On Thursday, Brocade launched a flat fabric-optimized Ethernet switch, the VDX 8770, designed for future technologies such as 100-Gbit Ethernet. The enterprise networking giant also announced a 24-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) module for its MLXe Series routers as part of a technology day in San Jose. Brocade began building out its its fabric strategy in 2010, with the delivery of the VDX 6720 VCS-enabled switch later that year. In 2011, Brocade added the VDX 6710 and VDX 6730, broadening the line. Brocade’s new VDX 8770 switch is designed to support the largest data centers, with a 4 Tbps backplane. Brocade also designed the switch for software-defined networking, with flexible hardware support for network virtualization through technologies such as VXLAN overlay networking, the company said. The Brocade VDX 8770 was designed to allow customers to expand a single VCS fabric up to 8000 switch ports with up to 384,000 virtual machines attached to the fabric. The VDX 8770 delivers port-to-port latencies at 3.5 microseconds across all 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 10 GbE and 40 GbE ports -- half the latency of the nearest competitor, the company claimed. Stefan Ideler, chief technical officer of Interactive 3D, said that network fabrics would be a critical piece of the puzzle going forward. "I see Ethernet fabrics as the biggest innovation in the service provider market,” Ideler said in a statement. “We've been using Brocade VCS Fabric technology for two years now and we believe that it is the best fabric solution available. The tremendous throughput, flexibility, and stability of Brocade VCS fabrics have allowed us to expand our services greatly, while exceeding customer expectations. We have been using the Brocade VDX 8770 Switch, and it builds on the steps made by the Brocade VDX 6720 platform we adopted in 2010. It gives us the agility and simplicity we need to scale out our network even further.” The Brocade VDX 8770 is orderable now, at $65,000 ($833/10G port). Brocade didn’t disclose a price or avaialibiluty for its new 24-port 10-GbitE module, although the company did provide a few additional details. Like the Brocade VDX 8770, the new module enables 768-port density. It was also designed for software-defined networking, allowing flexible flow control to respond to dynamic traffic patterns. The new module supports advanced Layer 3 switching capabilities and full-feature support for access control, routing and forwarding with industry-leading 64-port Link Aggregation (LAG) capacity, Brocade said. "Network operators are challenged to scale their networks and manage increasing complexity -- with more routers, more subnets and massive dynamic flows," said Ken Cheng, vice president of Service Provider and Application Delivery Products at Brocade, in a statement. "The Brocade MLXe Core Router with the new 24-port 10 GbE module and industry-leading SDN technology will enable them to significantly scale their core networks to do more while greatly reducing network complexity and cost." Brocade also announced an upgrade to the Brocade ADX Application Delivery Switch with the new 12.5 software release, which delivers a new multitenancy capability supported in hardware.   Image: Mihai Simonia/Shutterstock.com