Call a Specialist Today! 844-294-0783

Brocade 300 SAN Switch
24-Port 8 Gbps Fibre Channel SAN Switch


Brocade 300 SAN Switch

Brocade Products
Brocade 300 SAN Switches
Brocade 300 24-Port 8 Gbps Fibre Channel SAN Switch with Full Fabric
#BR-360-0008-A
Contact us for pricing!

Click here to jump to more pricing!

Overview:

The Brocade 300 SAN Switch provides an affordable, flexible foundation for entry-level SANs, and an edge switch for core-to-edge SAN environments. Delivers up to 24 ports of 8 Gbps performance in an energy-efficient, optimized 1U form factor to support the most demanding server and virtual server deployments.

Small SAN Affordability with Growth Capabilities

As the value and volume of business data continue to rise, organizations need technology solutions that are easy to implement and manage, and that can grow and change with minimal disruption. The Brocade 300 Switch provides small to medium-sized enterprises with SAN connectivity that simplifies their IT management infrastructures, improves system performance, maximizes the value of virtual server deployments, and reduces overall storage costs.

The 8 Gbps Fibre Channel Brocade 300 provides a simple, affordable, single-switch solution for both new and existing SANs. To simplify deployment, the Brocade 300 features the EZSwitchSetup wizard and other usability and configuration enhancements, as well as the optional Brocade Access Gateway mode of operation. Moreover, it provides state-of-the-art performance and Ports On Demand scalability to support SAN expansion and enable long-term investment protection.

Highlights

  • Provides an affordable, flexible foundation for entry-level SANs, and an edge switch for core-to-edge SAN environments
  • Delivers up to 24 ports of 8 Gbps performance in an energy-efficient, optimized 1U form factor to support the most demanding server and virtual server deployments
  • Simplifies configuration and management with easy-to-use tools such as the Brocade EZSwitchSetup wizard, and is Microsoft Simple SAN-compatible
  • Enables "pay-as-you-grow" expansion with Ports On Demand scalability from 8 to 16 or 24 ports in 8-port increments
  • Offers dual functionality as either a full-fabric SAN switch or as an NPIV-enabled Brocade Access Gateway that simplifies server connectivity in heterogeneous enterprise fabrics
  • Protects existing device investments with auto-sensing 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps capabilities and native operation with Brocade and Brocade M-Series fabrics
  • Future-proofs investments by enabling organizations to use 4 Gbps SFPs today and upgrade to 8 Gbps SFPs when required

Simple, Flexible, and Scalable

  • Scale easily from 8 to 24 ports with Ports-on-Demand (PoD)
  • Operate seamlessly with existing Brocade switches through E_Port connectivity
  • Manage multi-switch environments easily with Brocade Network Advisor

High-Performance Fibre Channel

  • Give applications fast storage access with an optimized 8 Gbps Fibre Channel network
  • Enable efficient resource management and LAN-free backup with SAN-based architecture
  • Support 192 Gbps of uncongested throughput high-performance data transfers

Build Your Entry-Level SAN on the Right Foundation

As the volume and value of your business data increase, a rapid-to-deploy, highly efficient, and easily managed SAN is a must-have. The Brocade 300 Switch offers SAN connectivity that simplifies network infrastructure, boosts system performance, maximizes virtual server deployments — and reduces storage costs.

Scale Up, Pay As You Grow

Scale Up, Pay As You Grow

Smart hardware and software features make the Brocade 300 Switch easy to integrate into a wide range of IT environments. With ports on demand, your organization can expand without hassles—paying for extra capacity only when you need it.

Build at the Core or the Edge

Build at the Core or the Edge

Build the storage network you need. The Brocade 300 Switch is the right choice whether you’re provisioning an entry-level SAN or adding an edge switch to a core-to-edge SAN environment.

Simplify Management With the Right Tools

Simplify Management With the Right Tools

With super-simple setup and comprehensive fabric management for multi-switch environments, the Brocade 300 Switch makes network management far easier. The bottom line? You spend less time and money on routine tasks and use your expensive IT resources far more efficiently.

