SOURCE: Brocade


January 18, 2012 08:30 ET

Institute of Directors (IoD) Accelerates Virtualization Strategy and Meets Member Demand With Brocade 10 GbE Routing Solution

IoD to Provision Next-Generation Business Tools and Reduce Server Footprint Through 10 Gigabit Ethernet-Based Network

LONDON--(Marketwire - Jan 18, 2012) - The Institute of Directors (IoD), the longest standing membership organization for business leaders, has turned to Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) to increase its network performance and reliability, and lay the foundation for an enterprise-wide virtualization strategy. With data volumes having doubled three times in the last five years and with plans to roll out bandwidth-hungry services, such as online training and video streaming, the IoD needed to upgrade its legacy network to deliver 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) performance and a blueprint for future growth.

The IoD provides support and services to over 40,000 business leaders, who are some of the most skilled and experienced leaders in the country, representing the full business spectrum -- from start-up entrepreneurs to directors in the public sector and CEOs of multinational organisations. Members of the IoD have access to a variety of services including director level training, networking events across the UK, and free legal and tax advice.

Doug Radford, IT Infrastructure Manager at the IoD, said, "Over the past couple of years we have seen data traffic volumes increase dramatically, which has placed a huge strain on the network and meant that we were challenged in maintaining service quality. Our legacy architecture [based on older Brocade switches] had been enhanced, but we knew a more fundamental change was required to ensure we could keep pace with member demand. Finding a network solution that provided the bandwidth, resilience and scalability, plus long-term total cost of ownership savings, was absolutely key. Migrating to the Brocade® FastIron® SX Series switches has ensured we can continue to deliver high-quality services and support, while maintaining our mandate on delivering ROI through cost-efficiency."

The IoD selected Brocade FastIron SX Series Switches as the foundation of its resilient 10 GbE solution, which was delivered through local partner, Tatra Systems Ltd. The switches provide industry-leading price/performance value in a campus aggregation and core solution that offers a scalable, secure, low-latency and fault-tolerant IP service infrastructure for 10 GbE enterprise deployments. As a result, the switches provide a more scalable foundation that enables increased operational efficiency and is more capable of adapting to changing business opportunities today and into the future.

Radford continued, "Brocade's heritage in networking and its reputation for quality and reliability made our selection process considerably easier. Over a three-weekend period, we successfully migrated to Brocade's latest 10 GbE technology to give the IoD a platform to build on for the next decade. We were able to leverage existing switch configurations, which made the migration seamless, and the greater bandwidth and resilience delivered by the Brocade FastIron SX switches supports our vision for the future, delivering dynamic services such as increased video streaming for online training and seminars and the ability to greatly improve our online presence."

The new Brocade network means the IoD can proceed with its virtualization plans, as part of its efforts to reduce its server estate, which requires a low-latency network. The IoD currently has 50 servers and the resizing exercise is now underway. As part of this program, legacy applications will be moved onto a more flexible platform to support increases in demand, and its membership management system will also be moved onto a virtualized platform to provide better resilience and failover capabilities. Desktop virtualization is also being investigated as a way to offer IT staff greater flexibility and a more available IT environment.

"The enhanced infrastructure has removed performance bottlenecks between servers, and has improved backup times; it now takes seven to eight hours to fully back up versus 12 hours on the old system; whilst also providing a platform for virtualization. I have been delighted by the rollout and the excellent support provided by local partner, Tatra Systems. Brocade has once again provided a platform that the IoD can build upon over the coming years," said Radford.

Marcus Jewell, country manager UK/Ireland at Brocade, stated, "What we have seen at the IoD is a company that has always looked to the future. It proactively made the decision to migrate to Brocade's next generation of switches to ensure that it could scale with demand, and the Brocade FastIron SX Series switches have enabled the firm to confidently build a business plan around dynamic service delivery and virtualization, knowing that the network needed to support this is in now place."

About Brocade 10 and 100 GbE Routing Solutions
Leading-edge services such as HD video streaming, cloud services and mobile broadband have significantly altered network traffic behavior. Instead of localized flows with occasional bursts, traffic flows are more collaborative over geographical distances and they last longer. These new traffic patterns consume enormous amounts of network capacity and add a greater degree of complexity to network operations. Brocade 10 and 100 GbE routing solutions deliver scalability, performance, operational simplicity and cost-effectiveness to not only solve these challenges, but also help customers seize this opportunity and generate more business.

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About Brocade
Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking solutions help the world's leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (

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