SOURCE: Brocade


September 27, 2011 08:30 ET

Cold War Facility Provides the Security; Brocade Provides the Path to IPv6

Brocade MLX Series Routers Deliver 10 Gigabit Ethernet Performance and "Dual Stack" Capabilities to Help The Bunker Make a Seamless Migration From IPv4 to IPv6

LONDON--(Marketwire - Sep 27, 2011) - Customers who have hosted their data centre facilities at The Bunker are set to benefit from a major network upgrade to its existing Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) environment. The evolution of The Bunker's Brocade® MLX™ Series routers is designed to provide future-proofing for clients during the IPv4 to IPv6 transition, deliver 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) performance and enable the company to stay ahead of increasingly bandwidth-intense applications, such as high-definition streaming media.

The Bunker provides military grade hosting within nuclear bunkers in Kent (located in an ex-Ministry of Defence facility, 30 meters below the surface and insulated with three metres of concrete) and Berkshire (located at the former United States Air Force base at Greenham Common). Both locations are among the most secure data centres in the United Kingdom, providing a wide range of ultra-secure managed hosting, cloud computing, co-location and IT outsourcing services to its clients. The company notes that London is "one of the highest-risk cities in the world" and, without the proper safeguards, represents "a huge single point of failure to the availability of the UK Internet and all those that rely upon it." The Bunker's secure facilities outside the M25 area -- yet close to the capital -- addresses this vulnerability.

With approximately 200 clients in a variety of sectors ranging from financial services (75 percent of its clients), to Software as a Service (SaaS) providers as well as security firms and Web developers, The Bunker prides itself on offering a full suite of network services, including Boarder Gateway Protocol (BGP), backhaul, IP transit, load balancing, managed firewalls and other network security services -- all currently based on the Brocade MLX Series router platform.

Mark Hemsley, Head of Core Network and Solutions for The Bunker, commented regarding the need to upgrade the network: "The increase in bandwidth requirements caused by live streaming, HD content and mobile working applications (bandwidth-greedy applications) shows no sign of slowing down and has led to networks becoming clogged up with data. We have noticed this growing demand with many of our customers and, as such, it became necessary to upgrade our network if we were to maintain the high standards we have set over the last seven years. In addition, there is the issue of IPv6 transition looming large on the horizon. Companies should seriously consider the migration to IPv6. An architecture that allows them to start integrating IPv6 with their existing IPv4 systems is pivotal to their, and our, success. And with the majority of our clients based in the financial sector, the demand for reliability and minimum network downtime during this transition is paramount."

With the increasing popularity of rich, bandwidth-intensive applications, The Bunker decided to upgrade its existing Brocade MLX routing platform to 10 GbE capacity in order to provide the scalability needed for expansion and to meet the demands of IPv6 adoption.

With four operational Points of Presence (PoPs) -- sites in Sandwich and Newbury as well as two London-based locations at Telehouse and Level 3 -- providing peering and Internet connectivity, multiple Brocade MLX routers have been deployed at each site for resilience alongside Brocade FastIron® Series switches for local customer connectivity.

Of the decision to evolve the company's existing Brocade networking infrastructure, Hemsley said: "As a long-time proponent of Brocade technology, we had already been using the Brocade MLX Series routing platform to great effect for several years. Leveraging our existing architectural investment, we were able to scale our environment to cope with the IPv6 licensing renewal without huge financial outlays being made. A further motivation for the upgrade was the fact that, by running the platform in 'dual stack' mode, we could migrate between IPv4 and IPv6 effectively at the flick of a switch."

Helmsley continued: "The Bunker now also offers cloud solutions to our customers [services started in 2010] and, while the upgrade was not driven by this, the Brocade solution is important in reliably underpinning this service given it provides IP transit connectivity. As a result of this upgrade, I am confident that we are in the best possible place to meet the challenges posed by bandwidth-intensive applications and the IPv6 transition. As the history of the location suggests, we pride ourselves in delivering reliability and security to all our clients. Thanks to Brocade we can continue to do this."

Marcus Jewell, Country Manager, UK and Ireland at Brocade, said: "With the Brocade MLX Series router upgrade, we are delivering a network infrastructure that can cope with spikes and surges in bandwidth, as well as provide the ability to jump between IPv4 and IPv6 when needed. As its location and client base (predominantly from the financial sector) would suggest, the imperative for The Bunker is to provide reliability and security so that it can manage the increasing demands for bandwidth and the impending IPv6 transition. Thanks to our networking solutions, it now has a network infrastructure that will enable it to meet both challenges."

The Brocade MLX Series routers deliver unprecedented scale and performance, high levels of reliability and cost-saving operational efficiency for the most demanding service provider and enterprise networks. Brocade MLX Series routers feature industry-leading 100 GbE, 10 GbE and 1 GbE wire-speed density along with rich IPv4, IPv6, Multi-VRF, MPLS and Carrier Ethernet capabilities without compromising performance. By leveraging the Brocade MLX Series, mission-critical data centres can support more traffic, achieve greater virtualisation and provide cloud services using less infrastructure.


  • Ray Welsh, Head of Marketing at The Bunker, on why Brocade delivered the ideal solution to meet its needs, and those of its customers:

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