Features:

Increased Efficiency to Manage Business Growth

The Brocade 300 significantly increases performance and functionality for SANs at an entry-level price. Based on sixth-generation Brocade technology, the Brocade 300 combines auto-sensing 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps throughput with features that greatly enhance fabric operation. The evolutionary design provides these capabilities while consuming less than 2.5 watts of power per port for exceptional power and cooling efficiency.

As a result, organizations can enjoy the advantages of low-cost device connectivity and powerful capabilities that make SAN technology highly accessible and affordable. In addition, hot code load and activation help maximize application uptime with faster system software upgrades and maintenance to reduce the dependency on scheduled outages.

Pay-As-You-Grow Scalability

The Brocade 300 integrates innovative hardware and software features that make it easy to deploy, manage, and integrate into a wide range of IT environments. With powerful yet flexible capabilities—such as Ports On Demand scalability from 8 to 16 or 24 ports in 8-port increments—the Brocade 300 enables organizations to start small and grow their storage networks in a non-disruptive manner. In addition, organizations can initially deploy 4 Gbps SFPs and upgrade to 8 Gbps SFP+ when necessary.

Backward and Forward Compatibility

The Brocade 300 operates seamlessly with existing Brocade switches through native E_Port connectivity into Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) or M-Enterprise OS (M-EOS)* environments. In addition, the Brocade 300 can enable future expansion to larger core-to-edge network architectures as business needs dictate.

To facilitate deployment, the Brocade 300 integrates easily into heterogeneous server environments such as Windows, UNIX, Linux, Solaris, and AIX, as well as virtual server environments. As a result, these capabilities make it ideal for SAN solutions such as virtual server deployment, LAN-free backup, and server and storage consolidation.

A Better Way to Improve Business Operations

One of the primary benefits of a SAN environment is the consolidation of hardware resources. This centralized approach helps increase operational efficiency and staff productivity, two critical requirements for small and medium-sized organizations. With fewer physical resources to manage, staff members can handle additional business growth or focus on other strategic initiatives.

High-performance 8 Gbps Fibre Channel capabilities speed data transfer to help keep data flowing and applications running. As a result, organizations can significantly improve storage utilization in distributed e-mail environments, for example. In addition, a SAN-based architecture enables LAN-free backup and more efficient data center resource management—increasing overall system performance and productivity (see Figure 1).

Superior Network Performance

The Brocade 300 provides high performance with all ports capable of operating at 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps to enable up to 192 Gbps of uncongested throughput. Auto-sensing and speed-matching of data traffic provides interoperability with previous 1, 2, and 4 Gbps devices. To provide more targeted performance, enhanced Brocade Inter-Switch Link (ISL) Trunking combines up to eight ISLs between a pair of switches into a single, logical high-speed trunk capable of up to 64 Gbps of throughput.

Simplified Management

Brocade 300 setup and configuration is simplified with the Brocade EZSwitchSetup wizard, which makes switch configuration, deployment, and management an easy 3-step point-and-click process. For multiswitch environments, Brocade Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM™) Professional streamlines management and provides fabric-wide monitoring. The Brocade 300, which is Microsoft Simple SAN-compatible, also has a USB port that increases serviceability and error logging by facilitating firmware upgrades and downloads of system log files.

Traffic Measurement and Adaptive Networking

The Brocade 300 offers Bottleneck Detection, Top Talkers (part of Brocade Advanced Performance Monitoring) and Adaptive Networking, a suite of tools including Ingress Rate Limiting, Traffic Isolation, and Quality of Service (QoS). These advanced capabilities help optimize fabric behavior and ensure ample bandwidth for mission-critical applications.

Bottleneck Detection identifies and alerts administrators to "slow drain" storage devices causing latency and I/O timeouts, particularly in highly virtualized server environments. Top Talkers measures the top bandwidth-consuming traffic (including by individual virtual machine) in real time over a physical device connection or throughout a network switch. Ingress Rate Limiting restricts data flow from less-critical hosts at preset bandwidths. Traffic Isolation dedicates paths in the fabric to high-bandwidth data flows. And QoS expedites critical traffic in the event of congestion while keeping all traffic flowing.

