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Brocade Claims World's Largest 100GbE Deployment

The emergence of big data and the total amount of data more than doubling every two years (according to IDC) is driving demand for high-performance computing and faster communications. According to Intersect360 Research, the HPC market grew 22% last year, to $25.6 billion in product and services, and will reach $36 billion by 2015 (Worldwide High Performance Computing 2010 Total Market Model and 2011-15 Forecast: Overview). The 40 Gbit and 100 Gbit Ethernet market will reach $5.9 billion by 2017, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts. Now Brocade is claiming the world's largest single-site deployment of 100 Gbit Ethernet in a research institute, improving efficiency by 50%.

Janelia Farm Research Campus, the research facility for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), has chosen Brocade to replace its network infrastructure and increase performance by up to 10 times. The medical research organization invests approximately $770 million in biomedical research per year and supports more than 250 staff scientists. It has 200 gigabit connections to each of its network wiring closets, and 10 Gbit Ethernet connections going directly down to researchers’ systems.

HHMI started evaluating vendors in January, says Brocade's Daniel Williams, and deployment started in July. The institute was not only looking to increase its network performance, but also to ensure that it continued to attract researchers affiliated with other labs, he says. "They view themselves as providing network connectivity services to their researchers." They were running into problems when individual data sets were exceeding 10 Gbit Ethernet, which led HHMI to explore 40 and 100 Gbit Ethernet solutions, ultimately going with Brocade's 100 Gbit Ethernet technology.

The institute has installed more than a dozen Brocade MLXe-32 and MLXe-16 routers, with the larger switches deployed in the data center and smaller routers handling the edge or campus traffic. They are connected using Brocade's Multi-Chassis Trunk (MCT). Williams says the facility core aggregates two ports of 100 Gbit Ethernet to create a single 200 gigabit logical connection. The aggregation routers are two fully populated Brocade MLXe-32 routers with more than 2,400 Gbit Etherent ports and a large subset of 10 Gbit Ethernet ports.

The GIA report, which was published at the end of October, says the United States remains the largest regional market for 40 and 100 Gbit Ethernet, with Asia-Pacific representing the fastest-growing regional market, with revenue projected to increase at a CAGR of about 80% during the next four years. In addition to Brocade, other major players include Avago Technologies, Cisco Systems, Ciena, Extreme Networks, EZchip Technologies, Finisar, Force10 Networks, IXIA, JDS Uniphase, NetLogic Microsystems, NeoPhotonics, Oclaro, Opnext and Sumitomo Electric Industries.

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