SOURCE: Brocade


May 03, 2011 12:00 ET

Brocade Ethernet Fabric Helps Leading Media Group Pave Way for Virtual Data Center

De Persgroep Reaps Benefits of Brocade VDX 6720 Data Center Switches by Improving Network Utilization and Performance, While Laying the Foundation for Migration to Clouds

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - May 3, 2011) - Despite predictions that the number of Internet users will exceed two billion this year, more than 1.6 billion people globally still read a hardcopy newspaper each day, and publishing houses must ensure that they can cope with continued demand while leveraging their revenue opportunities, expected to be worth $120 billion per year. In an effort to take advantage of these opportunities, Brussels-based media group, De Persgroep, has turned to Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) to deploy Europe's first Ethernet fabric switching solution so it can continue to deliver hard-hitting news to its 9.4 million daily readers and online visitors.

The new Brocade® network infrastructure will also help De Persgroep manage out-of-control data growth. Since 2007, De Persgroep's operations have grown exponentially and, today, the network supports more than 1,000 servers, 3,500 users and 325 terabytes of data -- a 650 percent increase in data traffic in just four years.

As the global leader in data center fabric innovation and deployment, Brocade leads the industry in delivering Ethernet fabrics. Leveraging Brocade VCS™ technology, Brocade VDX™ 6720 Data Center Switches provide the foundation for data center Ethernet fabrics -- revolutionizing the design of Layer 2 networks and providing an intelligent base for cloud-optimized networking. The Brocade VDX 6720 is designed to improve network utilization, maximize application availability, increase scalability and dramatically simplify network architectures in highly virtualized data centers.

With a roster of 15 printed media -- ranging from daily newspapers such as Volkskrant and De Tijd, and magazines including Joepie and Dag Allemaal -- and over 20 market-leading news sites, De Persgroep faces a monumental challenge each day in terms of processing editorial content, images and advertising copy, while ensuring that print production is executed on time. In addition to supporting these mission-critical applications, the network must also provide the backbone for ancillary departments such as customer service and subscriptions, which means that the smallest network disruption can impact a wide range of functions.

"Over the years, we have seen our print-media business perform well, but that has placed pressure on the network. Journalists have to write and file copy from wherever they may be, which means that application availability and performance are paramount. If content cannot get through, we lose business. So the network is the heart and lungs of our operation," said Wim Vanhoof, ICT Infrastructure Manager at De Persgroep.

The company's previous network was starting to limit productivity. Throughput bottlenecks meant that backup schedules would fail, and overall switch performance and stability was no longer acceptable. Following a competitive tender, De Persgroep selected the Brocade VDX 6720 as the foundation of an Ethernet fabric solution.

A total of 72 Brocade VDX 6720 switches were deployed across the fabric-based architecture, creating a single logical chassis with a single distributed control plane across multiple racks of servers. This design has provided compelling reductions in capital and operating costs, while simplifying virtual machine (VM) migration. The deployment is already delivering the desired performance and resilience for De Persgroep.

"Selecting Brocade was an easy decision. Having standardized on Brocade DCX® and DCX-4S backbones in the data center for many years, we knew that Brocade offered class-leading performance. In its Ethernet fabric solution we didn't find a class-leading solution, but a total revelation. In just a short period of time we have noticed a marked improvement in network performance. Backup failures have disappeared and the fabric architecture has increased utilization and reliability, while simplifying management by an order of magnitude. In addition, as we look to accelerate our virtualization strategy, this approach provides virtual machines a greater sphere of mobility and gives us a blueprint for future growth," added Vanhoof.

Alberto Soto, Vice President EMEA at Brocade, commented: "Through our Ethernet fabric solutions, we are delivering a platform that is unparalleled in today's market. For De Persgroep, the imperative was to provide scalability and flexibility so that it had the opportunity to grow in whichever direction proved most valuable to it as a business. By enabling the virtualized data center and providing a platform for cloud migration, Ethernet fabrics help ensure 'always-on' availability and simplified network management, which in turn increases end-user productivity while reducing operational costs. Thanks to the Brocade VDX 6720, De Persgroep is now able to face the challenges of the constantly evolving market, safe in the knowledge that it has an environment that is built for the future."

The Brocade VDX 6720 Data Center Switches, a family of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)-capable devices, are available in one- or two-rack-unit (1U or 2U) form factors and provide the ability to scale from 16 to 60 ports with pay-as-you-grow Ports on Demand (PoD) licensing. The switches provide full 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) wire-speed performance from any port to any port, with latency of 600 nanoseconds (ns). The switches are based on low-latency, lossless, 10 Gbps Data Center Bridging (DCB) technology and are capable of running all types of data and storage traffic -- including traditional IP, iSCSI, CIFS, NFS and multi-hop Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). The Brocade VDX 6720 switches protect existing investments by supporting a wide range of server, hypervisor and storage choices, and by seamlessly interfacing with existing network infrastructures.

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