Brocade Access Gateway Mode

The Brocade 300 can be deployed as a full-fabric switch or as a Brocade Access Gateway, which simplifies server connectivity into heterogeneous SANs (the default mode setting is a switch). Access Gateway mode utilizes N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) switch standards to present physical and virtual servers directly to the core of SAN fabrics. This makes it transparent to the SAN fabric, greatly reducing management of the network edge. The Brocade 300 in Access Gateway mode can connect servers to NPIV-enabled Brocade B-Series, M-Series, or other SAN fabrics.

Organizations can easily enable Access Gateway mode via Brocade DCFM, Brocade Web Tools, or a command line interface. Key benefits of Access Gateway mode include:

  • Improved scalability for large or rapidly growing server and virtual server environments
  • Reduced management of the network edge since Access Gateway does not have a domain identity and appears transparent to the core fabric
  • Support for heterogeneous SAN configurations without reduced functionality for server connectivity

Note: Access Gateway mode for the Brocade 300 is supported only in 24-port configurations.

* Brocade M-EOS fabrics are McDATA switches and directors running McDATA Enterprise OS in McDATA Fabric mode or McDATA Open Fabric mode.

Deployment:

Before SAN Deployment
After SAN Deployment

Figure 1. A Brocade SAN-based consolidation solution can significantly improve data availability and resource utilization.

Specifications:


