32, MLXe-16 and MLXe-8 routers for their scalability and price-point. Brocade claims these are the world’s most powerful 100 GbE routers.

"Brocade’s MLXe solution met our stringent requirements (we test products to destruction), and will not just deliver a solution for our immediate needs but also gives us a platform to 100 GbE when the time is right," commented Jean-Michel Jouanigot, Communication Systems Group Leader, IT Department, at CERN. "I do not see our appetite for data waning in the future."

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Ingraham also told CBR at the Brocade Conference in London today that the firm will launch a new line of storage area network (SAN) technologies for its fibre channel customers in the first half of next year, "Helping to bring those SAN customers into the private cloud era," as he put it.

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