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Brocade Appliance Brings Greater Visibility to IT Infrastructure

The Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform measures the performance of network-connected systems as well as the traffic that travels between them.

network monitoring

Brocade officials want to make it easier for organizations to monitor not only network-connected devices in their data centers but also the traffic that runs between the systems.

The company is rolling out the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform, a storage network appliance that is designed to sniff out problems within the network that can cause performance and availability issues and to track performance history and trends within the network and the connected devices.

The appliance can analyze 20,000 data flows and millions of IOPS (input/output operations per second) on a single system, enabling it to collect huge amounts of data from across the network, according to officials. The appliance is a 2U (3.5-inch), 24-port system that runs Brocade's Fabric OS and is designed to work on the company's fifth-generation 16GB Fibre Channel network. It gathers data from storage and host ports, then figures out I/O performance metrics about data flows between servers and storage systems, measuring latency for the connected devices within the storage-area network (SAN) fabric and the time it takes for data to run through the network.

"Analytics deliver actionable intelligence to administrators, enabling them to proactively resolve problems in order to maximize performance across the data center," Marc Angelinovich, product marketing manager for data center SAN at Brocade, wrote in a post on the company blog. "The Analytics Monitoring Platform utilizes Brocade Fabric Vision technology to non-invasively and non-disruptively provide insight into performance and analytics data collection, thereby dramatically reducing troubleshooting time."

The appliance is designed to give IT administrators an alternative to more complex offerings currently on the market, according to officials. Too often, IT professionals who want to measure the performance of their infrastructures had to choose either manual methods or expensive automated offerings that are complicated and require that the network be taken down while they're being installed. Both are poor choices at a time when the need for 100 percent network availability is growing, they said.

"To meet the demand of application and data growth, enterprises are deploying virtualized and cloud environments with the tradeoffs of increased costs, complexity, and potential downtime," Jack Rondoni, vice president of storage networking at Brocade, said in a statement, adding that the appliance "not only provides end-to-end visibility that was not available previously, but it also improves the ROI [return on investment] for storage infrastructures by providing in-depth, fabric-wide metrics."