Front View
Front View
Rear View
Rear View

  300 SAN Switch Specifications
System Architecture
Fibre Channel ports
  • Switch mode (default): 8-, 16-, and 24-port configurations (8-port increments through Ports On Demand licenses); universal (E, F, M, FL) ports
  • Access Gateway Default Port Mapping: 16 F_Ports, 8 N_Ports
Scalability Full fabric architecture with 239 switches maximum
Certified maximum
  • Single Brocade FOS fabric: 56 domains, 19 hops
  • Single Brocade M-Enterprise OS (M-EOS) fabric: 31 domains, 3 hops
  • Larger fabrics certified as required; consult Brocade or OEM SAN design documents for configuration details
Performance 1.063 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 2.125 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 4.25 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 8.5 Gbps line speed, full duplex; auto-sensing of 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps port speeds; optionally programmable to fixed port speed; speed matching between 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps ports
ISL Trunking
  • Frame-based trunking with up to eight 8 Gbps ports per ISL trunk with optional license; up to 64 Gbps per ISL trunk (8 ports X 8 Gbps [data rate])
  • Exchange-based load balancing across ISLs with DPS included in Fabric OS
Aggregate bandwidth 192 Gbps: 24 ports X 8 Gbps (data rate)
Maximum fabric latency 700 ns with no contention, cut-through routing at 8 Gbps
Maximum frame size 2112-byte payload
Frame buffers 700 dynamically allocated, 484 maximum per port
Classes of service Class 2, Class 3, Class F (inter-switch frames)
Port types
  • FL_Port, F_Port, M_Port (Mirror Port), and E_Port; self-discovery based on switch type (U_Port); optional port type control
  • Brocade Access Gateway mode: F_Port and NPIV-enabled N_Port
Data traffic types Fabric switches supporting unicast, multicast (255 groups) and broadcast
Media types
  • 8 Gbps: Requires Brocade hot-pluggable SFP+, LC connector; 8 Gbps Short-Wavelength Laser (SWL); 8 Gbps Long-Wavelength Laser (LWL); distance depends on fiber-optic cable and port speed
  • 4 Gbps: Requires Brocade hot-pluggable, Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP), LC connector; 4 Gbps Short-Wavelength Laser (SWL); 4 Gbps Long-Wavelength Laser (LWL); 4 Gbps Extended Long-Wavelength Laser (ELWL); distance depends on fiber-optic cable and port speed
USB 1 USB port for firmware download, support save, and configuration upload/download
Fabric services Advanced Performance Monitoring (including Top Talkers); Adaptive Networking (Ingress Rate Limiting, Traffic Isolation, QoS); BB credit recovery; Brocade Advanced Zoning (default zoning, port/WWN zoning, broadcast zoning); Bottleneck Detection; Dynamic Path Selection (DPS); F_Port Trunking; Extended Fabrics; Fabric Watch; FDMI; Frame Redirection; FSPF; IPoFC; ISL Trunking; Management Server; NPIV; NTP v3; Port Fencing; Registered State Change Notification (RSCN); Reliable Commit Service (RCS); Simple Name Server (SNS)
Options Rack-mount rail kits (fixed, slide, mid-mount)
Management
Supported management software HTTP, SNMP v1/v3 (FE MIB, FC Management MIB), Telnet; Auditing, Change Management tracking, Syslog; Brocade Advanced Web Tools, Brocade Fabric Watch; EZSwitchSetup wizard, Brocade Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM), Brocade Fabric Manager (optional, FOS environments only), Brocade EFCM 9.x (optional), command line interface; SMI-S compliant; Administrative Domains; trial licenses for add-on capabilities
Security DH-CHAP (between switches and end devices), HTTPS, IPsec, IP Filtering, LDAP, Port Binding, RADIUS, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Secure Copy (SCP), Secure RPC, SSH v2, SSL, Switch Binding, Trusted Switch
Management access 10/100 Ethernet (RJ-45), in-band over Fibre Channel; serial port (RJ-45); USB; call-home integration enabled through Brocade EFCM and Brocade Fabric Manager
Diagnostics POST and embedded online/offline diagnostics, including RAStrace logging, environmental monitoring, non-disruptive daemon restart, FCping and Pathinfo (FC traceroute), port mirroring (SPAN port)
Mechanical
Enclosure Non-port to port side airflow; 1U, 19-inch EIA-compliant, power from port side
Size Width: 42.88 cm (16.88 in)
Height: 4.29 cm (1.69 in)
Depth: 30.66 cm (12.07 in)
System weight 4.2 kg (9.30 lbs), without SFP/SFP+ media
Environmental
Temperature Operating: 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Non-operating and storage: -25°C to 70°C (-13°F to 158°F)
Humidity Operating: 10% to 85% non-condensing
Non-operating and storage: 10% to 95% non-condensing
Altitude Operating: Up to 3000 meters (9842 feet)
Non-operating and Storage: Up to 12 km (39,370 feet)
Shock Operating: 20 g, 6 ms half-sine
Non-operating and storage: Half sine, 33 g 11 ms, 3/eg Axis
Vibration Operating: 0.5 g sine, 0.4 grms random, 5 to 500 Hz
Non-operating and storage: 2.0 g sine, 1.1 grms random, 5 to 500 Hz
Heat dissipation Maximum 24 ports: 195 BTU/hr
CO2 emissions 210 kg per year (with 16 ports at 0.42 kg/kWh)
1.09 kg per Gbps per year
Airflow Maximum 23 C FM (cu. ft./min.); nominal 18 C FM
Power
Power supply Single, fixed power supply
Power inlet C13
Input voltage 85 to 264 VAC nominal
Frequency 47 to 63 Hz
Power consumption Nominal 48 watts; maximum 57 watts with 24 ports at 8 Gbps

Frequently Asked Questions:

Brocade provides the industry's leading family of Storage Area Network (SAN) switches, including the Brocade 300 Switch, the Brocade 5100 Switch, the Brocade 5300 Switch, and the new Brocade VA-40FC Switch. These high-performance, highly reliable Fibre Channel switches address a wide range of business requirements for small shared storage environments all the way up to the most demanding enterprise data centers.

What does the Brocade switch family consist of and what are the new capabilities?

