Brocade, HP unveil data center extensions

Brocade this week unveiled data center products available from OEM HP that are designed to support next-generation Fibre Channel rollouts anchored to optimizing application performance and scaling virtual machines.

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The products include a Fibre Channel mezzanine host bus adapter card for HP's BladeSystem c-Class servers; a virtualization SAN starter kit that bundles storage arrays, Host bus adapters (HBA) and storage-area network (SAN) switches for pre-integrated deployment; and a 64-port 8Gbps Fibre Channel module for HP/Brocade SAN switches that boosts FibreChannel port density.

HP has been an OEM reseller of Brocade SANs and HBAs for over a decade, and has shipped over 7 million Fibre Channel ports on its StorageWorks B-series systems to date.

"This shows how good the partnership is," says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at The Yankee Group. "Brocade has figured out how to manage this alliance pretty well. They're not Cisco, so they're going to have to rely on partners. And HP is as good as it gets for the data center."

The new HP/Brocade products are intended to keep that momentum going. The mezzanine card is an 8Gbps Fibre Channel HBA for HP's BladeSystem c-Class servers. It connects the HP blade servers to the data center Fibre Channel switching fabric at 8Gbps, and supports Brocade's Server Application Optimization technology for increasing application performance and VM scalability.

The HBA also provides storage connections for all HP ProLiant server blades, and is compatible with Brocade's 8Gbps SAN switch and HP's Virtual Connect Fibre Channel modules.

The HBA costs $849.

The SAN starter kit is called the HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 Modular Smart Array (MSA) Virtualization kit. It bundles together an 8Gbps Fibre Channel storage array, six 8Gbps HP StorageWorks B-series HBAs, two 8Gbps HP StrageWorks B-series Fibre Channel switches, and two Brocade-based software licenses per switch.

The package is analogous to the Cisco/EMC/VMware vBlock data center offering, which bundles Cisco's Unified Computing System servers, EMC storage arrays and VMware virtualization software in a single, pre-integrated package.

The MSA starter kit costs $25,000.

The 64-port 8Gbps Fibre Channel SAN switch blade was previously announced by Brocade. It increases the density of both Brocade's DCX and HP's StorageWorks SAN switches by 33%, for up to 512 Fibre Channel ports per chassis.

The module costs $116,639. All products are available now from HP.

Read more about lans and wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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