Data center-class switches: A buyer's guide
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Editor's note: This product overview is part of a series on data center-class switches that explains what to look for when getting ready to purchase them. This vendor-specific product overview provides additional information about the features of Brocade's data center-class switches.
The Brocade VDX 8770 is a data center-class switch designed for enterprise IT environments, including highly virtualized infrastructures or storage area networks. The 8770 comes in two models: the eight-slot 8770-8, and four-slot 8770-4.
Both versions provide switching at Layer 2/Layer 3 and support Brocade's Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) fabric technology. Additional features include support for OpenStack, software-defined networking (SDN) technology and the Brocade VM-aware network automation software.
The VDX 8770-8 comes with eight line card slots and supports up to 384 1 GbE ports, 384 10 GbE ports, 216 40 GbE ports, or 48 100 GbE ports. It also supports both 16 Gbps Gen 5 native Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet. It has a maximum switching capacity of up to 4 terabits per second (Tbps) per slot, and a forwarding throughput of 11.42 billion packets per second (Bpps). In addition to its eight line card slots, the VDX 8770-8 fits several types of access or aggregation tier line cards. The 8770-8 switch is 15 rack units (RU) tall.
The VDX 8770-4 has four line card slots, and has about half the capacity of the 8770-8. It supports 192 1 GbE ports, 192 10 GbE ports, 108 40 GbE ports and 24 100 GbE ports. It also has the same 4 Tbps switching capacity and 11.42 Bpps forwarding throughput as the 8770-8. The 8770-4 is an 8 RU-sized switch.
Both models of the 8770 use multicore processors within each line card, with 8 GB of memory, and run on Brocade Network OS 5.0.0. They also support a variety of wire-speed line cards for access and aggregation tier switching. This includes cards supporting 48 1 GbE ports, 48 10 GbE ports, both 12 and 27 40 GbE ports, and 6 100 GbE ports. The 10 GbE port card is available for both the small form-factor pluggable and the registered jack 45 interconnects.
The 8770 switch also has a range of other features. It supports the OpenStack cloud computing software platform and Brocade's VCS fabric technology, which allows cloud network administrators to enable multi-tenancy on the fabric. The switches also support Brocade's Inter-Switch Link trunking software, which combines up to eight ISLs into a single 128 Gbps trunk, and application programming interfaces that enable SDN. The 8770 also comes with Brocade's VM-Aware network automation, which automates configuration and migration of port profiles.
Pricing and support
Pricing for the Brocade VDX 8770 switch is not disclosed and depends very much on the model, line cards and features chosen. A fully configured switch with line cards will most likely cost more than $100,000. The list price for the 8770-8 (chassis only) is about $90,000, and the list price for the 8770-4 (chassis only) is about $65,000. Brocade offers a series of warranties -- including a lifetime limited warranty with next-business-day replacement -- which organizations can purchase separately. It also provides online and phone-based technical support.