Brocade increases backbone switch Fibre Channel ports

Raises number of ports in DCX blades from 48 to 64

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. today announced that it has increased the port count on the blades used in its Fibre Channel backbone switch by 33%.

The storage networking vendor said it has increased the number of ports per blade for its flagship DCX backbone switch and its midsize DCX-4S backbone switch.

The Brocade DCX 64-port blade
The Brocade DCX 64-port blade

The DCX is a 14U (24.5-in. high) switch with eight vertical blade slots. Brocade said it has increased the number of Fibre Channel ports on each blade from 48 to 64, meaning the DCX can now have up to 512 ports. Built for midsize networks, the 8U-high Brocade DCX-4S has four horizontal blade slots. The total port count in that switch grows from 192 to 256.

"This is the industry's first 64-port Fibre Channel blade," said Bill Dunmire, director of product marketing for Brocade's Data Center Products division. "This increases the ability of users to consolidate their Fibre Channel environments and provides greater scalability without a larger footprint in the data center."

Brocade customers will be able to upgrade their existing DCX switches by simply pulling an existing 4Gbit/sec. Fibre Channel blade and inserting a new 8Gbit/sec. blade. Brocade also plans to release a 16Gbit/sec. Fibre Channel blade for the DCX next year, Dunmire said.

The Brocade DCX Backbone switch
The Brocade DCX Backbone switch

"Because of the increase in wire-speed density in this blade, customers are recognizing they can connect directly from a host [server] to that switch in a server farm... to relieve the need for edge Fibre Channel switches. And, that's fewer components that they have to manage," Dunmire said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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