System News
Brocade Silkworm 5000 32-port Fibre Channel Switch Now Available
Deploys with Existing Brocade, McDATA Management Tools
April 16, 2007,
Volume 110, Issue 3

A 32-port auto-sensing 1, 2, or 4 Gbit/sec Fibre Channel switch that is the first common switch platform capable of providing native E_Port switch interoperability for Brocade and McDATA SANs
 

The new Brocade Silkworm 5000 32-port auto-sensing 1, 2, or 4 Gbit/sec Fibre Channel switch is the first common switch platform capable of providing native E_Port switch interoperability for Brocade and McDATA SANs. Existing Brocade or McDATA management tools can be used to manage the Brocade 5000, simplifying deployment within today's customer environments and reducing the need to train end users on new tools.

The Brocade 5000 provides higher levels of reliability and availability through component reduction and integration of the power supply and fan FRUs. The Brocade 5000 is the successor to the industry's first 4 Gbit/sec Fibre Channel switch - the Brocade 4100. It is a more power and cooling efficient switch, offering reduced Total Cost of Ownership.

New features of the Brocade 5000 include:

  • Investment protection and flexibility for existing Brocade and McDATA SAN infrastructures through native E_Port connectivity (planned for a future Fabric OS release)

  • Employs familiar Brocade software and management interfaces and can be managed via McDATA EFCM (as of version 9.0) within McDATA environments (using Fabric OS v5.2.1_NI, or greater only; For Brocade environments, Fabric OS v5.2.1 or greater must be used - without the NI)

  • Integrates power and FAN units to reduce overall FRU count, increasing reliability and availability

  • Consumes 20 percent less power than the Brocade 4100, generating less heat and reducing the overall cooling burden in a data center

  • McData native E_Port connectivity will be available in the future FOS 5.2.1_NI release, native Brocade E_Port connectivity is available today in the FOS 5.2.1 release

The Brocade 500 includes simultaneous wire speed support for all ports to provide a high-performance system with aggregate bandwidth of 256 Gbit/sec (32 ports x 4 Gbit/sec x 2 for full duplex), as well as Dynamic Path Selection (DPS) that automatically routes data to the most efficient available path in the fabric.

Enhanced Inter-Switch Link (ISL) Trunking supports up to eight ISLs for a total bandwidth of 32 Gbit/sec at distances up to 250 kilometers. Eliminates re-routing and possible disruption due to link failure. More efficient ISL usage increases the number of usable ports.

Ports-on-Demand capability supports instant scaling by provisioning additional ports via license key upgrade, which enables "pay-as-you-grow" scalability for easy, scalable growth in highly dynamic business environments.

The Brocade 5000 is fully compatible with the current Brocade SAN product portfolio as well as the old Brocade 2000 and 3000 switch series and the Brocade 12000 and 24000 directors. With FOS _NI, it will also work with the M6040. Refer to release notes for details on firmware levels, etc.

The 5000 hardware is FICON-ready and FICON Control Unit Port (CUP)-ready for mainframe environments, enabling organizations to utilize a single platform for both open systems and mainframe storage networks.

The Brocade 5000 will begin replacing the Brocade 4100 and M4700 switches. Sun will announce a transition of the 4100, M4700 and M4400 switches at some point in the future. "

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