The new family includes the 8- to 24-port Brocade 300 (1U, Fibre Channel only), the 24- port to 40-port Brocade 5100 (1U, Fibre Channel and FICON®), the 48- to 80-port Brocade 5300 (2U, Fibre Channel and FICON), and the 40-port Brocade VA-40FC (1U, Fibre Channel). These new switches provide:

  • Industry-leading performance: The switches utilize sixth-generation ASICs to deliver highly robust, 8 Gbps network performance. All switches can drive all ports at full 8 Gbps speed without over-subscription—providing 2.5 times more performance than previous switch models. All ports support 4 Gbps or 8 Gbps SFPs and will autonegotiate 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps connections.
  • Greater scalability: The switches provide a 25 to 50 percent increase in port density, enabling more servers to share storage without adding SAN hardware. All switches feature Ports On Demand capabilities to provide a lower entry cost with the flexibility to scale upward by simply upgrading the switch license.
  • Industry-leading energy efficiency: The switches further reduce power consumption (less than one-half watt per Gbps), cooling needs, and carbon emissions—and, like Brocade directors and backbone-class products, lead all competitive offerings.
  • Performance monitoring and Adaptive Networking: Performance monitoring and Adaptive Networking services are suites of tools for optimizing fabric behavior and ensuring ample bandwidth for mission-critical applications. These tools include:
    • Quality of Service (QoS): Allocates bandwidth in the event of congestion to expedite high-priority traffic and keep all traffic flowing. Organizations use existing zoning to easily assign traffic flows a high, medium (default), or low priority. If congestion occurs, high-priority zones automatically are assigned 60 percent of the available bandwidth, medium 30 percent, and low 10 percent.
    • Ingress Rate Limiting: Restricts data flow from less-critical hosts at preset bandwidths. This is useful for tiered levels of service, and it prevents lowpriority and unpredictable applications from impacting network SLAs during SAN consolidation and/or the addition of physical and virtual servers.
    • Traffic Isolation: Assigns high-bandwidth data flows to specific Inter-Switch Links (ISLs). This prevents high-bandwidth traffic from causing congestion and impacting critical application performance. For example, backup applications often require high bandwidth, and assigning them to dedicated paths with Traffic Isolation improves fabric utilization. Traffic Isolation is also supported with Fibre Channel Routing to isolate traffic routing between fabrics.
    • Top Talkers: Measures the top bandwidth-consuming traffic in real time for a specific physical or virtual device, or end to end across the fabric.

Top Talkers is available through the Advanced Performance Monitoring license. QoS and Ingress Rate Limiting are available through the Adaptive Networking license.

Why would someone choose Brocade 8 Gbps switches over 4 Gbps switches?

The key advantages are performance, scalability, Adaptive Networking capabilities, investment protection, ease of use, interoperability, and energy efficiency. Deploying 8 Gbps performance along with intelligent management features can provide an extra generation's worth of use from a storage network.

Are Brocade SFPs required for the 8 Gbps switches?

Yes. The Brocade 300, Brocade 5100, Brocade 5300, and Brocade VA-40FC switches require Brocade-branded SFPs.

Does Brocade offer a choice of SFPs?

Yes, the Brocade 300, Brocade 5100, Brocade 5300, and Brocade VA-40FC switches can use 4 Gbps or 8 Gbps SFPs. Organizations can purchase these switches with 4 Gbps SFPs today, and upgrade to 8 Gbps SFPs when they are ready. Note: The Brocade VA-40FC is delivered with 8 Gbps SFPs.

Does Adaptive Networking require a license?

Yes, with the exception of Traffic Isolation.

What resources are available to learn more about Adaptive Networking?

Brocade explains the Brocade data center architecture and the importance of Adaptive Networking in the Technical Briefs section located at www.brocade.com/resources.

How do the sixth-generation ASICs compare to previous generations?

The latest-generation Brocade ASICs provide 8 Gbps transfer rates, increased port density, greater bandwidth, and virtual channel technology supporting Adaptive Networking. They also integrate Fibre Channel Routing, enable switching resources to sustain performance up to 3400 kilometers for disaster recovery, and improve scalability for large-scale server environments through Access Gateway F_Port Trunking.

Do the new Brocade 300, Brocade 5100, and Brocade 5300 switches replace the Brocade 200E, Brocade 5000, and Brocade 4900?

