SOURCE: Brocade


July 31, 2012 08:00 ET

PayPerCloud™ Revamps Network With Ethernet Fabric and 10 GbE to Meet Growing Demand

Brocade Helps Cloud Hosting Company Increase Orders by 160 Percent After Displacing Incumbent Networking Vendor

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 31, 2012) - (NASDAQ: BRCD) Cloud hosting provider PayPerCloud ran its business on a mix of servers and storage connected with various network switches operating at 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), but the aging infrastructure was unable to scale with its growing business. The company was running out of physical ports and experiencing performance issues. It needed a 10 GbE solution.

After evaluating several solutions, PayPerCloud replaced its infrastructure with a Brocade® Ethernet fabric that includes Brocade VDX® 6720 Switches and Brocade MLX® Series routers. The comprehensive solution from Brocade delivered the performance, scalability and reliability PayPerCloud needed, as well as the design, installation, service and support.

PayPerCloud relies on Brocade VDX 6720 switches for 10 GbE top-of-rack server connectivity. These connect to Brocade MLX-16 routers in a Multi-Chassis Trunking (MCT) configuration, enabling network-level virtualization and enhanced network reliability. A Brocade MLXe-4 chassis resides at the edge of the network and supports connections between servers and storage, as well as 10 GbE Internet connectivity. SAN storage arrays connect to Brocade MLXe-16 chassis to provide storage connectivity to the various environments.

California-based PayPerCloud -- specializing in creating a high-availability, cloud-hosting infrastructure and cloud-enabled applications -- has since launched VaultScape™, an online backup service, based on its new storage capabilities. The Brocade network infrastructure allows PayPerCloud to easily support new customers on the bandwidth-intensive backup service as it continues to grow. PayPerCloud subsequently grew its customer base 81 percent in 2011, and orders are currently up 160 percent for 2012.

PayPerCloud also increased its server-rack density from eight servers per rack to 12, a 50 percent increase, and expects to reduce power consumption by approximately 60 percent. "Now we have half as many cables to manage," said Miles Feinberg, president of PayPerCloud. "And VM management takes a lot less time with Brocade Network Advisor."

The Brocade Automatic Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP) feature ensures that a consistent port profile is applied to all VDX switches in the fabric. Whenever there is a VM motion event, it dynamically configures the switch ports to ensure that VM traffic experiences consistent policies and configurations. PayPerCloud is leveraging AMPP with Brocade Network Advisor, a graphic user interface (GUI) based network management tool, to automate a previously manual process.

This incredible growth was almost upended by the company's aging network. "When we moved to pure hosting services, we discovered our weak points," said Feinberg. "Brocade helped us architect a plan that fulfills our business goals, and service and support have been great."

What Is an Ethernet Fabric?

Compared to classic hierarchical Ethernet, Ethernet fabrics provide higher levels of performance, utilization, availability and simplicity. Moreover, they have the following characteristics:

  • Flatter: Ethernet fabrics are self-aggregating, enabling a flatter network.
  • Intelligent: Switches in the fabric know about each other and all connected devices.
  • Scalable: All paths are available to help ensure high performance and reliability.
  • Efficient: Traffic automatically travels along the shortest path.
  • Simple: The fabric is managed as a single logical entity.

"The interest in Ethernet fabric offerings and customer adoption are all on the rise. Customers want to migrate to an Ethernet fabric with minimal disruption to current operations. An access layer-based approach addresses the pains that drive many to look at fabrics to begin with: the latency and unnecessary load on core switches that is incurred without the risk associated with a 'rip and replace' strategy. The right fabric does not require an entirely new set of skills and training to manage, and solid solutions do exist," said Zeus Kerravala, founder ZK Research.

In the PayPerCloud environment, Brocade 1860 Fabric Adapter cards installed in Dell servers enable 10 GbE connectivity to the Microsoft Hyper-V hosts and security systems, which provide 10 GbE backup performance. Brocade Network Advisor gives PayPerCloud end-to-end visibility through an integrated interface that manages the Brocade devices, the remaining incumbent devices and third-party monitoring tools.

PayPerCloud has noticed significant performance and bandwidth improvements as a result of the network upgrade. "We went from eight- to nine-millisecond latency to the Internet backbone to sub-millisecond latency. Our rack-to-rack latency is in the nanoseconds, whereas before it was three to four milliseconds," said Feinberg.

The Brocade network infrastructure also has enabled increased capacity and scalability. "Our capacity originally was 48 servers per row and 30 VMs per machine, and we were maxed out. Today, the Brocade architecture allows us to support 72 servers per row and 540 possible VMs in a rack. If we need more 10 GbE capacity, we can scale out easily," said Feinberg.

Brocade VDX 6720 switches are among the lowest power consuming top-of-rack switches on the market.

Additional Assets:

Case study: Hosting Company Finds Success in the Cloud with Brocade  

Tags: PayPerCloud, Ethernet Fabric, Brocade, VDX, MLX, Brocade Network Advisor

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

Brocade, Brocade Assurance, the B-wing symbol, DCX, Fabric OS, MLX, SAN Health, VCS, and VDX are registered trademarks, and AnyIO, Brocade One, CloudPlex, Effortless Networking, ICX, NET Health, OpenScript, and The Effortless Network are trademarks of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. Other brands, products, or service names mentioned may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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