Show 101 – Brocade Virtual Symposium Part 1 – Sponsored

Introducing the Brocade Virtual Symposium. In a special video session, we brought Chip Copper from Brocade into a room to talk about four key areas of Brocade’s Ethernet Fabric. The first episode is this weeks Packet Pushers Podcast.

The session is discussing just “What is an Ethernet Fabric” and digging into how Brocade implements their Ethernet Fabric strategy. In the weeks ahead, we will publish three more sessions. In the second session, we had a discussion of Converged Storage with FCoE and for IP Storage protocols. The third session looks at Mulitchassis and Multipath as an alternative or a complement to Ethernet Fabric led by Greg Ferro and we dig in to the features. The fourth and final session titled “Hard Cores and Soft Edges” where Ivan Peplnjak leads the discussion about Automated Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP) and how Brocade has a soft switching solution to fully integrate with VMware.

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This discussion on “What is an Ethernet Fabric” covered the following broad areas:

  • we kicked off with a short presentation
  • How we could improve Ethernet of today by looking at its weaknesses
  • Spanning Tree means unused bandwidth and forced tree design.
  • Insights on Brocade Ethernet Fabric Architecture
  • How a Brocade Ethernet Fabric improves utilisation and delivers resilience by auto-healing.

Hosted by Greg Ferro, Stephen Foskett, Ivan Pepelnjak, Ethan Banks and Brandon Carroll. Thanks to them for their time.

Session 2: Converged Storage – Hosted by Stephen Foskett

  • Acknowledging the value of FC but focussing on Ethernet/IP storage
  • What are the emerging workloads that make Ethernet storage compelling. and how do Fabrics play in that arena.
  • SSD performance driving high speed.
  • Big Data driving cluster networking

Session 3: Multipath versus Multichassis – Hosted by Greg Ferro

Emerging layer-2 multipath technologies introduce the multipathing, fast failure recovery, and optimum bandwidth utilization we’ve always enjoyed in the IP world to the Ethernet layer-2 forwarding, allowing the data center architects to build large-scale (multipath) layer-2 solutions that approach the efficiency of layer-3 networks.

Some vendors are proposing an alternate solution: using multi-chassis link aggregation (MLAG) they’re building a virtual star topology that retains the redundancy and optimum bandwidth utilization requirements, and minimizes the impact of link outages without introducing new technologies.

  • Brocade’s strategy of “revolution through evolution”
  • Virtual chassis technology
  • Brocade Virtual Cluster Switching Technical Architecture
  • Transparent LAN service
  • Virtual link aggregation groups (vLAGs)
  • Distributed configuration management (virtual Chassis)

Session 4: Hard Cores / Soft Edges – Hosted by Ivan Pepelnjak

Brocade Automatic Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP) and VM-Aware Network Automation features enable customers to fully align virtual server and network infrastructure resources and realize the full benefits of server virtualization.

Brocade VM-Aware Network Automation provides secure connectivity and full visibility to virtualized resources with dynamic learning and activation of port profiles. In VMware environments, the Brocade VCS fabric communicates directly with VMware vCenter ™ to eliminate manual configuration of port profiles. Brocade VCS fabric also supports VM mobility across VCS fabrics within a data center, while providing protection against VM MAC spoofing. Additional VMware vCenter integration with Brocade Network Advisor provides another layer of intelligence to network administrators.b0cca9cf19624a3036c03424f68b6a3e

We will be announcing more sessions over the next three weeks, stay tuned for more details on them. Thanks to Brocade for supporting the Packet Pushers by sponsoring a new type of marketing event. You can send Ethan and I feedback at

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