Yes. As with all Brocade products, however, the new Brocade 300, Brocade 5100, and Brocade 5300 switches are backward-compatible with earlier Brocade switches, directors, and backbone-class products to protect existing investments.

Can the new switches connect to classic McDATA fabrics?

Yes, in both native and open mode. The new switches connect natively and nondisruptively to McDATA switches and directors—the new switches behave as M-Series devices in M-Series fabrics—and work with common management tools such as Brocade EFCM. As a result, organizations can protect and leverage their M-Series investments.

Who is the target market and what are the expectations for 8 Gbps switch adoption?

An immediate use case is 8 Gbps ISLs to replace 4 Gbps ISLs. This frees up ports for server and storage connections while doubling the bandwidth between switch connections for greater scalability.

Brocade also anticipates fast adoption rates in growing virtual server environments. As organizations continue to capitalize on the cost savings of virtualization by adding more virtual machines per host (20, 30, or 40) and by running tier-1 applications, they will eventually reach 4 Gbps capacity and incur over-subscription. 8 Gbps speed removes bandwidth constraints, allowing larger high-performance virtual deployments. System z environments and high-bandwidth applications such as backup are also driving demand for 8 Gbps speed. By delivering 8 Gbps performance across switch, director, and backbone-class products, Brocade provides a capability in the fabric to accelerate market development of 8 Gbps HBAs, RAID systems, and tape devices.

What role do 8 Gbps switches play in the Brocade data center architecture?

They provide building blocks for this architecture, incorporating advanced features for end-to-end performance, availability, extension, monitoring, and reporting. For organizations that are building smaller SANs, fewer highly reliable switches means lower capital and management costs. For organizations expanding the server edge in large data centers, higher server density requires more switch ports and greater speed per port. Access Gateway further simplifies fabric configuration and increases scalability.

Why not just wait for 10 Gigabit Ethernet?

10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is typically not viewed as a reliable approach for storage device connectivity, which will remain Fibre Channel for some time. A new class of Ethernet called Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) is required for reliable support of storage traffic. Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) enables the Fibre Channel protocol to run on CEE. The new Brocade 8000 Switch includes both CEE and Fibre Channel ports in a compact 1U form factor, providing top-of-rack server connectivity into both data center LANs and SANs.

Are Brocade Fibre Channel switches compatible with the Brocade 8000?

Yes. The Brocade 8000 Switch, as well as future Brocade CEE/FCoE solutions, can connect to Brocade Fibre Channel switches using native Fibre Channel ports to enable Fibre Channel SAN expansion.

Cisco says there's no market demand for 8 Gbps switches. Isn't this an indication that there is no need?

No. It is likely more an indication of the challenges Cisco faces in keeping up with the pace of innovation and bringing 8 Gbps to market across an entire product line. Cisco does not seem to fully understand enterprise requirements for performance and scalability in data center networks to achieve greater consolidation, virtualization, protection, and application performance.

How much do the 8 Gbps switches cost? Isn't 8 Gbps performance overly expensive?

Pricing for 8 Gbps switch configurations is available from Brocade Partners. For choice and flexibility in achieving the best levels of price and performance, organizations have the flexibility to use 4 Gbps or 8 Gbps SFPs/optics—and to utilize the Brocade Ports On Demand licensing structure. This allows them to align cost and performance with their current needs, then scale cost-effectively as their server and storage needs grow.

What is Integrated Fibre Channel Routing?

Integrated Fibre Channel Routing leverages the latest Brocade 90 nm ASIC technology to provide Fibre Channel Routing on a per-port basis. By making an 8 Gbps port act as an EX_Port, data can be read/written between fabrics while maintaining remote fabric isolation. Integrated Routing eliminates the need for a dedicated router or consumption of chassis slots with special routing blades—thereby reducing cost, complexity, and management overhead.

Is Integrated Routing a licensed feature?

Yes. It is available via the optional Integrated Routing license.

Are there feature differences or performance advantages with Integrated Routing compared to an extension switch or an extension blade?

