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Author Topic: Brocade Network  (Read 5498 times)

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Offline Telair

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Brocade Network
« on: September 23, 2013, 01:00:25 PM »
Just thought I would start things off with letting people know the Brocade gear I deal with on a daily basis.  I have been dealing with transitioning an existing Nortel/Avaya network to Brocade gear for about a year now.  The business I am working with did not feel they wanted to invest in their Nortel/Avaya gear to bring it up to do 10Gig networking, so decided on transitioning to Brocade.  So far I have a "Brocade Certified Network Engineer" certification and might try to get a few more certifications in Brocade.

Previously we used a Nortel 8600 core with some 5632's to do limited 10Gig connectivity for some devices.  Edge switches were 5520's with some 5510's for specific systems.  Now we are using Brocade MLXe 4/8's and 16's for core routers and ICX 6610's for edge connectivity where 1Gig Ethernet is needed.  When 10Gig switches are needed, we use Brocade's VDX 6720 units.

We have also put up a wireless network very quickly ( and unfortunately without a site survey ) using a Brocade RFS6000 wireless controller and Brocade Mobility 7131 AP's.  Of course all Brocades wireless gear is just re-badged Motorola equipment.  We have even received shipments of Brocade wireless AP's where they forgot to update them with the Brocade firmware, so they boot up as Motorola AP's.

If anyone has questions about Brocade gear I'll try to help you get them answered.  See you in the forums!


Offline TankII

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Re: Brocade Network
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 11:12:38 AM »
We deployed two TI's per location in our brand-new Data Centers in MRT mode, with two FCX's in RSTP mode @ 10 GIG.
The Vmware Hosts have primary NIC groups on 10 Gig, secondary @ 1 Gig into FCX's.
Our 3Par arrays have four 1 GIG nics (two into each TI) at each site, running replication across the 10 GIG Fibertech managed ring connecting each data center's ring.

The Brocade FC switches are 5320's 48 ports licensed on each.

The legacy Server Farm VLAN extends from the main site via ERS5698 SMLT to a TI, which is extended down through the Fibertech ring to the other two Data Center's rings.

Runs silent, well, get sflow, logs, SNMP, units are secure and stable - just what you need in a Data Center!
Been this way just under two years now.

TankII

Offline Dominik

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Re: Brocade Network
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 02:47:28 PM »
I have worked with network equipment from a lot of diffrent vendors. Brocade is one of the few vendors wich I
havenīt had in my own hands so far.

Can you give a small overview wich are the good and weak points on Brocade switches in your opinion.
And I am also intersted wich are the recommanded network designs that are deployed in a netwrok
that is build up with brocade switches.
Itīs always the networks fault!
networkautobahn.com

Offline Telair

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Re: Brocade Network
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 06:54:11 PM »
The two Brocade switch lines I have worked with so far are the VDX and the ICX lines.

ICX Switches good points:
- Dual power supply and fans option.
- Very quiet with the single fan tray and power supply.
- Cisco-like CLI.
- 48-port PoE+ capable with the dual power supplies installed.
- 8x SFP+ ports for 1 or 10Gig pluggable support.
- Stackable up to 8-units.
- Lifetime limited warranty.

ICX Switches bad points:
- Unstable stacking with random crashes.
- Dynamic PoE power allocation has problems (PoE phones rebooting a lot).
- Frequent code upgrades to address stability issues.
- Licenses required to use 10Gig optics.
- Switching OR routing code has to be chosen to run.


VDX Switches good points:
- Very pretty lights.
- Cut-through switching ( faster switching )
- Can do either front-to-back or back-to-front airflow for cooling.

VDX Switches bad points:
- CLI is unlike other Brocade equipment.
- Cut-through switching ( unable to detect some bad packets ).
- Cannot support 10/100Mb devices.
- Cannot stack units using a backplane connection.  Front-port fabric connection only.
- Requires license to pass FCoE traffic.


ICX switches I would put in wiring closets and not in datacenters due to their stacking issues and backplane limitations.  VDX switches were designed for data centers as top-of-rack units.  But their lack of 10/100Mb support can be a problem when supporting legacy devices/ILO ports.  I dislike the cut-through aspect of them.  Both VDX and ICX switches support LACP for link aggregation and load-balancing.

Offline TankII

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Re: Brocade Network
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 10:46:41 AM »
We are running our TI's in MRP (Ring) mode.  The newer versions of these support MCT (Multi-chassi-trunking) which is similar to SMLT/IST Avaya clustering, or VCT from Cisco.

Stregnths:
TI's are fast, lots of fan/power options, support everything including BGP, have S-Flow support, and have a cisco-ish ACL which makes configuring them very easy.  Has four TX ports in addition to the 24 SFP+ ports.
Weakness - Our models are not stackable.  No 40Gig or FCoE support, but that's why they have the VDX series.  I believe the newer models are stackable.
FCX:  One of the highest backplane speeds available in a 1U 48TX format.  Multiple interface options, stackable (648S), same code-stream as TI so many common commands.  POE version is POE+.  S-Flow support as well.

Both support packet-based rate shaping for Broadcasts and Multicast.  They both support fixed maximum auto-negotiation speeds on the integrated copper ports.  Both have options for reverse -flow fans.  Both come with L2 and L3 code on the same box - Just a licensing issue to deploy BGP.

TankII

Offline sismjw

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Re: Brocade Network
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 10:04:05 AM »
We too have had AP650 and 7131 access points that still have the Motorola images on them. Did you ever find a way to fix them besides an RMA? Also in case anyone is interested a 3.3v TTL adapter works nicely to get a console from a AP650 in case you'd like to troubleshoot.

Offline Telair

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Re: Brocade Network
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 10:09:18 AM »
We tried to RMA a whole shipment of 16 AP's once that came as Motorola.  After 3 weeks of waiting and calling them daily, they admitted they didn't have enough AP's in North America to replace the shipment we got.  So they sent us a firmware file to flash over the Motorola AP's and make them in to Brocade.  It worked and the AP's responded as Brocade after that.  We kept the firmware image around in case we got any more Motorola AP's from Brocade.