Article – How much time and money are you prepared to invest in DCI for your Brocade network_ – A_man_in_casual_business_attire_featuring_a_light

What will it take to connect your Gen 7 Brocade network data centers?

The point of using Brocade Fibre Channel (FC) switches for your SAN is to leave nothing to chance in protecting your mission-critical workloads. Offsite backup is key to prevent data loss in the event of a local incident. To stay as current as possible with these backups and leave the least margin for data loss, synchronous mirroring is a must.

To enable synchronous mirroring, dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) is now widely acknowledged as the most reliable method of maximizing fiber utilization. Traditionally, effectively deploying and operating DWDM solutions to interconnect your Brocade network data centers posed certain challenges. You may have had to bring in large, complex multiplexing equipment, which could be difficult to configure, take some time to learn how to use and be relatively expensive.

Upgrading to Brocade Gen 7 most likely means using 32G optics, both to benefit from lower latency and because Broadcom has largely phased out lower bit rates. At this higher bit rate, you generally won’t be able to reach far enough without an active solution. Also, with Gen 7’s requirement for secure optics functionality, transceivers that are not certified will not be recognizable by your Brocade switches.

Embedded optics and open line systems – a match made in heaven for your Brocade network

At Smartoptics, we have worked closely with Broadcom to develop solutions for your Brocade network interconnections that meet all of these challenges.

Because Smartoptics’ embedded 32G FC transceivers are certified, they can be used with Gen 7 and paired with a simple and compact open line system to deliver an active solution. This allows you to cut out an entire layer from your DCI architecture in most cases if you don’t specifically need an additional transponder or muxponder. Using embedded optics and an open line system lowers latency, saves you time and improves cost efficiency compared to other solutions in the market that absolutely require a more complex external transponder which takes up additional rack space.

Gen 7 DCI with Smartoptics – as easy as one, two, three!

  1. Plug our certified embedded 32G transceivers directly into your Brocade Gen 7 switches
  2. Connect our compact 1U DCP-M open line system with support for multiple protocols
  3. Turn on the open line system – no configuration required

Voila! You’ve just interconnected two data centers running Brocade Gen 7 switches. Now wasn’t that easy?

Improved cost-efficiency across the board with lower latency

By going for an embedded solution with a smaller footprint, you are not sacrificing anything in terms of performance. In fact, having fewer network elements for your signals to pass through reduces latency. This type of compact solution can be competitively priced, take up less precious and typically expensive floor space and have lower power requirements to reduce energy consumption.

If you need to add a transponder or muxponder, ours are also more compact, easier to configure and less power-hungry than the market standard. The capability to open up ports for additional wavelengths at no extra cost and run multiple protocols on our open line systems also saves you big in the long run and future-proof your solution. This way, you do not need to invest in two different DWDM multiplexers for Fibre Channel and Ethernet and can continue to use the same open line system if you upgrade switches and transceivers in the future.

How an embedded solution for your Gen 7 Brocade network saves you time

With FC and Ethernet running over the same open line system, you don’t need to learn and keep up with two different DWDM architectures. With plug-and-play setup and zero-touch provisioning, you generally will not even have to do any configuration at all, allowing you to deploy faster with less learning curve.

Additionally, open line system features such as automatic power balancing and automated dispersion compensation help you continuously optimize operations with less effort. Our embedded solutions for your Brocade network will save you time maintaining and troubleshooting your DWDM links with full support for Gen 7’s loopback and other diagnostics features out of the box. This way, you don’t need to do manual configuration to get these features to work, which is typically required with other solutions.

Learn all about how to ensure high-performance DCI with Gen 7

Ready to discover more about how our certified embedded solutions for Brocade Gen 7 work? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know to ensure high-performance DCI with Brocade Gen 7. You’ll find answers to questions such as exactly why Gen 7 demands an active system, how far optics can reach and more hands-on tips for realizing the synergies of FC and Ethernet in the same solution.

Download the guide Ensuring high-performance DCI for mission critical SANs with Brocade Gen7 here.


For more information about Smartoptics 16G and 32G Fibre Channel transceivers for Brocade, please see the Brocade collection.


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