Brocade Unveils Easy-to-Use Analytics Platform for SAN Monitoring
Brocade headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

Brocade Unveils Easy-to-Use Analytics Platform for SAN Monitoring

Fibre Channel appliance analyzes traffic across all network-connected devices

Moving to reduce the cost of storage monitoring, Brocade today announced an analytics platform that enables IT organizations to more easily track both application and device-level I/O performance and traffic behavior at a lower cost.

Designed to be deployed as a Fibre Channel-based appliance, the Analytics Monitoring Platform analyzes traffic across all network-connected devices, including data flows between servers and storage devices, to provide end-to-end visibility into the performance issues, , Jack Rondoni, VP of storage networking at Brocade, said.

“To get this visibility previously you would have to buy a third-party product that is both expensive and difficult to deploy,” he said. “The reason a lot of organizations never used those tools is that they were just too complicated.”

In contrast, as an appliance, Brocade’s new storage monitoring platform is designed to be deployed in a matter of minutes in a storage area network (SAN) environment. Rival solutions depend on a complex array of taps and probes to be deployed across a limited number of ports to first capture data before it can be sent to an appliance to be analyzed, Rondoni explained.

Capable of analyzing 20,000 data flows and millions of IOPS using a single appliance, the platform makes it simple to uncover the actual causes of infrastructure issues that diminish performance and availability, including access to performance history and trends in a way that enables IT organizations to more proactively discover those issues.

Based on the Gen5 platform architecture that Brocade uses for its storage and networking products, the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform comes in a 2U form factor that can be configured with up to 24 Fibre Channel ports. The appliance itself sports two dedicated multi-core processors for frame processing and an onboard solid-state disk drive.

From a software perspective, it runs an implementation of Brocade’s Fabric OS (FOS) that includes analytics capabilities and can be integrated with Brocade Network Advisor software.

Rondoni said IT organizations can use the platform to generate customized reports to correlate and summarize trends and specific events. They can also create thresholds and automate alerts of application behavior to help detect potential issues earlier.

With more cores available to run analytics, Rondoni said, it’s become a lot more feasible for vendors such as Brocade to develop their own analytics applications that should ultimately help IT organizations drive up utilization rates in a way they lowers costs while still improving overall application performance.

Want to know what Brocade CEO Lloyd Carney thinks the future of the data center network market is? Here's what he told us in a recent interview.

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