With 8 Gbps SFPs, Integrated Routing provides twice the bandwidth of the Brocade FR4-18i SAN Extension Blade and the Brocade 7500 Extension Switch (both of which operate at 4 Gbps). There are no differences in functionality or management between Integrated Routing and using an extension switch/blade. The main advantages of Integrated Routing are lower cost, complexity, and administration overhead.

Are there scalability limitations with Integrated Routing?

The Brocade 5300 and Brocade 5100 switches allow all ports to be EX_Ports and support up to 32 front domains (connections to edge fabrics). The Brocade DCX Backbone supports up to 128 ports acting as EX_Ports and 48 front domains.

Can Integrated Routing be used to connect Brocade devices to M-Series fabrics?

Yes. Ports configured as EX_Ports can route data to Brocade M-EOS devices running in either McDATA Fabric mode (native) or McDATA Open Fabric mode.

What is Brocade Access Gateway mode?

Brocade Access Gateway mode can make a switch appear transparent to hosts or the network fabric. With a switch configured in Access Gateway mode, F_Ports connect to the fabric as N_Ports rather than E_Ports. This allows more hosts (and virtual machines) to access the fabric without increasing the size of the Fibre Channel fabric—thereby simplifying configuration and reducing the number of Domain IDs to manage.

What switches support Access Gateway mode?

The Brocade 200E, Brocade 300, Brocade 5100, and Brocade VA-40FC switches, as well as the Brocade 40xx and 50xx blade server switches support Access Gateway mode. Access Gateway support in the Brocade 5100 was added in Brocade Fabric OS® 6.2. The Brocade VA-40FC is the only Brocade switch that runs in Access Gateway mode by default.

In regard to Brocade Fibre Channel switches, what are the key new features available in Fabric OS 6.2?

Fabric OS 6.2 brings the Virtual Fabrics feature to the Brocade 5100 and Brocade 5300 switches. It also brings Access Gateway mode to the Brocade 5100.

What is Virtual Fabrics?

Virtual Fabrics enables the partitioning of a physical SAN into logical fabrics. This provides fabric isolation by application, business group, customer, or traffic type without sacrificing performance, scalability, security, or reliability. Virtual Fabrics is supported on both the Brocade 5100 and Brocade 5300.

How does the new Brocade VA-40FC switch differ from the rest of the Brocade Fibre Channel switches?

The primary difference between the Brocade VA-40FC and the Brocade 300, Brocade 5100, and Brocade 5300 switches is that it is in Access Gateway mode by default. Access Gateway mode enables the Brocade VA-40FC to support rapidly growing server environments by not requiring any switch configuration during deployment. In addition, the Brocade VA-40FC features a minimized switch depth of 17.6 inches and reversible airflow options, meeting the requirements of some emerging large-scale server solutions.

Why does the Brocade VA-40FC have a different hardware design than other Brocade switches?

Some emerging large-scale server solutions for data center deployments, such as the IBM iDataPlex and Verari BladeRack, have specific requirements for network switches due to their compact rack designs. Some of these server racks have a depth of only 24 inches. To allow room for access and cabling, the network switch needs to be less than 18 inches deep to fit these racks. Moreover, these high-density server solutions have specialized cooling systems with stringent airflow requirements. This is one of the reasons why the Brocade VA-40FC offers front-to-back and back-to-front airflow.

Does the Brocade VA-40FC only support Access Gateway mode?

No. The Brocade VA-40FC also supports Fabric Switch mode to provide the same functionality as the Brocade 5100 and 5300 switches. The Brocade VA-40FC can be changed from Access Gateway mode to Fabric Switch mode using Brocade Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM™), Brocade Web Tools, or the command line interface.

Documentation:

Download the Brocade 300 SAN Switch Datasheet (PDF).

Pricing Notes:

Brocade Products
Brocade 300 SAN Switches
Brocade 300 24-Port 8 Gbps Fibre Channel SAN Switch with Full Fabric
#BR-360-0008-A
Contact us for pricing!