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Brocade Positioned in “Visionaries” Quadrant on Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Network Infrastructure

Jason Nolet, vice president of the Data Center Networking Group at Brocade

Evaluation Based on Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute in New Report on Fabric Networking Technologies that Deliver Increased Automation and Simplified Operations within Virtualized Data Centers

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February 21, 2013 4:07 by



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates– Feb 21, 2013 – Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD), the leader in fabric-based data center networking solutions, today announced it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the “Visionaries” quadrant in the 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Network Infrastructure report.

According to Gartner, vendors placed in the Visionaries quadrant have “demonstrated an ability to increase the features in their offerings, to provide a unique and differentiated approach to the market. A Visionary has innovated in one or more of the key areas of data center infrastructure, such as management (including virtualization), security (including policy enforcement), SDN and operational efficiency, as well as cost reductions.”1

Newly introduced in 2013, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Network Infrastructure closely examines how the market has been transformed with new architectures, new technologies and vendors specifically targeting solutions to address the changing size and density of the data center, shifts in traffic patterns and the increasing requirement to simplify network operations. In the report, Gartner states that “Requirements for data center networking equipment have evolved rapidly during the past four years after a period of architectural stability that lasted at least 15 years. While speed, density and scale increased during that period, the underlying, oversubscribed three-tier hierarchical approach — using end-of-row switches, an aggregation layer and intelligent layer three-core switching — was largely unchanged.”2 The new report focuses on how vendors are meeting these emerging requirements.

We believe our placement high in the Visionaries quadrant confirms the innovation and value Brocade® Ethernet fabrics have delivered to nearly 1,000 customers since we pioneered this technology category two years ago,” said Jason Nolet, vice president of the Data Center Networking Group at Brocade. “Enterprises and cloud providers of all sizes will be well-served by following Gartner’s recommendation to include Brocade Ethernet fabrics on their short lists for all data center network infrastructures. Our solutions, based on the Brocade VDX switch family and VCS® Fabric technology, are empowering a new generation of on-demand data centers by delivering the world’s most automated, efficient and agile networks.”

Gartner analysts Mark Fabbi and Tim Zimmerman cite a major shift in application architectures and application requirements as a driver of new innovations. According to their report, “The increasing requirement to efficiently deal with east-west traffic has resulted in new approaches, including higher-performance, low-latency switches, the emergence of one- or two-tier architectures, flexible fabric architectures…, and more intelligence and traffic forwarding at the server edge of the data center network (through the use of virtual chassis or chassis clustering solutions).”3

For data center networks, it is imperative to focus on functional requirements, as opposed to debating emerging standards. Key criteria to consider include:

  • Simply and seamlessly add bandwidth via links and nodes.

  • Instantiate services (Layer 2, Layer 3 and above) at any point within the network.

  • Have consistent and homogeneous capabilities across the fabric.

  • Implement the fabric in such a way as to simplify ongoing management and operations.

  • Support performance that can cost-effectively scale down as well as up.”

Additionally, Gartner states, “The move to simplifying network operations is also driving innovations, including single-tier data center switching solutions, auto-configuring network fabrics and increasing integration of network operations with application provisioning tools. Automation in the data center has had a major impact on data center operations and expectations are that the network will become part of a more coordinated virtual architecture.”4

Brocade Ethernet Fabric Technology Delivers Simplified, Automated Networks

Brocade has leveraged its 15-year heritage in data center fabrics to transform Ethernet networks in virtualized and cloud data centers. In December 2010, Brocade introduced its VCS Fabric technology, the first true Ethernet fabric solution in the industry and, to date, nearly 1,000 customers have deployed these solutions. Brocade VCS Fabric technology provides unmatched automation, enabling customers to deploy network capacity five times more quickly than with legacy network architectures and competitive fabric offerings. This agility is critical to helping IT organizations and cloud providers deploy new applications and services more quickly than ever before.

Brocade VCS Fabric technology also delivers twice the network efficiency and utilization of legacy network architectures through its unique combination of multi-pathing and load balancing capabilities at all layers of the fabric.

PeakColo, a leading-edge Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, deployed a solution utilizing Brocade VDX switches to provide an intelligent foundation for building data center Ethernet fabrics and to streamline the transition to cloud computing. “By transitioning to a cloud-optimized network built on Brocade VCS Fabric technology, we are able to expand much more rapidly and respond to support issues faster and more predictably than with our legacy environment,” said Luke Norris, chief executive officer at PeakColo. “As our business grows and our clients consume more bandwidth, the Brocade solution is allowing us to scale to meet increased demand.”

Brocade Network Subscription – As Flexible as the Cloud

Unique to the industry, Brocade Network Subscription provides a new way for organizations to acquire cloud-optimized network infrastructure on a monthly subscription basis. It is a flexible, open-ended way to deploy network infrastructure and aligns capacity with changing business requirements.

With Brocade Network Subscription, organizations can invest in scaling their businesses instead of their networks by avoiding network infrastructure capital expenditures. They also can avoid rigid multi-year lease obligations through a “pay-as-you-go” approach. In addition, Brocade Direct Support helps maximize availability and performance while eliminating the need to manage separate support contracts.

About the Gartner Magic Quadrant

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

A complimentary copy of the 2013 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Network Infrastructure is available at www.brocade.com/dcnetwork.

About Brocade

Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (www.brocade.com)

1 Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Data Center Network Infrastructure,” Mark Fabbi and Tim Zimmerman, February 11, 2013, pg. 16

2 Ibid., pg. 1

3 Ibid., pg. 2

4 Ibid., pg. 3



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